Commuters with disabilities battling new problems with busing ban on Public Square

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CLEVELAND-- Some RTA riders with disabilities say the city’s decision to ban buses from Public Square is making their daily commute confusing and difficult.

“Before everything was more or less in a central location so you wouldn’t have to kinda play like those scenes in Scooby Doo where they run through the hallways; well, it’s like that now, except with streets and crosswalks," said David McKee of Cleveland, who is visually impaired. “Even fully sighted people get confused.”

City officials say the decision to close a small portion of Superior at Public Square is because thousands visit that area and could be put in danger due to the constant bus traffic.

But several city council members disagree, saying the “million turns” around the Square put more people in danger.

And many riders agree.

“With all these buses being routed on to Public Square and all the left hand turns I think we are going to see more of these kind of issues where people are going to get brushed or hit,” said Geza John Vamos.

A few other passengers, like Philip Hewitt, say the change is causing people to miss connections because they need to walk farther to catch buses.

Hewitt missed his connection Friday morning and he made the seven minute walk from Tower City to his new bus stop.

“It’s 20 minutes of waiting in the cold for the next one,” Hewitt said.

City officials released this statement Friday, “We understand the concerns of the public which is why we are working with RTA to mitigate any concerns riders have.”

Hewitt and others say they are hoping the city will reconsider the decision.

“It’s called Public Square, only makes sense that public transit is present,” Hewitt said.

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