New RTA Rapid station: A catalyst for EcoVillage development

Can public transit be a catalyst for neighborhood development? Can neighborhood development bring more people and activity to support the use of transit? Can both work together in mutually beneficial ways to protect the environment?

The Cleveland EcoVillage project aims to prove that the answer to all these questions is yes. And the project took a major step forward on November 2, 2000, as ground was broken for a $3.4 million redevelopment of the W. 65th Street Rapid Transit station on the RTA Red Line.

A few years before, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority talked about closing the old station because it was decrepit, dangerous, and hardly anyone used it. But the residents of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood rallied to save the station. Hundreds of people turned out to public meetings to convince RTA that improved rail transit could be a vital part of the community.

RTA officials were also persuaded by the energy and interest generated by the EcoVillage project, a partnership between the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and EcoCity Cleveland. The EcoVillage site is centered on the area of the neighborhood within easy walking distance of the W. 65th Street Rapid (about a quarter-mile radius around the station). Within that area, the project is promoting the development of homes and businesses that incorporate the latest environmental thinking and are expressly linked to transitso EcoVillage residents can live, shop, and work within a convenient, walkable neighborhood and reduce the amount of environmentally-damaging driving they have to do in cars.

We believe this project will provide this neighborhood with better public transportation, bring back some residents, and positively impact the entire community, said RTA general manager Joe Calabrese at the groundbreaking ceremony. We thank our partners in this project for their continued supportCouncilman Timothy Melena and the city administration, the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, and EcoCity Cleveland. Without them, we would not be here today.

Residents ideas

Referring to the potential impact of a rail transit line that links the neighborhood to downtown and the airport, former Ward 17 Councilman Melena added, You dont get resources like RTA Rapid stations every day. And he commended RTA for working with local residents in several design workshops and incorporating their ideas into the plans for the new station.

The features include:

  • A 1,200 square foot station designed to complement the architecture of surrounding houses.
  • A prominent entrance off Lorain Avenue (the old station was buried in the middle of a block and was practically invisible from the main streets).
  • Space for a heated waiting area, RTA police mini-station, and a concession area for a coffee shop or other vendor.
  • Green elements such as passive solar heating, recycled steef roof, energy-efficient lighting, and benches made from concrete and recycled tires.
  • A landscaped "mini-park" entrance on Madison Ave.
  • Preservation of a foot bridge over the Rapid tracks to maintain convenient access to the station.
  • Public art - cermaic mural by Gregory Aliberti - to enliven the station.
  • Purchase of an adjoining used car lot on Lorain Avenue as a site for future development.

The new Rapid station is a major public investment in a neighborhood where the promise of transit can be realized in the use of environmentally-friendly transportation and in compact development that gives people convenient access to transit options. The $3.4 million EcoVillage station was completed and opened in the Fall or 2004.  It now serves as a centerpiece for an urban neighborhood that is rebuilding with the environment in mind.


For more information about the new W. 65th Rapid station and the Cleveland EcoVillage project:

  • , EcoVillage project director, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, 216-961-4242.
  • , Greater Cleveland RTA, 216-566-5100.

RTA site plan for the redeveloped W. 65th Rapid Station, including high-visibility entrance from Lorain Avenue and opportunities for mixed-use commercial development.


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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003



Green design of new station
Rapid station press coverage
RTA announces station construction plan

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New station house built in 2004: The redeveloped Rapid station rises above the ravine as a beacon for the neighborhood.

November 2000. Helping to break ground for the new Rapid Transit station are (left to right):

  • Bill Whitney, director of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization
  • Susan Axelrod of the Mayors office
  • Timothy Melena, councilman of Ward 17
  • Joe Calabrese, general manager of RTA
  • David Beach, director of EcoCity Cleveland
  • Allan Krulak, board member of RTA

The 9' X 14' ceramic mural by Gregory Aliberti, entitled "Strive for Harmony."  The mural hangs in the community room of the Rapid Station.


Neglected asset: The old W. 65th Rapid station.

The new W. 65th/EcoVillage Rapid Station.


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