Opportunity for Whom?
One persistent pryer looks to find answers in Cleveland’s newest road.
Written by: Cameron Mays
November 12th, 2021. I could’ve made that date 1941 and it would make little difference. I had just stopped by my office in the Caxton Building. It’s a nice little room, just enough for me and my business associate Mendelson. We run what you could call an information firm, Mays & Mendelssohn. We’re not private detectives, we’re snoops that operate outside the legal system — tax purposes!
Mendelson came in late that day, which stood out to me because he never comes in late on the 12th of the month, always early.
“Better have coffee if you’re coming in this late,” I cleverly spat.
My jokes missed this sanguine youngster like a second-rate trumpet player trying to copy Cat Anderson.
“Yeah, well, I’ve got something better.”
I leaned forward with interest.
“You ever hear of roads?” he said as he reached for his briefcase.
“The thing buses drive on?”
He opened his briefcase.
“What if I told you there’s a whole new one?”
“Surely, you must be joking.”
He tossed a couple pictures on my desk. Despite his inability to properly adjust the F-stop, I was able to make out the image: a big road.
“That’s the good stuff, not the crap you pave in your basement,” he irreverently referenced.
I threw the pictures on my desk. “Strongsville built a new highway, so what?”
He shook his head.
His skull kept shaking.
Another guess shot down by the tremble of his temples. After listing every suburb, village, and census-designated place in Cuyahoga County, I finally got my answer.
“Cleveland?” I said, not wanting to know if I was right or wrong.
His eyes grew big, and as he slowly nodded his head, I refused to believe it. A five-lane, divided highway in Cleveland? Built in the last five years? Surely a city designed for the general public wouldn’t take urban planning advice from cities designed for General Motors.
Like an injured horse I hopped out of my chair for the door. I opened the door, then exited through it. I pressed a button which opened the sliding door of the elevator and after riding it down to the first floor, the doors reopened and I exited through them. I pushed open the doors to the street and headed for Tower City.
I took the Rapid down to the East 79th station. Upon exiting, I found Mendelson was right: a new, suburban road blasted right through the neglected neighborhood.
Yet, something seemed odd about this road. Sure, it had road signs, traffic lights, dashed lines, everything one comes to expect from these newfangled freeways, but something seemed odd about this one. Like anyone who snoops, I did what I do best: snoop.
What did my snooping find? Check out the video I made to find out!