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:

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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. 

How to Get Here: Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

By Lisa Rickey, Host Committee member

When it comes to transportation, Cleveland has plenty of options: planes, trains, and automobiles!

Nearby airports include Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE, 14 miles away) or Akron-Canton Airport (CAK, 50 miles away). Other options for getting to Cleveland include Amtrak, Greyhound bus, and Megabus.

Downtown Cleveland from air, arriving at Cleveland Hopkins (photo courtesy of dchrisoh via Flickr, creative commons license)
Downtown Cleveland from air, arriving at Cleveland Hopkins (photo courtesy of dchrisoh via Flickr, creative commons license)

Once here, convenient ground transportation can be found through the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, as well as local taxis.

Greater Cleveland RTA rapid transit car (photo courtesy Roger Dupuis via Flickr, creative commons license)
Greater Cleveland RTA rapid transit car (photo courtesy Roger Dupuis via Flickr, creative commons license)

Probably the fastest, simplest, and cheapest way to get to from Cleveland Hopkins airport to the Renaissance hotel or the Convention Center would be to follow these instructions (from the official Archives 2015 transportation page): The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Red Line provides regular service between CLE and downtown Cleveland via the Tower City Station. The trip takes less than 30 minutes and trains depart from CLE every 15 minutes for the majority of the day. For RTA to the Renaissance Hotel: Take the Red Line toward Stokes/Windermere. Exit at Tower City – Public Sq Stn. Fare: $2.25 (one way). The Red Line stop is the same for the Convention Center; it is just a few blocks’ walk from the Renaissance to the Convention Center.

More detailed information about options for getting to – and getting around – Cleveland can be found on the official Archives 2015 transportation page.

However you choose to get around, may we just say: Welcome to Cleveland!

Welcome to Cleveland! (photo courtesy of Sarah B. Nelson via Flickr, creative commons license)
Welcome to Cleveland! (photo courtesy of Sarah B. Nelson via Flickr, creative commons license)

Shipping and Submarines on the Great Lakes

By Leslie Cade, Host Committee member

The Great Lakes transportation industry has had a major impact on Cleveland, and conversely, the city has played a significant role in its development. Many rivers flow to the south shore of Lake Erie. Historically, a town developed at the mouth of most of them. Only three – Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo – emerged as major cities, with water transportation as the focus. For all three, the catalyst was canal construction, with each serving as a terminal point. By the late twentieth century, 115 million tons of cargo were shipped on the Great Lakes by 58 U.S. flagged ships. Stone, cement, coal, and iron ore remain mainstays of waterborne transportation in Cleveland, and the revival of the traffic in bulk cargo, primarily iron ore, has kept Cleveland at the heart of the transportation industry on the Great Lakes.

You can learn about shipping on the Great Lakes at the steamship William G. Mather, flagship of the Cleveland-Cliffs steamship company, now a floating museum berthed at the East Ninth Street Pier right next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

“A Stern Look” at the William G. Mather, with Cleveland in the background (photo courtesy of Laszlo Ilyes via Flickr, creative commons license)

You can also experience life on a World War II submarine with a visit to the U.S.S. Cod, a GATO class fleet submarine named for the world’s most important food fish, just east of the William G. Mather.  The sub’s five diesel engines were built by the General Motor’s Cleveland diesel plant on the city’s west side. After being decommissioned from active service, the Cod served as a naval reserve training vessel until being reactivated as a museum in 1976. It achieved National Historic Landmark status in 1986.  The Cod is the only U.S. submarine on display with its original stairways and doors so be prepared for a real submarine experience!

U.S.S. Cod (photo courtesy of Cliff via Flickr, creative commons license)
U.S.S. Cod (photo courtesy of Cliff via Flickr, creative commons license)

Enjoy some of the other maritime sites in Ohio while you’re here!