When I lived in Philly, I walked and took public transit a lot. For some reason, though, when I moved to Cleveland that changed. Whether it was the free parking at work or sheer laziness at not wanting to learn a new route, when I lived in Shaker Heights I never took advantage of the RTA‘s Rapid train into work.
I kick myself now because as much as I love Avon Lake, my RTA option is to drive to the 55F at Lake and Bradley and the route is only open during weekday rush hours. Still, as Joe over at Mildly Relevant pointed out, if you want to get around Cleveland proper, RTA is an inexpensive way to jump between neighborhoods. And – contrary to the inaccurate reputation public transit often gets - it’s safe.
Plus, Google Maps’ public transit feature will now map your route for you pretty instantaneously. No more deciphering timetables? Where have you been all my life Google Transit!
On August 27th, the group will meet at 1pm at West Side Market in Ohio City and walk to the Red line Rapid stop. By taking the Rapid and the bus (here’s the full route), the Bar Crawl will explore University Circle/Little Italy, Larchmere/Shaker Square, E.4th Street/Downtown and then return to Ohio City/W.25th at 8pm. Along the way, the group will visit different bars in each neighborhood and show that it is easy and safe to get around Cleveland without a car.
If you’ve read my blog for awhile, I think you know I LOVE when someone sees a problem (in this case – the bad reputation public transit wrongly gets) and instead of just ranting about it, proactively goes out there and does something.
The solution Joe’s come up with combines some of my favorite things: exploring Cleveland’s neighborhoods, enjoying good food and drink, and clueing people into a facet of the city that gets a bad rap. Plus, he is working on finding a local charity to collaborate with that will receive a percentage of the proceeds. (The charity announcement is coming soon and I plan to update here once it does.)
Unfortunately, I will be driving home from Virginia that day so I won’t be able to make it. However, with 47 rsvped ‘Yes’ (as of this posting) – @WhyCLE, @CrookdRiverWmn, and @CourtMarshall among them — I expect this to be the first of many RTA Bar Crawls and can’t wait to make it to the next one.
And if someone knows of a bus route from the westside into downtown (even if it means driving a little closer to downtown than Lake and Bradley), let me know!
Disclaimer: I think this goes without saying but don’t drink and drive. If, like me, you need to drive to the first RTA stop, take a cab or have a designated driver drive you to and from the Bar Crawl. And as The Most Interesting Man in the World says — stay thirsty, responsibly, my friends.