by Sam Allard
Cleveland’s business leaders want you to know that “The Opportunity Corridor” — a new road they want to jam through the city’s southeast side — definitely isn’t a highway. From the beginning, project proponents have been careful to refer to this $350 million, three-mile traffic-mover as a “boulevard.” And they also want you to faithfully accept that this is really all about “opportunity” for the neighborhoods the road will bisect — some of the poorest in the region — not the benefit of suburban car commuters.
Schmitt exposes some of the Opportunity Corridor's most basic infrastructural flaws — demolition of homes and businesses via eminent domain; existing routes in disrepair; zero dollars invested in public transit among communities where a large percentage of residents don't own cars — and interrogates the marketing mumbo jumbo being sallied by the likes of Terry Eggars, the PD's current publisher and Opportunity Corridor cheerleader.
Chief among backers' disingenuous assertions is that the Opportunity Corridor will be a terrific boon to Cleveland's impoverished African American communities. That bullshit is heaped so high and stinks so badly even the blind residents can see through it.
“This is an opportunity all right," Schmitt reports an overheard conversation. "An opportunity for white folks to get to work and not have to see any black folks.”