There are few more iconic visuals in Cleveland, save for the Terminal Tower, than the Guardians of Traffic on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. They've long been visual shorthand for Cleveland, gracing t-shirts, professional marketing photographs, a million Instagram shots and TV commercials, and while we may feel they belong to Us, a question we've never thought to ask is who they actually belong to.
That question arose recently thanks to Cleveland businessman Dave LaSalvia who, after noticing that six of the eight guardians' lights were out, started asking around about who was responsible for fixing them. The answer, from the city of Cleveland, ODOT, Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Public Power: Uh, not us. The Light Our Guardians Facebook
page has documented some of his travails in his pursuit of the answer, and this week News Channel 5's Joe Pagonakis took up the case
, getting the same run-around.
"We've been communicating with five or six agencies," Cleveland city Councilman Kerry McCormack told Pago. "Figuring out who is responsible for the lighting should be simpler than this, there's no doubt about it. We want them lit. I jokingly said I'd go up there and do it myself."
Pago asked City Hall, which said it was the county's problem. He then asked the County, which said not only is it the city's responsibility, but it's the third time in a year that City Hall has tried to slough off the work on the County.
"There must be some way that we can get them all lit and let them all shine," LaSalvia told Channel 5, "which is exactly what I think most people in Cleveland want."