SHAKER HEIGHTS – Today, officials from Shaker Heights and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) officially opened the new $5.4 million Lee-Van Aken Station – just steps away from City Hall and the Library. It is one of the busiest stations on the Blue Line. About 80 percent of the work was paid with federal funds.
The station stayed open for much of the 18-month construction period. It began opening in phases in early October.
The station is a key link in a plan to encourage enhanced vibrancy of the area through the historical connection to transit. The plan builds off of the existing strengths of the area, including the Municipal anchors, retail at the nearby Shaker Town Center, and new residential construction.
“This project demonstrates what can happen when RTA partners with municipalities, civic organizations and private entities, all working together toward a common goal,” said Valarie J. McCall, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) chair, RTA board member and Chief of Government and International Affairs for the City of Cleveland.
“In 2008, RTA and the City of Shaker Heights agreed on an innovative Shaker Heights Lee-Van Aken Tranist-Oriented Development Plan. Today, we are seeing the results,” McCall said.
Joe Calabrese RTA CEO and General Manager said, “This new station and the redevelopment of this entire neighborhood speak to the success of transit-oriented development and what it means to a region. Public transit is connecting the dots once again and spurring economic development that would not be realized otherwise,” he said.
The design was inspired by the quality of design in nearby buildings. The composition of the waiting pavilions, united by a trellis arch structure, creates a streetwall on the west side of Lee Road. The landmark Triumphal Arches celebrate events and people of Shaker Heights.
The new ADA-compliant station will:
- Support and encourage planned development for that area, and a major transformation at the nearby Warrensville-Van Aken Station.
- Improve the visibility of transit and provide improved amenities for passengers waiting to transfer either to bus or rail.
- Offer new passenger loading platforms and access, providing a safer and more inviting environment.
- Feature weather-protected vestibules at both entrances, connecting to elevators and stairs for equitable access for all riders.
- Extend the existing road bridge to provide a larger sidewalk area for bus waiting and passenger circulation.
- Significantly enhance the transit experience with enhanced information and greater security.