Public Square busing controversy: RTA requests deadline extension

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Just a little more time. That's what the RTA is saying to the feds about the looming Public Square decision deadline.

It's the second time the RTA is asking for an extension. As it stands now, the deadline is Feb. 21.

RTA says they need more time to put a plan in place to make it safer for pedestrians before opening up Public Square.

A letter was sent to the Federal Transit Administration Thursday outlining RTA's plan.

They say things are taking longer because they were waiting for the results from a transit zone traffic analysis and hazard and security analysis.

They say they've had time to look over the results and now are in the process of implementing measures they say will help keep Public Square safe if it is opened to bus traffic.

Some of the plan includes: working with the city and police departments to enforce bus only traffic and control jay walking; adding the appropriate pavement markings; putting up speed limit signs; and coordinating the opening of Superior Avenue with special event organizers.

The FTA has told the City of Cleveland they either need to open up Superior Avenue to bus traffic or pay back $12 million.

They say the closure of that small stretch of road violates an agreement they had when renovations were done last year.

The initial deadline was Jan. 19, but it was extended another month.

No word on exactly how much more time RTA is asking for, but they say they are meeting with the City of Cleveland at Public Qquare with buses on Monday to evaluate safety and security concepts.

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