The ULI Infrastructure Initiative congratulates Jason Hellendrung for his award-winning article on bus rapid transit and economic development in Cleveland
The Urban Land Institute recently announced the winners of the 2013 ULI Apgar Urban Land Award, which honors articles appearing in Urban Land magazine, and we here at the Infrastructure Initiative are excited to see Jason Hellendrung recognized as co-winner of this year’s award. His article, “HealthLine Drives Growth in Cleveland,” describes how bus rapid transit helped catalyze economic development along Cleveland’s important Euclid Avenue corridor.
About the Euclid corridor, Hellendrung writes:
By the 2000s, the corridor was depressed, lined with dilapidated buildings and vacant lots and evoking a sense of hopelessness.
But Euclid’s role as an essential link between the central business district downtown and University Circle—a hub of world-class medical facilities and arts and culture amenities—rendered the corridor impossible to ignore. Starting in the 1970s, a nearly 30-year debate focused on how to integrate rapid transit along Euclid Avenue. Finally, in 1998 the city set aside prohibitively expensive rail plans and decided to move forward with bus rapid transit (BRT).
The resulting $200 million, 6.8-mile (11 km) Euclid Corridor Transportation Project catalyzed a powerful transformation along the avenue. Since the BRT line opened in 2008, the corridor has attracted $5.8 billion in investment—$3.3 billion for new construction and $2.5 billion for building rehab, together totaling more than 110 projects. Disproving naysayers and exceeding the expectations of supporters, the project has generated the economic growth that many thought could only be achieved with rail—and at a fraction of the cost. In 2011, the project won a ULI Award for Excellence.
The ULI Infrastructure Initiative included Hellendrung’s article in its Business on Board Series, a set of seven articles appearing in Urban Land magazine that explore the private sector’s role in advancing transit.