Cleveland Heights installs solar bus shelters
The new Mayfield Road solar bus shelters at Coventry Road and at Warrensville Center Road are the first of their kind in the region. The shelters are a creative project involving RTA, the City of Cleveland Heights and a company called Solar Impact. Through the efforts of Mayor Ed Kelley, the city received a $100,000 Federal Transportation Administration grant through RTA. Those funds paid for the design, fabrication and installation of the two prototype bus shelters.
The city worked intensively with Earl Lee, Solar Impact designer, to create a shelter with outstanding form and function. Lee’s conversations with RTA shelter users resulted in various improvements to the original design, such as extra bench length (some of the shelter remains benchless for wheelchair access) and side panels of frosted glass. The frosted finish reflects some of the summer sun’s heat without affecting the shelter’s bright, light look.
Solar panels provide power to programmable colored LED lights until a motion detector turns on interior lighting for occupants’ comfort. Battery capacity is sufficient to power additional accessories, such as a real-time display, which RTA hopes to introduce in the future.
The solar bus shelters, along with the solar panels at the Cedar Lee parking garage, Cumberland parking lot’s bio-retention basins, the Cleveland Heights Community Center’s energy saving light retrofits, the Camiros Zoning Code amendments, and the installation of sharrows, are actions that the City of Cleveland Heights hopes will encourage others to work to be more sustainable, too.
Richard Wong is the planning director of planning and development for the City of Cleveland Heights.