Construction Season

By Lisa Rickey, Host Committee Member

There is a running joke that Ohio has four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction. Well, guess what season it is right now? Construction Season.

The most significant construction impacting the conference is that taking place around Public Square, which is located somewhat between the Renaissance Hotel and the Convention Center. There have been some changes to traffic and bus routes around Public Square, to accommodate the construction.

However:

  • Parking garages and buildings on the perimeter of Public Square will be open and accessible to residents and Downtown employees.
  • Exterior sidewalks along the perimeter of Public Square will be open for pedestrians. That is, you can walk on the sidewalks all around the four sides of the square; only the sidewalks that criss-cross through the center are closed. (This information has been confirmed as current and accurate by a Host Committee affiliate actually visiting the square on August 13th!)

The parking garage of the Renaissance Hotel remains accessible.

Public Square construction map (courtesy of DowntownCleveland.com)
Public Square construction map (courtesy of DowntownCleveland.com)

The map above shows the construction area and changes to traffic routes; it has been modified from the original to include markers for the Renaissance Hotel and the Convention Center. 

For pedestrians walking from the Renaissance to the Convention Center, the following route is suggested: Exit the Renaissance near the parking garage on the north side, at W. 3rd Street. Walking on W. 3rd, cross Superior Avenue, and go two blocks north to St. Clair. Turn right on St. Clair. Walk one block east on St. Clair, and you will see the Global Center for Health Innovation, at the corner of St. Clair and Ontario Avenue. A little further down St. Clair from that corner is an entrance to the Global Center, which also connects to the Convention Center. You can use this entrance to get to the Convention Center, and there will be conference volunteers staffing this door to help you with finding where you need to go. If you are enjoying the nice weather or would simply prefer to go in the front entrance to the Convention Center, continue walking a short distance (less than a full block) on St. Clair, and turn left, either up Frantz Pastorius Blvd. (aka W. Mall Dr.) or the Public Hall pathway, and go one block north to Lakeside Avenue, where you will find the front entrance to the Convention Center, at 300 Lakeside Ave.

For more information about the Public Square construction project, visit:

For more information about Cleveland construction and traffic in general, visit:

Getting Around Town: A Basic Grid Lesson

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

Cleveland is designed within a grid system. Avenues like Euclid, Superior, St. Clair, Lakeside, Prospect, Payne, and Carnegie travel east to west. (Once you travel west across the Cuyahoga River, Superior becomes Detroit and Carnegie becomes Lorain.) Streets are in consecutive number order and travel from north (from Lake Erie) to the south. However, if you visit one of the suburbs, all bets are off as to where the various roads are called avenues versus streets.

A building with a 2- or 3-digit address (55 to 775) on West 6th  Street or East 6th Street is close to the lake and located around Lakeside Avenue or any avenue that is close to the lake.  When the building addresses goes higher — like 1800, 2040 or 3000 — on a numbered street, it is in the area of an avenue away from the lake, like Carnegie (west side Lorain) or Superior (west side Detroit). The addresses on buildings located on avenues are related to the numbered street they are near: for example, the address for Cleveland Public Library’s two buildings is 325-525 Superior Avenue and is located between East 3rd and East 6th streets.

Frantz Pastorius Blvd, Ontario Street (two of the few named streets) north of Public Square is the East and West divide of the city.  So if you exit the Renaissance near the garage, the street that runs directly into it is West 3rd. DON’T PANIC: you are not completely on the west side.  Walk down to the next major intersection St. Clair Avenue, turn right, walk another block to the Global Center on Ontario Avenue, next street is the back side of the Convention Center.  You can take Frantz Pastorius Blvd or the Public Hall pathway to the front entrance on Lakeside Ave.

The takeaway: a building with 2- or 3-digit address is close to Lake Erie, and the address of a building located on an avenue (east-west) is related to the numbered streets (north-south).

Now that you are totally confused, hopefully this downtown map will help with illustrate the explanation. The map is reproduced below (courtesy of ThisIsCleveland.com), without the legend. To view the legend identifying the numbered locations, view the original (printable PDF) map. Click on the map image to enlarge it:

Downtown Cleveland map (courtesy of ThisIsCleveland.com)
Downtown Cleveland map (courtesy of ThisIsCleveland.com)

When you fly into Cleveland via Hopkins, you can reach the Renaissance Hotel or downtown Cleveland without going outside by taking the Rapid, the Red Line transit train, from within the airport to the terminal tower downtown Cleveland for $2.50. But if you have too many bags or you don’t want people invading your space, take a cab or call Uber.

Trolley system map, courtesy of RideRTA (click to enlarge)
Trolley system map, courtesy of RideRTA (click to enlarge)

A FREE TROLLEY  covers downtown Cleveland from Prospect Ave to Euclid Ave from Cleveland State University to the Rock Hall. Did I mention FREE? This Free Trolley map (reproduced at left, click to enlarge) has information about schedules and routes.

Another inexpensive option for getting around downtown Cleveland is to borrow a bike via Zagster.

Please note: A number of construction projects are currently underway in downtown Cleveland. Additional details are forthcoming, but please plan to build a little extra time into your travels daily to and from your hotel, as well as to and from the conference center.