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Lee Road Action Plan
On March 27, 2023, City Council adopted the Lee Road Action Plan, a community-driven plan that creates a vision to comprehensively transform the area south of Van Aken Boulevard into a thriving corridor and commercial district that is attractive, walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly. The final plan includes strategies for transportation, urban design, land use, and economic development. The plan documents may be accessed below:
- Executive Summary (3/21/2023)
- Lee Road Action Plan (3/21/2023)
- Lee Road Action Plan Concept (Site Plan)
- Lee Road Action Plan Appendices (3/21/2023)
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This visionary reinvestment plan recommends improved connections along Lee Road from the northern residential neighborhoods through the southern civic and commercial areas. The Lee Road Action Plan builds on the recommendations of the Economic Development Strategy/Strategic Investment Plan Update and Lee Road Traffic Study & Corridor Plan, focuses on the area south of Van Aken Boulevard and several blocks into the City of Cleveland, and creates the vision to comprehensively transform the area south of Chagrin Boulevard into a thriving corridor and commercial district that is attractive, walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly. It is a community-driven plan that, through robust community engagement, provides detailed recommendations to address the longstanding need for transportation enhancements and corridor redevelopment, and focuses on transportation, economic development, urban design, and land use.
Existing Conditions and Background
Lee Road is a NOACA-designated priority bike route with connections to the Green and Blue Line rapid transit and the #40 and #14 RTA bus routes. Lee Road is a busy four-lane road that is absent of bicycle infrastructure and provides minimal connection with adjacent residential neighborhoods, bike routes, and parks. There is excess motor vehicle capacity, too much asphalt, no landscaping, inadequate pedestrian areas, and access challenges.
To the north, Lee Road connects to Cleveland Heights where there are three drive lanes and bike shoulders. To the south, the road connects to Cleveland at Scottsdale where it includes small, underutilized commercial buildings and lots, each with its own front-facing parking lot. The half-mile between Chagrin and Scottsdale has high commercial vacancies, tax delinquencies, and 45 driveway curb cuts. Underinvestment and disjointedness in the commercial district contrast with the strong sense of community in the nearby single- and two-family residential neighborhoods.
In 2010, the City created the Economic Development Strategy/Strategic Investment Plan Update to enhance business activity and build a strong and sustainable economic future through policies that correct market imbalances and provide strong returns on investment.
In 2012, the City undertook the Lee Road Traffic Study & Corridor Plan to improve transportation access and circulation for all modes along Lee Road and improve the character of the commercial district south of Chagrin Road through streetscape enhancements. This plan recommended lane reconfiguration along the entire Lee Road corridor from four lanes to two through lanes with a center turn lane, bike infrastructure along the entire corridor (north-bike shoulders, middle-sharrows, south-dedicated bike lanes), traffic signal improvements, targeted intersection reconfiguration, and pedestrian improvements. The plan also recommended further study to create a vision for the Lee Road corridor south of Chagrin Boulevard, including access management, shared parking, redevelopment strategies, marketing strategy, and improved neighborhood connections.
Learn more about the three phases of the Lee Road Action Plan by clicking on the tabs below.
In February 2023, the plan was presented to a joint work session of City Council and the City Planning Commission and was adopted by City Council on March 27, 2023.
Scroll down to learn more about what happens next.
The information we collected from residents, business owners, and area property owners during Phase 1 and 2 of the Action Plan served as the foundation for Phase 3, the creation of a final plan.
- Click here to see the draft Lee Road Action Plan
- Click here to watch a video of the Phase 3 presentation
- Click here to see the presentation boards from the Phase 3 Open House
- Click here to see the Phase 3 presentation slideshow
Send your comments and questions to Kara Hamley O’Donnell, Principal Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-491-1436.
In anticipation of a final plan, the City is seeking out grant funding for implementation in 2027-2028. Click here for more information on funding.
Phase 2 of the Lee Road Action Plan took place between June and August 2022 and included 17 meetings, most of which were small informal interactions, including neighborhood get-togethers, bike/walking tours, merchant meetings, and community events. Over 250 engaged Shaker and Cleveland residents, merchants, and property owners, primarily from nearby neighborhoods, attended these events. In addition to the in-person and virtual meetings, the City conducted an online visual preference survey that was completed by over 450 diverse people from across Shaker Heights and Cleveland.
Participants overwhelmingly desire a more walkable Lee Road between Van Aken Boulevard and into Cleveland, with a new neighborhood center around an expanded Chelton Park. Improved neighborhood connections, public spaces, and corridor gateways were preferred. A road diet with one lane in each direction and a center turn lane was favored including:
- medians and curb extensions for aesthetics and pedestrian safety,
- high visibility crosswalks
- ample pedestrian sidewalks
- off-road bike trail
- reduced curb cuts
- consolidated off-street parking
The plan includes foundational market analysis to assure recommendations are realistic. Participants supported redevelopment grounded in that analysis and included maintaining and supporting our existing businesses, filling vacant buildings, creating opportunities for one- to four-story mixed-use redevelopment that includes retail, restaurant, recreation, housing, maker space, and office.
The collective community input through all outreach methods provided a unified path forward. View a presentation to Council showing results of in-person and online engagement and an economic development analysis overview.
Phase 1 Understand
In February 2022, over 150 people attended three meetings (download presentation | view video) held to engage stakeholders, business owners, property owners, and residents about the future of the Lee Rd Corridor. Participants started by sharing their thoughts on the corridor today and what they’d like it to become. Attendees told us that, today, the corridor is congested, unsafe, isolated, unattractive, and has poor visibility and roadway conditions. Overwhelmingly, those in attendance were encouraged by Lee Road’s potential, envisioning a future Lee Road that is walkable, vibrant, safe, welcoming/inviting, attractive, accessible, and sustainable.
Overall 150 people attended the meetings and over 2000 people weighed in on four one-question polls, and one six-question survey. Both the meeting conversations and the online survey asked the following questions, each of which is followed by the major themes we heard from participants:
What are the challenges along Lee Rd? Answers included car-centric. traffic/congestion and roadway conditions, appearance (unappealing, unattractive, unwelcoming), visibility and access to businesses, poor lighting, safety (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists), lack of family-friendly amenities/businesses, vacancy, and parking.
What are the opportunities along Lee Rd? Answers included connectivity (businesses, neighborhood, Cleveland, and to Chelton Park), preserve existing business, building on entrepreneurship culture, branding/Identity, adding family-friendly businesses (sit-down restaurant, café, arts/fitness/yoga, and places that welcome youth), walkable, bike and pedestrian-friendly, relocate bus depot, new buildings/spaces to replace some of the brick buildings, beautify, and welcome people to the corridor.
What types of businesses would you like to see along Lee Rd? Respondants encouraged family-friendly businesses (restaurants, cafes), multi-use buildings and multi-family housing, service businesses for neighborhood and commuters, diverse array of businesses for the diverse community, welcoming space for youth, indoor and outdoor space for activity/recreation, and art/fitness businesses.
What should be preserved? Answers included existing businesses, green space, park, and trees.
What will transform Lee Rd? You told us you’d like to create a multimodal corridor that is vibrant, inviting, welcoming, safe, and walkable, with improved visibility. You’d like to preserve existing businesses and add new ones, embracing the community’s entrepreneurial spirit. Identifying barriers, embracing the culture, and celebrating the city’s history and diversity were important for transformation, as were shared parking, adding multi-family housing, improving the identity/cohesiveness of Lee Road, and implementing streetscape improvements.
What types of community spaces would you like to see on Lee Road? Answers included adding family- and youth-friendly gathering spaces and connecting to Chelton Park and indoor and outdoor places where people can gather for music, recreation, performance, fitness, and for their children to play. Outdoor dining, pocket parks and a dog park were also mentioned.
|June 2021||City issued a Request for Proposals seeking qualified planning and urban design consultant teams to undertake the Lee Road Action Plan|
|July-August 2021||Proposal review, interviews, consultant selection, City approval and legislation|
|September 2021||Contracting with WSP USA to undertake Lee Road Action Plan. Cuyahoga County undertakes Lee Road Crash Analysis|
|October-December 2021||WSP USA and City collect background data and begin economic analysis|
|January 2022||Public engagement process begins|
|February 24, 2022 6:30-8 pm||Public meeting #1. View the presentation (PDF) | View the Q&A (PDF)|
|June 15, 2022||Public Meeting #2. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the presentation (YouTube)|
|June 22, 2022||Public Meeting #2 (Virtual). View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the presentation (YouTube)|
|October 4, 2022||City Council Work Session: Update on Lee Road Action Plan. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the recording|
|November 8, 2022||Stakeholder meeting. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the recording (YouTube)|
|November 10, 2022||Open house. View the boards (PDF)|
|February 13, 2023||City Council/City Planning Commission Work Session: Presentation of Lee Road Action Plan. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the recording|
|March 7, 2023 @ 7 pm||City Planning Commission Meeting. View the agenda | View the presentation slidedeck (PDF)|
|March 27, 2023 @ 7 pm||Plan adoption at City Council. View the presentation (PDF) | Watch the recording|
What Comes After the Plan is Completed?
While the Lee Road Action Plan focuses on the area south of Van Aken Boulevard, the 2027 implementation will improve Lee Road border-to-border, resurfacing the entire street and narrowing Lee Road from four lanes to three and adding bike infrastructure, improving the safety of the entire corridor. Thus far, the City has received more than $16.3 million in grant funding for Lee Road. This includes $12.4 million from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) for border-to-border street improvements and road diet, $1.8 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation for border-to-border pedestrian safety upgrades, $1 million from County ARPA funds, $605,000 from NOACA to improve traffic signalization, and $500,000 NOACA streetscape funding
- March 21, 2023 Lee Road Action Plan (PDF)
- March 21, 2023 Lee Road Action Plan Appendices (PDF)
- Lee Road Action Plan Concept (Site Plan) (PDF)
- Presentation Slidedeck — March 7, 2023 City Planning Commission Meeting (PDF)
- Lee Action Plan Public Meeting #3 (PDF)
- Lee Action Plan Phase 3 Boards (PDF)
- Lee Action Plan Public Meeting #2 (PDF)
- Lee Action Plan Public Meeting #1 (PDF)
- Lee Action Plan Public Meeting #1 Q&A (PDF)
- 2020 Lee Road Corridor Presentation (PDF)
- Map of Lee Road Project Area (PDF)
- 2015 Economic Development Plan (PDF)
- 2012 Lee Road Corridor Plan (PDF)Done Editing
- 5/2/23: Shaker Heights diversifying through economic development
- 4/30/23: Shaker Heights pedals ahead on Van Aken, Lee Road bikeway plans this month
- 3/28/23: Shaker council gives go-ahead to Lee Road Action Plan, Arcadia mixed-use development in Van Aken District
- 3/14/23: Shaker Planning Commission forwards Arcadia development, Lee Road Action Plan to council
- 2/21/23: Lee Road Action Plan heads to Shaker Heights council for formal approval
- 10/12/22 Projected construction costs continue to spiral in Shaker’s formation of Lee Road Action Plan
- 9/15/22 Cuyahoga County Council approves nearly $12 million in ARPA spending on addiction center, lakefront park, more
- 7/1/22 Cuyahoga County Council members propose $6.9 million in stimulus spending on the community centers, the zoo and more: Stimulus Watch
- 5/6/22 The City has received a $1.8 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation for Lee Road
- 3/29/22 RAISE the bar: Shaker applies for $5.5M federal grant on Lee Road Action Plan (PDF)
- 1/25/22 Shaker Heights Applies for $2 Million State Safety Grant for Lee Road
- 11/7/21 Unusual Real Estate Fund Aims to Transform Lee Road in Shaker Heights (PDF)
- 9/30/21 Shaker Heights Looks to Move Forward with Lee Road Corridor Project
- 9/1/21 Sherrod Brown, Local Business Leaders and Officials Discuss Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan’s Potential Economic Impact
- 7/5/21 Shaker Plans Ahead with $1 Million Federal Grant Application for Lee Road Corridor
- 5/25/21 Shaker Heights Springs into Lee Rd. Action with $2.8 Million in Grant Applications
- 5/11/21 Shaker Heights Envisions $13.7 Million Reinvestment in Chagrin-Lee Corridor for 2025
- 10/20/20 Shaker Heights Paving the Way for Concerted Revitalization Effort on Lee Rd.
- 9/29/20 Shaker Heights Development Corp. Officials Update City Council on Pandemic Response
- 12/30/19 Shaker Heights Animal Hospital Moving to Old Bank Branch in Chagrin Lee Corridor
Email Kara Hamley O'Donnell in the Planning Department or call 216-491-1436.