In Cleveland’s long-standing territorial debate between East and West, one trump card stands out: University Circle. Or rather, the traffic circle that ushers you from Rockefeller Park into the University Circle neighborhood
For years, this hellish roundabout has been a maze of too many lanes, too many signs pointing in every direction, and too many guys in beat-up Saturns trying to cut you off at a yield sign. Nobody likes it. West Siders would rather skip a trip to the orchestra than approach it; East Siders risk their lives daily to conquer it...
But this week, finally, our city leaders have done something to fix it. Seemingly overnight, they narrowed the circle to one lane of traffic, closed off the entrance from East 105th Street, and miracle of miracles, gave drivers in the circle the right of way. This means, dear reader, that you no longer have to spend your entire 20 seconds in the circle glancing nervously over your shoulder for an RTA bus to come barreling down.
The only problem, of course, is that no one knows about the change. For the last couple of mornings, commuters have simply been praying that their fellow motorists notice the new signs and traffic patterns, and are not distracted by the gray-haired carpenters standing at one entrance to the circle, handing out leaflets protesting a non-union contractor at the nearby VA hospital. Seriously guys, could your location be any worse?
It’s a jungle out there. But at least, now, there’s only one lane left to die in. —Lisa Rab