Benches aim to enhance Noble corridor
Noble Road has just gotten a bit more comfortable. Five new benches were installed there in July as part of the Noble-ity Project, an Early Action Project undertaken by the Noble Road Corridor Steering Committee as part of the Noble Road Corridor Planning Project. FutureHeights, the community development corporation for Cleveland Heights, formed the committee in winter 2018, subsequent to the planning process it had led in partnership with the cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, and several community groups.
The planning process took a comprehensive look at the needs and opportunities along the Noble Road Corridor, focusing on its four commercial districts: the Noble, Mayfield, Warrensville Triangle; Noble Monticello; Noble Nela; and Noble Euclid in East Cleveland. Goals of the process include promoting walking, bicycling, and transit use; promoting “placemaking” and strengthening community life; the productive use of vacant/under-utilized sites; providing additional jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities; and increasing property values.
Although many plan recommendations may take years to realize, an Early Action Project can be implemented in the short term, creating momentum and moving plans forward, while funding and other prerequisites are assembled for larger project goals.
The Noble-ity Project places benches strategically along the Noble Road Corridor to serve pedestrians, including those with physical disabilities and other mobility limitations, and enhance its walkability for all. The benches build on community assets, such as the Noble-Roanoke Mini Park, developed and maintained by Noble Neighbors, and the proximity of bus stops, local businesses, and institutions, such as the Noble Neighborhood Library, and churches along the corridor.
Two benches were installed at Noble Nela, two at the Noble-Roanoke Mini Park, and one at the Noble Neighborhood Library, where it complements an existing bench.
FutureHeights secured the funding and oversaw the installation of the benches in eligible areas with a Community Development Block Grant from the city of Cleveland Heights, and a donation from Heights Libraries. The group plans to install additional benches along the corridor when other funds are secured.
Phase 2 of the Noble-ity Project aims to have the benches reflect the unique history and culture of the neighborhood. Noble is home to people who have extraordinary stories: writers, athletes, health care workers, philanthropists, educators, volunteers, refugees, families, and friends. The project plans to highlight their stories through prose and art painted on the benches, brightening the corridor with art and history, inviting pass-through shoppers, pedestrians, and residents alike to embrace the neighborhood's rich community—and inviting them to sit and stay a while.
Donations to help complete the Noble-ity Project can be made online at www.ioby.org/project/noble-ity-project. All donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar through Sept. 30, thanks to the generous support of IOBY and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
To learn more about the Noble Road Corridor Planning Project, visit www.futureheights.org/programs/planning-and-development/noble-road-corridor-planning-project/.
Sruti Baz is deputy director of FutureHeights.