This page has been visited times.


INTRODUCTION by Michael E. Lewyn (e mail: (up to date as of April 1998)

The purpose of this web page is to provide a guide to both Greater Cleveland's neighborhoods and to its public transit system. It will probably be most useful to tourists, students and new residents who may rely on the local mass transit system. However, even people who drive everywhere may be able to get some useful information about neighborhoods, attractions, and ethnic restaurants from this page.

Although Cleveland is less transit-oriented than Chicago or Northeastern cities, 27% of city households, and 13% of area households, get by without a car.

Vehicles are especially unnecessary for tourists, because most of Cleveland's key tourist attractions are either downtown (like the Flats and the Rock Hall of Fame) or in transit-accessible University Circle (like the area's art, natural history, and local history museums).

I would like to thank some of the many people who made this page possible:  W. David Earnst for technical advice and support, Joel Freilich of RTA for giving me the idea for a book about local public transportation (an idea that later evolved into this web page), Brad Flamm for his support generally, and George Zeller for helping teach me about Cleveland and showing me where to find key statistics. A dramatically modified version of this book will be published by EcoCity Cleveland sometime in early 2000.



A. An Introduction to Cleveland Transit

I. RTA Basics

1. The Rapid

2. Buses

3. Fares

4. Parking

5. More Information

6. Seniors and the Disabled

II.  Not the RTA

B.  The City

I. Background

II. Downtown Cleveland

1. Tower City and Public Square

2. Downtown East of Public Square

3. Downtown West of Public Square- The Warehouse District and the Flats

III. East of Downtown

1. University Circle: The Cultural Capital

2. Shaker Square: A Few Good Blocks

3. Goodrich-Kirtland Park: Cleveland's Chinatown

4. Superior-St. Clair: (What's Left of) Cleveland's Yugoslav Enclave

5. South Broadway/Slavic Village- Cleveland's Polish Enclave

6. Little Italy: Cleveland's Gentrifying Ethnic Enclave

IV. West of Downtown

1. Ohio City: Cleveland's Food Mecca

2. Tremont: A Gentrifying Area

3. Edgewater: Good Blocks Next To Bad

4. West Park: Middle Middle Class

5. Old Brooklyn: Carey Country

V. Misc. Neighborhoods Briefly Noted

C. The Suburbs

I. East Side Suburbs

1. Shaker Heights: Old Money, New Diversity

2. Cleveland Heights: The Bohemian Suburb

3. East Cleveland: The Poorest Suburb

4. Euclid: East European Yet East Side

5. Bratenahl: Suburb in the City

6. University Heights/South Euclid:  Middle Class, Middle Suburbs

7. Beachwood: Edge City

8. Solon: Suburban Boomtown

9. The Richest Suburbs: Pepper Pike/Moreland Hills/Gates Mills/Hunting Valley

10. Chagrin Falls: Main Street U.S.A.

II. West Side Suburbs

1. Lakewood: A Tale Of Three Cities

2. Rocky River/Bay Village: Luxury By The Lake

3. Fairview Park: Solid Middle Class

4. Parma: Pierogies and Flamingos

5. Brooklyn: Parma Without Pierogies

6. Westlake/Strongsville: West Side Boomtowns

7. Independence/N. Olmsted: Edge City West

III. Miscellanous Other Suburbs

D. Bibliography

E. Links

AN INTRODUCTION TO CLEVELAND TRANSIT (Read this if you're totally unfamiliar with Cleveland transit, unless you plan to drive everywhere in which case skip to the neighborhood information).

I. RTA Basics

The official name of Greater Cleveland's mass transit system is the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (known to most Clevelanders as "the RTA"). The RTA operates a small train system (colloquially known as "the Rapid") and a bus system. Bicycles may not be brought on RTA buses or trains.

1. The Rapid

The Rapid mostly serves the city of Cleveland and the suburbs of East Cleveland and Shaker Heights. In addition, the Rapid brushes up against the borders of the suburbs of Lakewood and Brook Park.

The Rapid's Red Line (which runs from 3:30 AM or so to about 9:30 to 10 PM) begins at the Airport near Brook Park, runs through West Park (the West Side's most middle-class area), the Cleveland/Lakewood border and Edgewater (more marginal areas with pockets of affluence north of Clifton Ave.); goes through the marginal but interesting Ohio City area; then hits downtown, and goes east to University Circle (the city's cultural center), Little Italy, and East Cleveland (one of the nation's poorest suburbs).

The Rapid's Green and Blue Lines usually run from 4 AM to just after midnight. Several of the stops are in and around downtown Cleveland. The Green and Blue Lines then go through some poor parts of the city, then to Shaker Square (another relatively affluent city area) to the suburb of Shaker Heights. The Green Line covers Shaker Blvd., one of the most upper-class residential streets in this leafy suburb. The Blue Line runs down Van Aken Blvd., which is more commercial and not nearly so affluent.

All three lines intersect at Tower City, a large shopping mall/movie theater multiplex at Public Square (the city's main downtown public space). Public Square divides East and West, so E. 55th St. (for example) is 55 blocks east of Tower City. All three lines also intersect at E. 34th and E. 55th Streets; however, both stops are basically deserted and industrial. In addition, the Green and Blue Lines intersect at 4 other downtown stops (two in the Flats at the west edge of downtown, plus one near the Rock Hall on E. 9th St., and another at a parking lot a few blocks further east), E. 79th (another deserted area), Woodhill (less deserted but a rough area), E. 116th (ditto) and Shaker Square.

2. Buses

RTA has over 100 bus routes serving all of Cuyahoga County, and tiny slivers of Lake, Lorain and Medina Counties. A few buses run 24 hours a day, others run during the early evening, and others are "rush hour only." Express routes (which are faster and more expensive) have route numbers marked with an "X".

If you are traveling downtown during the day try to take the RTA's two "Loop" routes, the Center City Loop (running from Tower City to the Galleria Mall at 9th & St. Clair) and the Outer Loop (from Tower City to E. 30th St.). Both are only 50 cents per ride.

3. Fares

As of August 1997, rapid trains and express buses within Cuyahoga County cost $1.50 per ride. Rides from outside Cuyahoga cost $2.50 per ride. However, very few "outer counties" communities have RTA service. A weekly express pass costs $13.50, a monthly express pass cost $54.00, and a yearly express pass costs $594. A "five ride" pass costs $7.15. Express passes serve both trains and express buses. Local buses are $1.25 per ride.

"Local passes" serve only local buses and are about 10-20% cheaper ($5.75/5 tickets, $11.25/weekly, $45/monthly, $495/yearly). An "express bus" is one whose route number is marked with an X (75X as opposed to 75)

Tourists or occasional riders should consider "off peak" passes (allowing unlimited ridership during weekends or non rush hours for $7.50 per week), "all day" passes (unlimited rides on one day for $4), and "five ride" passes (five rides for $7.15/express, $5.75/local).

Children under 6 ride free on both buses and trains, while rides for children under 15 are only $1.

4. Parking

The following Rapid stations have parking lots: Brookpark (Red Line), W. 150-Puritas (Red Line), West Park (Red Line), Triskett (Red Line), W. 117-Madison (Red Line), W. 98-Detroit (Red Line), E. 55 (all three lines), Superior (Red Line), Windermere (Red Line), Woodhill (Green/Blue Lines), Warrensville/Shaker (Green Line), W. Green (Green Line), Green (Green Line), Drexmore (Blue Line), S. Woodland (Blue Line), Southington (Blue Line), Onaway (Blue Line), Ashby (Blue Line), Avalon (Blue Line), Kenmore (Blue Line), Lynnfield (Blue Line), Farnsleigh (Blue Line). In addition, buses stop at numerous park and ride lots, including: Clague Rd. in Bay Village (55CX, 55F buses), Sprague Rd. in Berea (86, 86F buses), Euclid Sq. Mall in Euclid (39F, 239 buses), Great Northern Mall in N. Olmsted (75X, 75F, 89 buses), Richfield Holiday Inn in Richfield (77F buses), Westlake Park-N-Ride on Columbia near Sperry (246, 55X buses), Pearl Rd. in Strongsville (51, 89, 151, 251 buses). Also, buses to sporting events stop at some mall lots.

5. More Information

For more specific and up to date information, go to the Tower City Rapid station and the RTA Customer Service Center on 315 Euclid Ave. (three blocks east of Tower City). Both have printed schedules and systemwide maps. In addition, you can call RTA at 216-621-9500 (all area codes are 216 unless otherwise stated). You can purchase passes at these locations and at 180 other stores, banks and other outlets. You can find out the location nearest you by calling RTA.

RTA has an automated answer line which is useful if you know the number of the bus or train route you want to use but do not know what time it arrives near you. (P.S. the Rapid lines are 66 and 67). The Answer Line, unlike the RTA's live human beings, operates 24 hours a day.

To access RTA on the net, go to the "Links" section or press here.

6. Seniors and the Disabled

Seniors and the disabled may ride RTA buses and trains for 50 cents per ride. Special senior/disabled ID cards are available at RTA service ceners. Some buses are equipped for lifts for the disabled. RTA also has a special van service for the disabled called Community Responsive Transit (CRT), which provides rides for the disabled within a five mile ride of their homes. For more information about CRT call 431-1110. For more information about senior/disabled fares call 566-5285.

II. Not the RTA

Public transit alternatives to the RTA include:

1. Intercity buses (i.e. Greyhound). Cleveland's bus terminal is at 1465 Chester Avenue on the eastern fringe of downtown. It is about seven blocks from the South Harbor/Rock Hall station (Green/Blue lines), and is on numerous bus routes. Greyhound also has two suburban bus stations: one at Maple Heights at 20551 Southgate Park Blvd. (served by the 76F, 76X, 90X, 91, 41C, and 97F bus routes) and another at 8003 Brookpark Rd. in Parma (served by the 98 route, and also near Brookpark's intersections with Ridge, served by the 45 bus, and Tiedeman, served by the 23 bus). Greyhound information is available through a toll free number (1-800-231-2222).

2. Amtrak- Amtrak trains depart from 200 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway near the North Coast Rapid station (Green/Blue lines). Amtrak service in Cleveland is pretty sparse, at least compared to bus service. There are very few trains and they leave at odd hours. More information is available by calling Amtrak's toll free number (1-800-USA-RAIL).

3. Outer suburban counties- Lake County, Summit County and Lorain County all have small bus systems. Lake County's system, known as LakeTran, consists mostly of buses running on weekdays during the daytime, with the exception of a couple of routes going east from Shoregate Shopping Center (where the 39 and 43 RTA buses end). Further information about LakeTran can be obtained by calling 942-1300 or 354-6100.

Lorain County Transit routes connect with RTA buses 31X, 75X and 63F near the Cuyahoga/Lorain line. All routes are limited to weekdays during the day. For more information call 1-800-225-7703.

Summit County's bus system has one bus connecting with RTA bus 77F in Brecksville (a suburb at the south central tip of Cuyahoga County), and two that go to downtown Cleveland (again, all only on weekday rush hours). However, a few buses that run within the county (mostly those serving Akron) run nights and weekends. Summit County's system, the Metro, can be reached at 762-0341.

4. Lolly the Trolley- This tour bus will take you to Cleveland's major sights downtown and in Ohio City and University Circle. For more information call 771-4484.

5.  University Circle, Inc.- runs shuttles through University Circle.  For more information call 791-3900.


I. Background

This chapter begins with downtown Cleveland, and moves on to other city neighborhoods.  The next chapter discusses the suburbs.

Generally, few affluent people live anywhere in the city of Cleveland. In my old Cleveland law firm about 10% did (admittedly more than in a Newark or Detroit); in Buffalo (my new home) the equivalent number hovers around 30%. Cleveland's downtown has improved significantly in recent decades; I cannot say the same about most other neighborhoods in the city.  

On the other hand, the most interesting parts of Cleveland's inner ring suburbs are glorious: afflulent, but more transit-oriented and densely populated than most cities' suburbs -- for example, Lakewood's Gold Coast (a dozen blocks of high rises along Lake Erie) and Shaker Heights along the Green Line (nice old houses along the train line).

So much for the overview; on to the specifics. All crime statistics are for 1995. All poverty and vehicle-ownership rates are from the 1990 census. Bus routes are as of August 1997; "24H" means "24 hour service" while "RH" means that buses stop running after rush hours.

II. Downtown Cleveland

Rapid stops: Tower City, Flats East Bank, Settlers Landing, North Coast, South Harbor. (The four stops other than Tower City are collectively known as the "Waterfront Line" because they all go along the Waterfront--Flats East Bank and Settlers Landing run along the Cuyahoga River, while North Coast and South Harbor run along Lake Erie).

Bus routes: Too many to count.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 66.6 per 1000 fulltime residents, but only 2.6 per 1000 daytime population.

Burglaries per 1000 people: 54.4 per 1000 fulltime residents, but only 2.1 per 1000 daytime population.

% of households without cars: 57.1

Poverty rate: 37% (as of 1990--probably lower today)

At one time, downtown Cleveland (where I lived when I lived in Cleveland) was abandoned after 5 PM, and had almost no residents who could afford to live elsewhere. However, parts of downtown have been revitalized in recent years, and downtown now contains a small supply of housing, restaurants, etc. (though not so much as downtown Philadelphia or Chicago). This subchapter describes the three sections of downtown Cleveland: Tower City/Public Square, the east side of downtown, and the west side of downtown.

1. Tower City and Public Square

Any visit to Cleveland should begin with its true center: Public Square and the neighboring Tower City complex. Tower City is a shopping mall (with a multiplex movie theater) developed from the city's onetime train station. All of Cleveland's Rapid lines, and most of its east-west buses, converge on Tower City.

When you leave Tower City's main exit, you will find yourself on Public Square, a small park that divides the city's east and west sides. Public Square was laid out as a village green in 1796, when Moses Cleaveland (who the city is named after) arrived in Cleveland to survey the land for investors. A statue of Cleaveland stands in one corner of Public Square. In another corner stands the 127-foot high Soldiers and Sailors Monument, dedicated in 1894 to the 10,000 Cleveland-area soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War. Public Square is surrounded by Tower City and numerous office buildings.

2. Downtown East of Public Square

The area between Public Square and Cleveland State University (which begins at around E. 18th St.) is the city's commercial center; most of its large office buildings are either in Public Square or east of it. This area also includes several major landmarks, including:

*The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (781-7625)- an immense museum devoted to (you guessed it) rock music. However, some items are noteworthy even to people with other interests (most notably the listening booths which include tapes of related genres like country and rhythm and blues). Located at E. 9th and S. Marginal next to the North Coast rapid stop. The Rock Hall is also served by the 39 buses.

*The Great Lakes Science Center (684-2000). The local science museum, just west of the Rock Hall, is the city's interactive science museum.

*The Playhouse Square Complex (771-4444) -- A group of theaters hosting the Cleveland Opera, the Cleveland Ballet, the Great Lakes Theater Festival, and various performances. The Playhouse Square box office is at 1519 Euclid, on the 6, 9, 35, 51, 55, 65, 69, 76F, 77F, 86F and 97F bus lines and about a 2/3 mile walk from the Tower City and South Harbor Rapid stops.

*The Gateway Complex- Jacobs Field (where the baseball Indians play) and Gund Arena (home of the basketball Cavaliers and hockey Lumberjacks) are a block or two east and south of Public Square.

*The Arcade- Built in 1890, the Arcade is one of this country's oldest and most beautiful shopping malls. The Arcade has five stories of offices and small shops, and contains grand marble stairways, gargoyles and other elegant interior details. The Arcade is between 3rd and 6th streets, and joins Euclid Ave. in the south with Superior Ave. a block north. The Arcade is also a block from the Tower City Rapid.

*The Chesterfield and Reserve Square, the city's only high-rise, 24-hour security desk apartment buildings. The Chesterfield (241-3715) is at 12th & Chester, Reserve Square (861-2715) is at 12th & Superior. Chesterfield rents begin in the mid-$500s, while Reserve Square is more expensive. Both buildings contain numerous amenities (e.g. dry cleaners, a convenience store for the Chesterfield, a small grocery for Reserve Square). Both buildings are about 1/2 mile from Tower City and North Coast rapid stations, and are on a variety of bus routes.

3. Downtown West of Public Square- The Warehouse District And The Flats

a. The Warehouse District

The Warehouse District (bounded by W. 3rd, W. 10th, Lake Erie and Superior) contains many warehouses and other structures built in the late 1800s. These once-deserted buildings now host loft-style apartments, commercial offices, restaurants and shops. The shops tend to be small, the restaurants quiet and upscale. This area is between Tower City and the Settlers Landing Rapid stop, and is on the 31X, 46F, 55, 1, 8, 14, 15, 19, 33 and 35 bus routes.

b. The Flats

The sedate Warehouse District borders the rowdy Flats, Cleveland's party center. The Flats begins west of the Warehouse District, sits on the banks of the Cuyahoga River (both the east bank and the west bank) and is dominated by bars and entertainment (as opposed to apartments and more sedate shopping). Two Rapid stops, Settlers Landing and Flats East Bank, are on the Flats.

III. East of Downtown

Most of the city's East Side is composed of decrepit low-income neighborhoods. However, several East Side neighborhoods are worth visiting or even (in a couple of cases) are tolerable places to live, including University Circle, Shaker Square, and Chinese, Yugoslav, Polish, and Italian ethnic enclaves.

1. University Circle: The Cultural Capital (listed as "University" on city neighborhood maps) (NOTE: ALL STATISTICS FOR UNIVERSITY CIRCLE INCLUDE LITTLE ITALY, WHICH IS NEARBY).

Commuting distance from downtown: 12 min. by train, 20 min. by bus

Rapid stops: University Circle, Euclid-E. 120, and Quincy-E. 105 (all Red Line). However, University Circle is the closest to area cultural attractions.

Bus routes: 4, 6 (24H), 6A, 7F (RH), 7X, 8, 9BX and 9F buses (RH), 9X, 10 (24H), 28X (RH), 32CX, 32WX and 32SX (RH), 38, 48 buses, 50, 94. Also, University Circle, Inc. (UCI) runs shuttles through this area, mostly in the daytime.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 14.4

Burglaries per 1000 people: 10.7

% of households without cars: 48.7%

Poverty rate: 32.8

(NOTE: I suspect that Little Italy is probably safer and less poor than University Circle, but don't have statistics to back this hunch up).

University Circle is undoubtedly Cleveland's cultural hub. Most of Cleveland's highbrow institutions are here, either on Euclid Avenue (best served by the 24-hour 6 bus) or on East Blvd. (intersecting with Euclid and jutting northward for several blocks through Case Western University and numerous museums) including:

*The Cleveland Museum of Art (1150 East Blvd., 421-7340)- Very impressive for a city of Cleveland's size.

*The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (1 Wade Oval, 231-4600).

*Severance Hall (11001 Euclid, 231-1111)- Home of Cleveland's symphony orchestra. People who know something about orchestras assure me that Cleveland's is one of the nation's best.

*Rainbow Children's Museum (10730 Euclid, 791-7114)

*The Western Reserve Historical Society (10825 East Blvd., 721-5722)- This local history museum shares space with the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum.

Surprisingly, the presence of Case Western Reserve University and numerous cultural attractions have not made University Circle a desirable place to live, probably because (a) the museums usually close at 5 or so, and (b) University Circle is surrounded by dangerous areas to the north, west and south. However, the area does have one semi-nice apartment building, the Triangle at Mayfield and Euclid (473-8709). In addition, Little Italy, a more popular place to live, is a short walk from University Circle.

If you want to visit the area's attractions, I suggest either (a) the University Circle Rapid or (b) various buses going right up Euclid (especially the 6, which runs 24 hours a day).  Buses are preferable after dark, because the University Circle Rapid is a couple of blocks south of Euclid, and you have to walk across a deserted stretch of parkland to get to the Rapid (RTA is planning to remedy this defect by moving the Rapid station). In addition, Case Western and University Circle, Inc. (UCI) (791-3900) run shuttles through University Circle.

2. Shaker Square: A Few Good Blocks (listed as "Shaker-Buckeye" on city neighborhood maps)

Commuting time from downtown: 12 min. by train.

Rapid Stops: Shaker Square (Green/Blue Lines) is at Shaker Square, the center of this neighborhood. The relatively affluent eastern fringes of this area are also served by the Drexmore and S. Woodland stops (Blue Line), while the poor western fringe is served by the E. 116 stop (Green/Blue Lines).

Buses: 25, 48 and 50 buses.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 14.6

Burglaries per 1000 people: 16.1

% of households with no car: 30.6 (but only 21.3 in most affluent census tract east of square)

Poverty rate: 22.9% (but only 6.1% for area nearest square)

Shaker Square is a tiny area bordering the more affluent suburb of Shaker Heights, and dominated by the square of the same name. Like Public Square, Shaker Square is essentially a miniature park surrounded by development. But instead of being surrounded by high-rise office buildings, Shaker Square is surrounded by small-scale retail (e.g. a vintage book store with a lot of first editions, a toy shore, a couple of small restaurants), a multiplex movie theater (the only one in the city of Cleveland besides Public Square), and some mid-rise apartment buildings. Shaker Square was developed by the Van Swearingen brothers, who also developed neighboring Shaker Heights.

Shaker Square from the square and eastward is arguably the city's most affluent neighborhood--although other census tracts in the city have lower poverty rates, the census tract east of the square is the only city tract with per capita income over $20,000. Nevertheless, this is definitely a marginal neighborhood, because you just have to go a block or two west or south to be in nasty areas. As a result, Shaker Square is not nearly as safe as neighboring Shaker Heights.

3. Goodrich-Kirtland Park: Cleveland's Chinatown

Commuting distance: 5-10 min. by bus.

Buses: 1 (24H), 4, 6 (24H), 6A, 7F (RH), 9BX and 9F (both RH), 9X, 16, 16A, 28X (RH), 38, 803.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 27.3

Burglaries per 1000 people: 43.1

% of residents without cars: 44.2

Poverty rate: 37.6%

Cleveland has not have an Chinatown, if "Chinatown" means a densely populated area with dozens of Chinese restaurants crammed into a few square blocks. However, a disproportionate number of Chinese restaurants and grocery stores are located just northeast of downtown between E. 29th and E. 40th Streets, along Superior, St. Clair and Payne Avenues. About 16% of this area's residents are of Asian origin (as opposed to just 1% of all city residents).

I especially recommend a visit to Asia Plaza, a miniature shopping mall at 2999 Payne (on the 4 and 38 bus routes). Asia Plaza includes an Asian grocery store, a variety of other Asian-oriented businesses, and Li Wah, a restaurant known for its dim sum. Dim sum is a kind of appetizer brunch; waiters and waitresses shuttle through the restaurant with carts crowded with appetizers, and diners just point to what they want.

However, my favorite Chinese restaurant in the area, Bo Loong (3922 St. Clair, 391-3113, on the 1 route) is more exotic. At Bo Loong, you can get such items as chicken feet, frog and conch. In addition, the area has two Korean restaurants, Seoul Hot Pot (3709 Payne, 881-1221) and Korea House (3700 Superior, 431-0462).

If you live downtown, you may want to walk a few blocks away to shop at Dave's Supermarket (3301 Payne Avenue, 361-5130). Dave's is cheaper and has a better selection than the Reserve Square supermarket, and cabs will stop there faster than at most Finast markets because it is so close to downtown.

This area's violent crime rate is about 50% over the citywide average, so exercise caution after dark. (I note, however, that this area's violent crime rate is lower than the citywide average for Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Miami, and several other big cities; such are the advantages of life in Cleveland).

4. St. Clair-Superior: (What's Left of) Cleveland's Yugoslav Enclave

Commuting time from downtown: 10-15 min. by bus

Buses: 1 (24H), 2, 3/26 (24H), 16, 16A, 803. However, the only one of these buses worth taking from downtown is the 1, because it goes down St. Clair (which is, in turn, the only interesting street in this neighborhood). The 3 goes down Superior, while the other buses are crosstown buses.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 23.4

Burglaries per 1000 people: 17.6

% of households without cars: 42.4

Poverty rate: 42.1%

At one time, St. Clair Avenue between East 55th and East 70th Streets was the hub of Cleveland's Slovenian community. Although many of the Slovenians have moved, the St. Clair area still contains (or is near) numerous shops oriented to Slovenians and other people with roots in the former Yugoslavia, such as Sterle's Slovenian Country House restaurant (1401 E. 55th, 881-4181), Marie's Restaurant (4502 St. Clair, 361-1816), Nosan's Slovenian Home Bakery (6413 St. Clair, 361-1863), and Zagrab Quality Meats (6706 St. Clair, 361-4515). There is even a Croatian book shop at 6313 St. Clair Avenue (391-5350). Oddly enough, Cleveland's only Ethiopian restaurant, Empress Tatyu Ethiopian Restaurant (6125 St. Clair, 391-9400) is in this neighborhood as well.

All of these destinations are easily accessible on the 1 bus that goes up St. Clair Avenue. If you aren't staying downtown, you can also take the Rapid to E. 55th and take the 16 buses north from there. St. Clair is another area where you should be especially cautious after dark.

5. South Broadway/ Slavic Village: Cleveland's Polish Enclave

Commuting time from downtown: 15-20 min. by bus

Buses: 10 (24H), 15, 15A, 16, 16A, 19 (24H), 19X (RH), 50, 76X, 88X (RH), 90X, 91X (RH), 97X (RH)

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 12.6

Burglaries per 1000 people: 19.9

% of households without cars: 22.2

Poverty rate: 20.1%

To a greater extent than St. Clair-Superior, Slavic Village, a Polish neighborhood at the city's southern rim, is still a majority-white, visibly ethnic, working-class area.

Slavic Village can boast numerous Polish bakeries, meat markets, and restaurants, including Iwa's Restaurant (4015 E. 71, 441-7040), the Old World Smorgasbord deli and all-you-can eat Polish restaurant, one of my local favorites (7440 Broadway, 641-7177) T&T Sausage Market (5901 Fleet, 441-4022), Krusinski Finest Meat Markets (6300 Heisley, 441-0100), Jaworski's Meat Market (5324 Fleet, 221-4575), Europa Deli (6308 Fleet, 271-5822) and Chambers Bakery (3696 E. 69, 271-6080). Slavic Village also boasts a fine Czech restaurant, John's Cafe on E. 52 (641-3671).

The commercial hub of Slavic Village (Broadway near Fleet Ave.) is served by the 19, 76X, 88X, 90X, and 97X buses (all of which run from downtown through Broadway, which intersects with Fleet), and is on the 16 bus south of the E. 55 Rapid. The fringes of this area are served by the 10 and 15 buses.

Although Slavic Village is not one of the city's more affluent areas, it is safer and less rundown than the St. Clair and Chinatown areas.

6. Little Italy: Cleveland's Gentrifying Ethnic Enclave- See University Circle for crime rates and other relevant statistics.

Cleveland's Little Italy is the most visibly well-maintained of Cleveland's ethnic enclaves, and the one most affected by creeping gentrification from artists and professionals who want to live near the cultural attractions of University Circle. This Italian neighborhood, wedged between suburban Cleveland Heights and University Circle, was developed a century ago by Italian immigrants who worked in nearby stone-cutting businesses.

Most of Little Italy's restaurants and bakeries are in the 12000 to 12500 blocks of Mayfield, a street that begins at the corner of Euclid and Mayfield in University Circle and extends east into suburbia. Noteworthy restaurants, food stores and bakeries in these blocks include Corbo's Dolceria (422-8181), Mayfield Italian Imports (991-0700), Presti Bakery (421-3060), Trattoria on the Hill (421-0700), Porcelli's (791-9900), Mamma Santa's (231-9567) and Guarino's (231-3100). Little Italy is also home to numerous studios and art galleries.

Little Italy is a few blocks south of the Euclid and E. 120 Rapid station, and is also right on the 9 bus routes. As suggested above, Little Italy is more affluent than the other ethnic enclaves discussed above--but with prosperity comes problems, such as the occasional necessity of having to make reservations if you don't want to wait for a restaurant table.

IV. West of downtown

The West Side of Cleveland is newer and more suburb-like than the East Side, in both the good and the bad ways. The West Side has fewer colorful ethnic enclaves, but fewer truly awful slums as well. Most of the West Side is working-class; however, even bad parts of the West Side are somewhat less homogeneously poor than the worst parts of the East Side. In 1995, the average single-family home in the West Side sold for 25% more than its East Side counterpart, but for less than the average home in all but two suburbs (East Cleveland and Newburgh Heights; the latter is essentially an extension of Slavic Village). In this guide, I focus on West Side neighborhoods that have at least a minimal middle-class population, including Ohio City and Tremont near downtown, Edgewater and West Park near the city's northeastern suburbs, and Old Brooklyn near the city's southwestern suburbs.

1. Ohio City: Cleveland's Food Mecca

Commuting time from downtown: 5 min. by bus or train

Rapid stops: Ohio City (Red Line)

Buses: 3/26 (24H), 20 (RH), 20A (24H), 20B, 21X (RH), 22 (24H), 23,

25B, 25W, 35 (24H on weekdays), 79, 84 (RH).

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 25.6

Burglaries per 100,000 people: 18.6

% without cars: 51.9

Poverty rate: 53% (but "only" 32.6% in most gentrified area near West Side Market).

Ohio City is one of Cleveland's older neighborhoods, incorporated as a city in 1836 and annexed in 1854. Ohio City is one of the most heavily Hispanic portions of the city, and is home to a smattering of young professionals and to more than a smattering of poor people of all races.

Ohio City's star attraction (and one I would recommend above all the museums in Cleveland) is the West Side Market at W. 25th and Lorain Avenue (664-3386), across the street from the Ohio City Rapid stop. The West Side Market is home to hundreds of vendors representing dozens of ethnic groups. The West Side Market has three specialties: produce, meat and pastry. The meats are especially unusual: I have purchased Irish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, and Slovenian sausages there, not to mention more conventional types.

Ohio City also has numerous interesting shops and restaurants within a few blocks of the West Side Market, most notably: the city's only Puerto Rican restaurant that I know of, Lozada's (1951 W. 25, 621-2954), Hansa Imports (2701 Lorain, 281-3777), which specializes in German foods, the Athens Bakery (2545 Lorain, 861-8149) which specializes in Greek foods, and the Great Lakes Brewing Co. (2516 Market, 771-4404), a microbrewery/restaurant.

I especially recommend Lozada's, which has amazing goat stew (tender and fatty, not bony as in many Caribbean restaurants) and rice and beans in an unusually sweet sauce which is equally wonderful.  

Because of Ohio City's age, it has a variety of historic homes. Nevertheless, Ohio City's revitalization has been at best uneven; some blocks look like they are part of a historic district, while others are rundown. The neighborhood's most affluent census tract (near the West Side Market) has a 32.6% poverty rate--much lower than that of nearby blocks, but higher than the citywide average. Needless to say, Ohio City is another area that requires some caution after dark; its violent crime rate significantly exceeds the citywide average.

2. Tremont: A Gentrifying Area

Commuting time from downtown: 10 min. by bus. Also about 1/2 mile walk from the Ohio City Rapid stop.

Buses: 23, 81, 807

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 14.2

Burglaries per 1000 people: 20.2

% of households without cars: 41.2

Poverty rate: 47.2%

A December 1996 newspaper story described the view from one Tremont house as follows: "It faces an industrial wonderland that starts with an immediate drop into the valley of the flats, its piles of ore standing in dusty mountains around gleaming clumps of machinery and the wayward Cuyahoga River. The Interstate 90 bridge arcs in a ribbon that wraps through downtown Cleveland, where the Terminal and Key towers poke the sky . . . "

As the above prose indicates, Tremont is bounded by the Cuyahoga River, I-90, and I-490. Tremont is also within walking distance from Ohio City and is similar to that area in many ways. Like Ohio City, Tremont is heavily Hispanic, heavily working-class, and has a small number of professionals. In fact, Tremont is so diverse that one church, St. John Cantius, conducts services in English, Polish and Spanish. Like Ohio City, Tremont is over a century old, and has some attractive older homes.

However, Tremont is not quite identical to Ohio City.  Tremont is more residential, less commercial, more visibly ethnic (if only because some of its many churches look like they belong in Moscow or Kiev instead of Cleveland), more isolated from the rest of the city, and a bit less rundown and crime-ridden.

Tremont's western edge is about 1/2 mile from the Ohio City Rapid, and the 81 and 84 buses go through the heart of Tremont.  The 23 bus serves W. 14th St. on Tremont's western fringe.

3. Edgewater: Good Blocks Next To Bad

Commuting time from downtown: 15 min. by bus, and between two Rapid stops (W. 98th/Detroit and W. 117th/Madison, both Red Line).

Buses: 3/26 (24H), 25B, 25W, 31X (RH), 45, 46F (RH), 55AX (RH), 55CF (RH), 55CX, 55NX, 55SX, 55X, 65X (RH), 75X, 78.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 12.1

Burglaries per 1000 people: 20.1

% of households without cars: 29.4

Poverty rate: 21.1%

The most popular urban neighborhood among my acquaintances, Edgewater, lies along Lake Erie, nestled between the W. 98th Rapid Station and the Lakewood/Cleveland border at W. 117th.

This area once harbored many of Cleveland's wealthy, and still has some wealthy residents on Lake Avenue and Edgewater Drive. However, Edgewater becomes commercial on Clifton, just a block south of Lake, and becomes very seedy very quickly as you walk south towards the W. 117th/Madison Rapid Station. As a result, violent crime sometimes spills over from this area's southern half onto Lake. I know a very rich lawyer who lives in this neighborhood, but I also know someone whose husband was shot a block from the  lawyer's house.  

This neighborhood borders on two Rapid stops, but both are in areas that could charitably be described as iffy (especially the W. 98th stop). Thus, the bus may be a safer choice after dark.

4. West Park: Middle Middle Class (includes neighborhoods listed as Puritas/Longmead, Kamm's Corners, Jefferson and Riverside on city neighborhood maps)

Commuting time from downtown: 15-40 min.

Rapid stops: Airport, Brookpark, W. 150/Puritas, West Park, and Triskett (all Red Line)

Buses: 22 (24H), 44 (RH), 46 (RH), 50, 70, 75X, 83, 86, 98 (RH).

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 5.9

Burglaries per 1000 people: 6.9

% of households without cars: 13.6

Poverty rate: 10.3%

The far west end of Cleveland, from W. 117th St. to the city's borders with the suburbs of Rocky River, Fairview Park, and Brook Park, is often referred to as "West Park." Although even West Park contains some decrepit areas, most of the city's homogeneously middle-class neighborhoods are in this area. For example, the census tract with the lowest poverty rate in the city (2.9%, lower than most suburbs) is just north of the Triskett Rapid stop in West Park. West Park's poorest area is south of Puritas and just east of Rocky River, and some areas east of W. 130th are also poorer than most. The poorest census tracts in West Park have poverty rates of around 25%, comparable to the citywide average.

By and large, West Park does not include a lot of tourist attractions, unless you consider the airport to be (a) part of West Park or (b) a tourist attraction. Much of West Park looks like a nice inner suburb rather than a stereotypical city neighborhood--that is, dominated by homeowners rather than renters, and less diverse than an Ohio City or a Tremont.

However, West Park does contain the beginnings of an interesting ethnic enclave: on Lorain Avenue between W. 117th and W. 130th, numerous Arab-oriented bakeries, markets and restaurants have sprouted up, including the Pyramid Restaurant (12657 Lorain, 671-9300), Holy Land Imported Goods (12831 Lorain, 671-7736) and Assad's Bakery (12719 Lorain, 251-5777). In addition, the city's only Cambodian restaurant, Phnom Penh Restaurant (13124 Lorain, 251-0210) is in West Park. Note that all the interesting restaurants and groceries are on Lorain, served primarily by the 22 bus.

West Park is served by four Red Line Rapid stations, Triskett, West Park, Puritas and Brook Park (not counting the Airport station, which goes inside the airport). Brook Park primarily serves a parking lot and an auto plant, Puritas serves numerous airport-oriented businesses, Triskett serves a nice residential area (and incidentally, the only full service synagogue left in the city of Cleveland, the West Temple at 14308 Triskett/941-8882), and West Park serves a commercial area that includes the abovementioned restaurants.

5. Old Brooklyn: Carey Country

Commuting time from downtown: 15-30 min. by bus

Buses: 20 (RH), 20A (24H), 20B, 21X (RH), 23, 35 (24H on weekdays), 35F (RH), 45, 50, 51X, 68 (RH), 79, 79X (RH), 98 (RH).

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 4.4

Burglaries per 1000 people: 10.6

% of households without cars: 15.7

Poverty rate: 9.2%

Old Brooklyn, a quiet neighborhood near the city's southwest border, has been made somewhat famous by the popularity of the Drew Carey show. Carey is an Old Brooklyn native, and the Memphis Plaza Lounge (5303 Memphis, 741-1088) is featured on the show as Carey's favorite hangout, the "Warsaw Tavern". Old Brooklyn, the city's safest area, is like a slightly more working-class and homogenous version of West Park--the best blocks aren't as nice, but the worst aren't as bad. Generally, the southern and western parts of Old Brooklyn are more affluent (with poverty rates in the 5-10% range), while the northern and eastern parts are poorer (with poverty rates in the 10-20% range). This area begins just south of the Cleveland Zoo, so if you want to spend an afternoon in this area you may want to start at the zoo and walk south.

V. Miscellanous Neighborhoods Briefly Noted

The rest of the city's neighborhoods are low-income (or at best lower-middle class) areas that don't have as much interesting stuff as those listed above. It is worth my while, however, to mention them briefly: Brooklyn Centre (like a poorer Old Brooklyn, just north of same but with some historic homes that may make it worth a stroll), Central (one of Cleveland's poorest areas, and the original center of the African-American community), Clark-Fulton (Ohio City's less exciting neighbor to the south, heavily Hispanic but less gentrified than Ohio City), Collinwood (a heavily Yugoslav and partially African-American area on the Cleveland/Euclid border;--the blocks between E. 174 and E. 185 near Lake Shore, on the 39 bus routes, are actually fairly nice places to live, but the southern and western parts of this area are a bit seedier), Corlett (a working-class African-American area), Cudell (a racially mixed poor area just south of Edgewater), Detroit-Shoreway (a racially mixed poor area between Ohio City and Edgewater, served by the W. 65th Rapid), Euclid-Green (an African-American middle-class area just south of Collinwood and west of Euclid), Fairfax (a poor African-American area), Forest Hills (ditto), Glenville (ditto), Hough (ditto), Industrial Valley (a heavily industrial, thinly populated area near Tremont), Kinsman (a poor African-American area), Lee-Miles (ditto), Mt. Pleasant (ditto), N. Broadway (a low-income, mostly white area just north of Slavic Village), Stockyards (a low-income area near Ohio City and Clark-Fulton), Union-Miles Park (another working-class African-American area), West Blvd. (a working-class, racially mixed area near Edgewater), and Woodland Hills (a working-class African-American area).

All African-American areas are on the East Side, all Hispanic areas are on the Near West Side (between downtown and West Park, and north of the zoo). White and mixed areas are mostly on the West Side except for Collinwood and N. Broadway.


I. East Side suburbs

Cleveland's eastern suburbs are like a city in themselves: they contain the richest suburbs in the area (miscellanous small suburbs on the eastern fringes of the county, including Pepper Pike, Gates Mills, and Hunting Valley) and a suburb with poverty comparable to that of the city (East Cleveland). The eastern suburbs mostly tend to be heavily Jewish and/or black, except for a few East European-oriented suburbs along Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. This chapter focuses on the more transit-accessible Eastern suburbs, and on a few that are not particularly transit-accessible but are interesting for other reasons.

A couple of other points:  trip times for eastern suburbs other than Shaker Heights underestimate night and weekend trip times from downtown, because (a) my trip times don't include waiting time and (b) to take a night/weekend bus to most eastern suburbs you often have to take the Rapid somewhere (usually to University Circle) and then transfer to a bus. By contrast, buses go directly from downtown to the West side suburbs because the West Side has less Rapid service.

Also, I have listed "sidewalks" as an entry under most suburbs. This is because sidewalks can be taken for granted throughout the city of Cleveland, but not in all suburbs.

1. Shaker Heights: Old Money, New Diversity

Commuting time from downtown: 12-25 min. by train

Rapid stops: the entire Green and Blue lines east of Shaker Square

Buses: 5, 14 (24H), 37, 40, 41 buses, 48 buses, 91, 94, 801, 802.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 3.0

Burglaries per 1000 people: 8.0

% of households without cars: 6.0

Poverty rate: 3.5%

Sidewalks: Pretty much universal.

If you are visiting Cleveland for a few days, and have time to visit just one suburb, take the Green Line to Shaker Heights. Shaker Heights (especially the blocks surrounding the Green Line running down Shaker Blvd.) is full of stately old homes built in the 1920s by the Von Swearingens, who envisioned Shaker Heights as a bucolic residential community joined to downtown by the train lines they developed. The Van Swearingens' own home stands at 17400 S. Park Blvd. (near the Attleboro stop).

Shaker Heights is not as rich as some suburbs further out, and has some nasty areas south of the Blue Line. But even now, a lot of affluent, important people live in the nicer parts of Shaker Heights. For example, I would guess that in my old law firm, about a third of the lawyers lived either in Shaker Heights or in Cleveland Heights.

But despite its reputation as a wealthy suburb, Shaker Heights is far more diverse and more troubled than most suburbs: Shaker Heights is 30% African-American, and is diverse socially as well as racially. The blocks near and north of the Green Line are the richest, the central blocks near the Blue Line are somewhat less affluent, and the blocks south of the Blue Line tend to be poor and dangerous (the further south you go the worse they get). Shaker Heights' crime rates, although lower than those of Cleveland, are higher than those of most other suburbs (even equally integrated Cleveland Heights).

Shaker Heights is one of the few racially integrated suburbs where the public schools have a fine reputation. However, a significant racial gap exists between white and African-American achievement (the average white student's SAT is around 1100, the average African-American student's SAT is a few hundred points lower). Because of school spending and Shaker Heights' weak commercial tax base, it has the highest taxes in Greater Cleveland.

Shaker Heights (especially in the blocks surrounding the Green Line) is mostly homeowner-oriented and commercial rather than residential. Some Blue Line stops border apartment buildings (which are mostly old and garden-style) and small shopping centers.

2. Cleveland Heights: The Bohemian Suburb

Commuting distance to downtown: 20-40 min. (by bus during weekdays, bus/train combinations required on nights and weekends)

Rapid Stops: None, but the University Circle stop is a little under a mile away, and the Green Line stops are about a mile and a half away.

Buses: 7F (RH), 7X, 9BX and 9F (both RH), 9X, 32CX, 32WX and SX (both RH), 37, 40, 41 buses, 94.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 0.6

Burglaries per 1000 people: 2.9

% of households without cars: 9.7

Poverty rate: 8.5%

Sidewalks: Nearly universal.

Cleveland Heights, like Shaker Heights, is one of Cleveland's oldest suburbs, is racially diverse (about 40% African-American), and has a lot of affluent residents. But residents of either city will be happy to explain the differences between the two. To name a few:

1. Cleveland Heights residents brag about their suburb's diversity, and talk as if everyone in Shaker Heights as a WASP millionare (even though in reality, Shaker Heights is almost as racially diverse as Cleveland Heights). Although Cleveland Heights is generally not as affluent, there are some magnificent streets (most notably parts of Edgehill and Overlook).

2. By contrast, Shaker Heights residents brag about the quality of their schools. Cleveland Heights residents try to avoid talking about theirs.

3. Cleveland Heights is more singles-oriented, more renter-oriented, and hipper in every way.

4. Paradoxically, Cleveland Heights has lower crime rates. Based on my conversations with Cleveland Heights residents and what I have read, seen and heard about the police of both cities, this may be because Cleveland Heights police are more aggressive -- but that's just a guess.

Cleveland Heights is not a homogenous suburban mass; in fact, it has a few areas that are especially interesting, including:

a. The Orthodox Jewish enclave around the corner of Cedar and Taylor. The area's largest Kosher supermarket, Unger's, is in this area (1831 S. Taylor, 321-7176), as are numerous other shops catering to Orthodox Jews. Be aware that the shops are not open on Friday night and Saturday, because observant Jews don't work on that day (which, for us Jews, is the Sabbath). This area is served primarily by the 32 buses (serving Cedar) and the 37 (serving Taylor). Cleveland Heights was once the unchallenged Jewish center of Cleveland. However, most non-Orthodox Jews have abandoned Cleveland Heights for suburbs further from the city, and one of the city's two Conservative synagogues is in the process of moving.

b. The portion of Coventry Road between Mayfield and Euclid Heights. This area, generally known as Coventry, is Cleveland's most identifiably bohemian area. If you want to see left-wing bookstores and natural food stores, this is the place. Coventry's more unusual shops include the left-wing bookstore (Revolution Books, 2804 Mayfield, 932-2543) and a store specializing in television memorabilia and old board games (Big Fun, 1827 Coventry, 371-4386). One of Greater Cleveland's two art theaters, the Centrum, is on Euclid Heights Blvd. nearby. The most unusual restaurant in Coventry, Tommy's, has nearly a dozen types of falafel (1824 Coventry, 321-7757) and generally specializes in vegetarian stuff and desserts. There is also an OK Indian restaurant (Taj Mahal, 1763 Coventry, 321-0511). Coventry is best served by the 9 bus routes (serving Mayfield) and the 7 buses (serving Euclid Heights).

c. The area around Cedar and Lee, which is like Coventry but is a bit more upscale and has the area's other art film house, the Cedar Lee (2163 Lee, 321-1028). This area also has a variety of restaurants, including, among others, a wonderful Thai restaurant (Paul's Siam Cafe, 371-9575) and a Taiwanese restaurant (Taipei, 1946 Lee, 321-6838). Relevant buses include the 40 (serving Lee) and the 32 buses (serving Cedar).

d. The area around Cedar and Fairmount, which is comparable to Cedar and Lee but doesn't have as much stuff. Especially noteworthy is a better-than-most Mideastern restaurant (Aladdin's, 12447 Cedar, 932-4333). Cedar and Fairmount are served by the 32 buses, and is within a mile of the University Circle rapid (a walk that is OK in the day, but maybe not at night).

Although Cleveland Heights is more singles-oriented than Shaker Heights, its rental housing stock is pretty similar--garden apartments that show their age.

3. East Cleveland: The Poorest Suburb

Commuting time from downtown: 15-20 min. by Rapid

Rapid stops: Superior, Windermere (Red Line)

Buses: 4, 6 (24H), 7F, 9X, 28X, 30, 36, 37, 40, 41 buses.

Crime statistics: Unavilable for 1995 (but generally comparable to worse than average Cleveland neighborhoods)

% of households with no car: 38

Poverty rate: 27.8%

Sidewalks: Universal.

The last two Red Line stops, Superior and Windermere, stop in the depressed suburb of East Cleveland, a place that proves that "suburban" doesn't always mean "middle-class." Every census tract here has a poverty rate over 10% and most have poverty rates over 20%. The parts of East Cleveland south of Euclid have a slightly better reputation than those north of Euclid. East Cleveland is about 95% African-American, so African-American readers might be more interested in the better parts of this suburb than white ones.

4. Euclid: East European Yet East Side

Commuting time from downtown: 20-45 min. by bus

Buses: 1, 6, 28X, 30, 34, 37, 39X and 39BX, 39F (RH), 239 (RH), 73 (RH), 94 (However, the 39 bus from downtown serves Lake Shore Blvd., which is closest to Euclid's nicest and most interesting commercial streets. The 1 and 6 serve St. Clair and Euclid Avenues respectively, which have less of interest).

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 3.2

Burglaries per 1000 people: 4.8

% of households without cars: 13.1

Poverty rate: 7.8%

Sidewalks: Universal

North of East Cleveland, on the shores of Lake Erie, lies the working- and middle-class, heavily Slavic (especially Yugoslav) suburb of Euclid. Euclid is a more sprawling version of what most of Cleveland once was: a little nest of tidy bungalows. Euclid also has a few high-rises on Lake Erie, although these tend to be somewhat less upscale than similar buildings in other suburbs.

Euclid's ethnic diversity causes it to have numerous attractions, including the Polka Hall of Fame, a little museum that pays homage to polka generally and to the polka played by Cleveland Slovenians in particular (291 E. 222, 261-3263). The E. 185, E. 200 and E. 222 strips (which begin at Lake Shore Blvd. and run South) all have shops and restaurants of interest. E. 185 has been designated "Old World Plaza" by the city government. Its more distinctive restaurants include a Lithuanian restaurant that is only open for lunch (Gintaras Dining Room, 877 E. 185, 531-2131), a Nigerian restaurant (Ola's Diner, 621 E. 185, 531-1527) and numerous bakeries.

The part of Euclid closest to Lake Shore Blvd. is both the most interesting and the most safe. These areas are served primarily by the 39 buses running up Lake Shore and by numerous north-south buses. By contrast, the southern part of Euclid is poorer, nastier and duller.

5. Bratenahl: Suburb In The City

Commuting time from downtown: 10-15 min. by bus.

Buses: 39BX only.

Crime statistics: not available.

% of households with no car: 4.5%

Poverty rate: 3.9%

Sidewalks: Sometimes yes, sometimes no

The lakefront community of Bratenahl, on Lake Erie between E. 85 and E. 140, is surrounded by poor city neighborhoods in every direction, but nevertheless is both an independent municipality and a world unto itself, dominated by mansions and high-rise lakefront condos.

Although luxurious, Bratenahl is not exciting: it is purely residential, and has only one bus line (which goes to downtown and Euclid, but doesn't go north-south). So if you live in Bratenahl and have no car, be prepared to have no social life or throw a lot of money at cabs.

6. University Heights and South Euclid: Middle Class, Middle Suburbs

Commuting time from downtown: 30-45 min. by bus-rapid combination

Buses: 7F (S. Euclid only- RH), 7X (S. Euclid only), 9BX and 9F (S. Euclid only- RH), 9X (S. Euclid only), 32CX (both suburbs), 32SX and 32WX (both suburbs- RH), 34 (both suburbs), 37 (U. Hts. only), 41A (both suburbs), 41C (both suburbs), 94 (U. Hts. only). Also, the University Heights/Shaker Heights city line is about half a mile from the Green Line Rapid.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 1.5 (S. Euclid), 3.5 (U. Hts.)

Burglaries per 1000 people: 6.8 (S. Euclid), 3.1 (U. Hts.)

% of households without cars: 7.4 (S. Euclid), 7.8 (U. Hts.)

Poverty rate: 3.3% (S. Euclid), 2.9% (U. Hts.)

Sidewalks: Pretty much universal in both.

University Heights and South Euclid are middle-of-the-road in every way: more middle-class and less diverse than Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, but not as affluent or as racially homogenous as suburbs further out (or the richer parts of Shaker and Cleveland Heights), not as transit-friendly as Shaker and Cleveland Heights, but not as car-dependent as the outer suburbs. Both are heavily Jewish. Both are perfectly OK places to live but not as interesting to visit as Cleveland Heights or Shaker Heights. Both have no slums, but fewer lawyers and other very affluent people than the suburbs closer to, or further from, downtown. If you do visit these suburbs, the most interesting intersections are Cedar/Warrensville and Cedar/Green (both on, among others, the 32 bus routes) which have a variety of Jewish-oriented shops and delis, but are not as unusual as the Cedar/Taylor areas.

7. Beachwood: Edge City

Commuting time from downtown: 30-60 min.

Rapid stops: None in Beachwood proper, but the Blue and Green lines both terminate a few blocks from the Beachwood/Shaker Heights boundary line.

Buses: 5, 14, 32CX, 34, 94.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: Similar to Cleveland Heights or slightly better, though comparable statistics not available. (When I say "comparable statistics" not available, that means that police departments classify assaults differently--most limit "violent crimes" to serious assaults, but suburbs in the "not comparable" category lump all assaults together).

Burglaries per 1000 people: 1.8

% of households without cars: 7.6 (but artifically inflated by presence of numerous retirement communities)

Poverty rate: 2.1%

Sidewalks: Most blocks (though not all).

If you want an affluent, homogenous East Side suburb that has more prestigious schools than Cleveland Heights, lower taxes than Shaker Heights, and is not yet being crippled by population losses to outer suburbs, but still has sidewalks and a bit of transit accessibility, consider Beachwood.

Beachwood is especially popular with Jews; the city is 95% Jewish, has a Jewish community center (26001 S. Woodland Rd., 831-0700) and some of the area's largest synagogues. In fact, a recent zoning dispute involving some Orthodox Jewish synagogues got national publicity; some Orthodox synagogues wanted to relocate to Beachwood, and some local residents (most of whom belong to more liberal strains of Judaism) objected, ostensibly on zoning-related grounds.

In addition, Beachwood is also the largest of Cleveland's suburban "satellite downtowns"--so if you don't work downtown, you probably work in Beachwood. The area near the intersection of I-271 and Chagrin Blvd. (served by the 5 bus running from the Warrensville/Chagrin Rapid) has millions of square feet of office space. RTA planners hope to expand the Rapid to this area.

Beachwood is primarily homeowner-oriented, but does have some very expensive high-rise apartment buildings, most notably the Four Seasons (26600 George Zeiger Drive, 765-0045) and Atrium One and Two (26300 Village, 831-3581). Both complexes have 24-hour attended gatehouses, and rents in both buildings start in the $800-plus range. Both are also quite close to the Beachwood Place Mall, one of the area's fancier malls.

The southwestern fringes of Beachwood are within walking distance of Rapid stops. The Green Line Rapid terminates at Shaker and Green and the Blue Line terminates at Van Aken and Warrensville--both just a block or two from the Beachwood/Shaker Heights boundary.

Beachwood is served by numerous buses, most notably the 5 (running from the last Blue Line stop east down Chagrin) and the 32 buses (which generally run down Cedar through Beachwood and beyond). Beachwood's southern fringe (Harvard Ave.) is served by the 14 bus. The 34 and 94 buses provide daytime (and some early evening) north-south service from Beachwood to Euclid. But by and large, if you're making a north-south trip within Beachwood you'll have to drive or walk. On the bright side, most Beachwood streets have sidewalks, and Beachwood is pretty safe.

8. Solon: Suburban Boomtown

Commuting time: 50-70 min. by bus/Rapid combination

Buses: 41A, 41C (RH).

Violent crimes per 1000 people: See Beachwood.

Burglaries per 1000 people: 4.3

% of households without cars: 2.5

Poverty rate: 2.5%

Sidewalks: The exception rather than the rule. The main commercial streets have sidewalks, and so do a minority of subdivisions. But S-O-M Center Rd., which intersects many of the subdivisions, does not have sidewalks.

Solon is one of the few eastern Cuyahoga County suburbs that has actually grown in recent years, and grown at a rapid rate.  Solon's population increased by 30% between 1980 and 1990, while Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and Euclid actually lost population. If you want a fine old home, look in Shaker Heights--but if you want a home that was built 15 minutes ago, Solon is perfect. In 1995, Solon led the eastern Cuyahoga County suburbs in new construction, with 130 new home sales. Like most newly settled areas, Solon does not have a great deal of transit service.  However, you can get there by taking the Blue Line Rapid to its terminus, and then taking the 41A and 41C buses down Aurora Road.

9. The Richest Suburbs: Pepper Pike, Moreland Hills, Gates Mills and Hunting Valley

Commuting time from downtown: 35-70 min. by bus or bus/Rapid combination

Buses: Gates Mills- 32CX (RH) (but 7 and 9 buses terminate just a couple of blocks from this suburb's western fringe); Hunting Valley- 32CX (RH), Moreland Hills- 5, Pepper Pike- 5, 32CX.

Violent crimes per 1000: 0.1 (Gates Mills), not available for other suburbs.  However, statistics from other years suggest comparable crime rates for the others.

Burglaries per 1000: 1.2 (Gates Mills), not available for other suburbs.

% of households without cars: 1.7 (Gates Mills), 0 (Pepper Pike), 0.9 (Moreland Hills), 1.6 (Hunting Valley)

Poverty rates: 1.2% (Gates Mills), 4.8% (Pepper Pike), 2% (Moreland Hills), 0.6% (Hunting Valley)

Sidewalks: Very rare in these suburbs. However, many blocks have walkable grass paths (especially in Pepper Pike and Moreland Hills) so you usually don't have to walk in the street even here.

Many of the places mentioned above (especially Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, and Solon) have a significant number of law firm partners and other achievers. However, the richest suburbs in Cleveland are between I-271 and the Cuyahoga County/Geauga County border: Pepper Pike, Moreland Hills, Gates Mills and Hunting Valley. (An area called Chagrin Falls Township, between these areas and Chagrin Falls, is almost equally rich--but I don't count it in the caption because it is only a few blocks long). The latter three of these suburbs (especially Hunting Valley, where I was stopped by the cops for walking) are very residential, and houses tend to be mansions. Pepper Pike is mostly residential as well, but includes a couple of busy commercial streets and some blocks comprised of mere large houses.

10. Chagrin Falls: Main Street U.S.A.

Commuting time from downtown: 45 min. by bus/Rapid combination

Buses: 5

Crime statistics: not available for 1995.  However, statistics from other years suggest that Chagrin Falls has crime rates comparable to those of other tony outer suburbs.

% of households without cars: 13.5

Poverty rate: 2.0%

Sidewalks: About half the blocks; most frequent within a block or two of the most commercial blocks, but even in sidewalk-less blocks there is a grass path you can walk on.

Chagrin Falls was originally a village in the middle of nowhere rather than a suburb, and still looks that way. This charming Victorian town still has an small, old-fashioned downtown with shops close to the street that cater to upper-income people, such as the English Nanny & Governess School (30 S. Franklin St., 831-7333). When architects talk about trying to restore a "Main Street U.S.A." feeling to American towns and suburbs, they are thinking of places like Chagrin Falls. (If you're really interested in this subject read Home from Nowhere, by James H. Kunstler).

One measure of an area's car dependency is the gap between the percentage of households without cars and the poverty rate:  Chagrin Falls' "car/poor gap" (plus 11.5%) is one of the largest in the Cleveland area. Thus, it appears that in Chagrin Falls, to a much greater extent than in other Cleveland areas, auto-free life is an option for middle-class people (at least if they both live and work in Chagrin Falls). Other neighborhoods where the "carless rate" significantly exceeds the poverty rate include downtown Cleveland and Lakewood.

II. The West Side suburbs

To an emigrant from the Northeast, the West Side may seem like a small city to the East Side's big city: the East Side is heavily Jewish and black, and contains the richest and the poorest suburbanites, while the West Side is whiter, more Catholic, and lacks the extremes of wealth and poverty that can make a trip through the East Side a hair-raising experience. The western suburbs either benefit or are victimized (depending on one's priorities) from a transit tradeoff: their relative lack of Rapid service, seemingly a disadvantage, actually makes it easier to get around by bus, because most West Side bus riders get a nonstop ride from downtown rather than being forced to transfer at a Rapid stop.

1. Lakewood: A Tale of Three Cities

Commuting time: 15 min. by Rapid, 15-35 min. by bus.

Rapid stops: W. 117th (although this stop is in Lakewood's worst area).

Buses: 3/26 (24H), 25B, 25W, 31X (RH), 45, 46 (RH), 46F (RH), 55AX (RH), 55CF (RH), 55CX, 55NX, 55SX, 55X, 65X (RH), 70, 86.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 1.4

Burglaries per 1000 people: 3.4

% of households without cars: 14.6

Poverty rate: 8.5%

Sidewalks: Universal

Lakewood, Cleveland's closest-in, most transit-friendly western suburb, is a place with three distinct personalities.

One personality is the rich Lakewood, from Lake Avenue north to Edgewater and Lake Erie. The rich Lakewood is dominated by the "Gold Coast" of lakefront high-rise apartments and condos that extend about from the Lakewood/Cleveland boundary for a mile or so, and by expensive houses further west. The most impressive high-rises tend to be condominiums near the western edge of the high-rise zone. Despite their affluence, these areas (at least in the densely populated high-rise zone) have car ownership rates lower than the rest of Lakewood. This Lakewood is served by the 31X, 46F, and 55 buses that run down Clifton and Edgewater. In addition, the 70 and 86 buses provides north-south service from West Park to Lakewood Park at the western end of Lake.

A second Lakewood is the middle-class Lakewood, which is white and middle-middle class. This Lakewood is dominated by the commercial strips of Detroit and Madison Avenues (both of which contain a variety of interesting restaurants, mostly Asian and Italian), and by thousands of modest houses. This Lakewood is served primarily by the 3/26 bus running through Detroit, the 25 buses running down Madison, the 70, the 86, the 65X running down Madison, and the 46 (which steers a crazy-quilt path from the Triskett Rapid through Lakewood and Rocky River).

Both Lakewoods, at their eastern fringe, are within walking distance of a third, the poor Lakewood near the Rapid station at W.117 and Madison (on the Red Line). This blue-collar neighborhood, known as "Birdtown", has fallen on hard times, and now has a poverty rate of about 20%, lower than poor city neighborhoods but far higher than that of most suburbs. Violent crime is not unknown here. On the other hand, murder is at worst a once-a-year event even in Lakewood's poorest areas, unlike in urban ghettoes where crime is more routine and poverty rates are double or triple what they are here. The "poor Lakewood" is poor by Lakewood standards, but not by Cleveland standards. The Birdtown area is served by the 25, and 65X buses (as well as the Rapid station mentioned above).

Despite Lakewood's difficulties, its crime rate compares quite favorably to those of older "inner ring" suburbs around the nation. Like Lakewood, Arlington, Virginia (a suburb of Washington, D.C.) begins only three or four miles from downtown, has a poverty rate of 7-8%, and is predominantly (but not completely) middle-class. Yet in 1995, Lakewood had 1.3 violent crimes per 1000 residents, as opposed to 4.5 per 1000 in Arlington. In fact, in 1995 the average American suburb had 4 violent crimes per 1000 residents--almost three times as many as Lakewood. Lakewood is typical of Cleveland's inner suburbs, most of which are safer than comparable suburbs in Washington, Atlanta and other large cities.  

2. Rocky River and Bay Village: Luxury On The Lake

Commuting times from downtown: Rocky River- 30-40 min. by bus, Bay Village- 35-55 min. by bus

Buses: Both suburbs are served by the 31X (RH), 55CF (RH), 55CX, and 55X (RH). The 42 (a rush-hour bus running from Bay Village to N. Olmsted and Westlake) serves Bay Village alone, and the following buses serve Rocky River but not Bay Village: 3/26, 22, 25B, 25W, 46 (RH), 46F (RH), 55NX, 55SX, 65X (RH), 87F (RH) and 96F (RH).

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 0.4 for Rocky River, similar for Bay Village (though comparable statistics not available)

Burglaries per 1000 people: 1.7 (Rocky River), 1.8 (Bay Village)

% of households without cars: 9.4 (Rocky River), 2.8 (Bay Village)

Poverty rate: 3.7% (Rocky River), 2.6% (Bay Village)

Sidewalks: Usually

Rocky River and Bay Village, like Lakewood, are lakefront suburbs which are ritzy and expensive near Lake Erie and more affordable as you go further south. Like Lakewood, these communities are recognizably older suburbs; sidewalks and bus service are normal parts of the landscape to a greater extent than in suburbs further out.

On the other hand, these suburbs are more typically suburban in every way than Lakewood: more homogeneously middle-class, safer, less gritty, less hip, more homeowner-oriented (as opposed to renter-oriented), and more residential (as opposed to commercial).  Bay Village is the more upper-crusty and WASPy of the two, while Rocky River is socially as well as physically halfway between Lakewood and Bay Village. Bay Village was the home of Dr. Sam Shepard, a prominent physician who was accused of murdering his wife in 1954 and whose story still stirs controversy. In fact, some believe that the Shepard case was the model for the TV show "The Fugitive" (although the show's creators deny the existence of any connection).

3. Fairview Park: Solid Middle Class

Commuting time from downtown: 25-40 min. by bus

Buses: 3/26, 22, 25B, 25W, 53 (RH), 55NX, 55SX, 75F (RH), 75X, 87F (RH), 96F (RH).

Violent crime rate: usually slightly safer than Lakewood (see Beachwood for explanation of why no numbers).

Burglaries per 1000 people: 3.9

% of households without cars: 8.1

Poverty rate: 4.1%

Sidewalks: Usually

Fairview Park is less upper-crusty than Rocky River, but more homogenous and homeowner-oriented than Lakewood--a good place for someone who wants solid bus service without too much excitement.

4. Parma: Pierogies and Flamingos

Commuting time from downtown: 20-40 min. by bus

Buses: 20 (RH), 20A (24H), 20B, 21X (RH), 23, 35 (24H on weekdays), 44 (RH), 45, 51X, 68, 79, 79X (RH) 83, and 98 (RH) buses.

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 2.2

Burglaries per 1000 people: 4.5

% of households without cars: 7.8

Poverty rate: 4.1%

Sidewalks: Usually

Parma, Cleveland's largest suburb (with about 85,000 residents) is the sort of place that some outsiders might imagine all of Cleveland as like: an aging, heavily East European, middle-middle-class suburb, filled with small but tidy houses.

But Parma's ethnic flavor gives it charm that more upscale suburbs lack. For example, the "Parma Pierogies" restaurant (7707 W. Ridgewood Drive, 888-1200) has a pink flamingo as its mascot, as a symbol of the tacky plastic flamingos that Parmans supposedly used to adorn their lawns with. As you might guess, Parma Pierogies specializes in Cleveland's signature ethnic dish, pierogies (a kind of doughy dumpling), serving them not only in the traditional sauerkraut, potato and cheese flavors but also with such unusual fillings as chocolate. Don't just take my word for it--ask President Clinton (whose campaign visit to the restaurant is publicized by numerous photos inside the restaurant).

Generally, the area around Chevrolet Blvd. on Parma's northwestern fringe is somewhat more downscale than the rest of Parma, while its southern and eastern ends seem to be somewhat newer and more affluent.

5. Brooklyn: Parma Without The Pierogies

Commuting time: 20-35 min. by bus

Buses; 23, 45, 83, 98 (RH)

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 0.9

Burglaries per 1000 people: 1.5

% of households without cars: 8.5

Poverty rate: 5.5%

Sidewalks: Universal

Brooklyn is like Parma with slightly shorter commutes and a lower profile: a safe, comfortable, middle-middle brow suburb--another good place to live if you want a bus ride of tolerable length and a more-or-less suburban atmosphere.

Brooklyn is not chock-full of landmarks; however, the Ridge Park Square shopping center on Ridge Road between Biddulph and Brookpark (served by the 45 bus, and within walking distance of other Brooklyn bus stops) includes one of Cleveland's two Skyline Chili restaurants (4752 Ridge Road, 351-7632). These restaurants are part of a chain serving Cincinnati-style chili, which is sweeter and milder than Texas-style chili. (The other Skyline is at 5706 Mayfield in the eastern suburbs, significantly further from the city of Cleveland).

6. Westlake and Strongsville: West Side Boomtowns

Commuting distance from downtown: Westlake- 40-55 min. by bus, Strongsville- 30-65 min. by bus

Buses: Westlake- 42 (RH), 46 (RH), 46F (RH), 53 (RH), 55NX, 55SX, 65F (RH), 65X (RH), 87F (RH), 246 (RH). Strongsville- 51F (RH), 51X, 86, 86F (RH), 89, 151 (RH), 251 (RH), 451 (RH).

Violent crimes per 1000 people: 0.4 (Strongsville), 0.5 (Westlake)

Burglaries per 1000 people: 3.8 (Strongsville), 3.3 (Westlake)

% of households without cars: 2.8 (Westlake), 2.2 (Strongsville)

Poverty rate: 2.1% (Westlake), 2.3% (Strongsville)

Sidewalks: Westlake- More often than not, but you can't count on them. (Don't know much about Strongsville).

Westlake and Strongsville are the Solon of the West Side: newly-minted, fast-growing suburbs. Westlake's population rocketed by almost 40% during the 1980s, despite the fact that it is wedged between two suburbs that actually lost population (Bay Village to the north, North Olmstead to the south). Similarly, Strongsville's population increased by nearly 25% during that decade. However, Strongsville is beginning to surge ahead of Westlake, with 211 new home sales in 1995 (as opposed to 55 for Westlake).

Neither area is particularly well served by RTA: both have only a couple of bus routes that run after rush hours, and even those don't run very late.

7. Independence and North Olmsted: Edge City West

Commuting times from downtown: 20 min. from Independence, 40 min. from North Olmsted

Buses: Independence- 44(RH), 77F. North Olmsted- 42 (RH), 53 (RH), 63F (RH), 64F (RH), 68 (RH), 75F, 75X, 87F (RH), 89, 96F (RH).

Violent crimes per 1000 people: Crime rates for North Olmsted are comparable to those of Lakewood. No crime statistics available for Independence.

Burglaries per 1000 people: 1.9 (North Olmsted)

% of households without cars: 4.7 (North Olmsted), 5.4 (Independence)

poverty rates: 3.1% (North Olmsted), 2.7% (Independence)

According to the magazine EcoCity Cleveland, Independence and North Olmsted have enough office space to qualify as satellite downtowns (or, in planning jargon, "Edge Cities"). Independence, which is more south of the city than it is west, has only 6000 or so residents and is dominated by office buildings. By contrast, North Olmstead is dominated by the Great Northern Mall. Not surprisingly, North Olmsted has better bus service, including the 42, 53, 63F, 64F, 75X, 75F, 87F, 89 and 96F buses. Independence service is limited to the 44 east-west bus (which begins at the Brook Park Rapid stop) and the 77F bus (which starts downtown and goes south to the growing new suburb of Brecksville). The two buses intersect near the corner of Rockside and I-77, the center of Independence's employment growth.

III. Miscellanous Other Suburbs

Avon and Avon Lake (both Lorain County)- Growing outer suburbs with rush hour bus service only.

Bedford, Bedford Heights, Maple Heights- Racially integrated, older working-class suburbs in the southeastern side of Cuyahoga County (east of Slavic Village, west of Solon) with bus service comparable to that of other inner suburbs.

Bentleyville- An tiny, very affluent (but not super-rich) suburb near Chagrin Falls and Moreland Hills with no bus service. The nearest bus stop is in downtown Chagrin Falls about a mile away (served by the 5 bus).

Berea- A middle-middle class suburb in the southwest end of Cuyahoga County that includes Baldwin-Wallace College, and has two bus routes going into the evening (the 86 and the 89).

Brecksville- Like Strongsville, a booming outer suburb in the south central tip of Cuyahoga County. Only one bus, though it runs into the early evening (the 77F).

Broadview Heights- Pretty much like Brecksville and Strongsville, though a bit further west. But its only non rush hour bus (the 35) runs fairly late.

Brooklyn Hts.- A tiny suburb next to (and similar to) Brooklyn and Parma. Although this community technically lacks transit service, its boundaries are within half a mile of the corner of Brookpark and Broadview in Cleveland (served by the 20, 35, 35F and 68 buses) and Rockside (served by the 44 bus).

Brook Park- An industrial suburb whose border with Cleveland is home to the Brookpark Rapid Stop (the Red Line). However, this stop borders on a Ford plant rather than residential areas. Brookpark, like most inner suburbs, has ample bus service.

Brunswick (Medina County) and Brunswick Hills (Medina County)- Two booming exurbs with just one rush hour bus between them.

Chagrin Falls Twp.- A tiny, tony community next to Chagrin Falls.

Cuyahoga Hts.- A tiny but very industrial suburb just south of the city with minimal service.

Garfield Hts- An inner suburb just south of Slavic Village. Like a more diverse Parma or a landlocked Euclid, this suburb is majority white and heavily East European, but racially integrated too. Has one interesting restaurant that I know of (Czech Inn on Granger Rd., which, as you might guess, is Czech). Ample bus service.

Glenwillow- A tiny southern outer suburb with just one rush hour bus.

Highland Hills- A commercial southeastern suburb, which seems to border on a lot of bus routes.

Highland Hts.- A upper middle class East Side suburb, just past South Euclid. Bus service mostly till rush hour.

Linndale- Like Bratenahl, a suburb bordered by the city (in this case, West Park). White, only a few blocks long, and working-class. Most known as a speed trap. About as much bus service as the rest of West Park.

Lyndhurst- Just like (and next to) South Euclid or University Heights, only a bit further out--heavily Jewish, middle class. A couple of late night buses, though you have to take the Rapid and transfer. The main drag, Mayfield, has some interesting shops and restaurants (as I recall, a large Italian grocery and a Thai place).  Mayfield is the border between this suburb and Mayfield Heights.

Macedonia (Summit County)- Another outer suburb with rush hour buses.

Mayfield Hts.- Just north of Lyndhurst, and pretty similar. I would note that it has a couple of nice high rise buildings (Gates Mills Towers and the Marsol). As a result, this suburb seems to be more popular with young singles than other outer suburbs.

Mayfield Village- A rich East Side suburb, but not quite as rich as Pepper Pike et. al. Bus service mostly limited to rush hours and earlier.

Middleburg Hts.- Just past Fairview Park (i.e. southwest of the city) , socially similar, and slightly further out. I note, however, that the only Cleveland-area Krispy Kreme (a wonderful doughnut chain) is in Middleburg Heights on Pearl Rd. Middle-middle class and whitebread.

Newburgh Hts.- Next to, and sociologically identical to, Slavic Village.

North Randall- A majority-black, lower-middle class suburb in southeast Cuyahoga County. Home to the area's largest shopping center, Randall Park Mall.

North Royalton- Another booming, moderately affluent west side outer suburb, just south of Parma. Better bus service than most suburbs this far out.

Oakwood- A low profile southeastern outer suburb. Bus service limited to rush hours and earlier.

Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township- Low profile outer suburbs, just south of North Olmsted. Bus service limited to early evening and rush hours.

Orange- An upper class outer suburb next to, but not quite as rich as, Pepper Pike. Served by 5 bus.

Parma Heights- Next to, and a lot like, Parma.

Richfield (Summit County)- Another new outer suburb; bus service limited to early evening and earlier.

Richmond Hts.- East Side outer suburb, middle-middle class. A couple of buses running past rush hour.

Seven Hills- Just west of Parma, this suburb is most known for being the home of alleged concentration camp guard John Demanjuk. Seven Hills is heavily East European but is safer and richer than Parma, and is almost entirely residential. Sidewalks are rare but not nonexistent here. One late night bus, the 35, goes to the Parma/Seven Hills border.

Twinsburg (Summit County)- A booming exurb next to Solon, with a pair of rush hour buses.

Valley View- A tiny, thinly populated suburb just south of Independence. One rush hour bus.

Walton Hills- A low profile southeastern outer suburb.

Warrensville Hts. - An almost entirely African-American, middle-class suburb comparable to African-American suburbs in Prince George's County near Washington, D.C. or DeKalb County near Atlanta. Not as affluent or as safe as Cleveland Heights, but not the ghetto either. Ample bus service.

Wickcliffe, Willoughby and Willoughby Hills (Lake County)- Outer eastern suburb on Lake Erie just past Euclid. Limited to rush hour bus service.

BUSES: 43F (Willowick) (rush hour/weekday only), 49F (Wickcliffe) (rush hour/weekday only)

Willowick (Lake County)- Between Euclid and the suburbs mentioned above. But Willowick has better bus service, because the 39 buses from Cleveland and Euclid end here.

Woodmere- A tiny, working class suburb off Chagrin between Beachwood and Pepper Pike. The major site here is Corky's & Lenny's, a nice Jewish deli on Chagrin Rd. near an interstate.


A Citizen's Guide To Cleveland (League of Women Voters Educational Fund 1992). A candid guide to Cleveland's problems and promise.

Celebration 200! The Official Commemorative Program Of Cleveland's Bicentennial Celebration (Live Publishing Company 1996). This program for Cleveland's Bicentennial celebration contains a description of Cleveland's neighborhoods.

Cleveland Ethnic Eats, Laura Taxel (Gray & Co. 1995). A description of Cleveland's ethnic restaurants and markets.

Cleveland Magazine- This monthly puts out a yearly "Rating the Suburbs" issue which has about twenty times as much information as this page. However, the issue is limited to the suburbs (a fact that reflects this magazine's prejudices).

Cleveland on Foot, Harry and Patience Cameron (Gray & Co. Publishing 1995). This book describes several historic neighborhoods and discusses numerous possible hikes through the Cleveland region's parks and historic areas.

Crime In The United States 1995: Uniform Crime Reports (Federal Bureau of Investigation 1996). Contains crime statistics for many area cities and suburbs. However, some statistics were obtained by writing local police departments.

U.S. Census statistics for Cleveland, Ohio area (available in most public and university libraries). Especially illuminating are statistics for census tracts, which are units smaller than most city neighborhoods. A typical census tract has a few thousand residents, and Census statistics for most census tracts are as detailed for their statistics for entire cities. Statistics for Cleveland neighborhoods (or, as the librarians call them, "Statistical Planning Areas") are also available at the Library of Cleveland State's College of Urban Affairs (1737 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 687-2135) and at the Public Administration Library at City Hall (601 Lakeside Ave., Cleveland, 623-2919).

My List of Links (in addition to those in the text above)

RTA Home Page: If you want to know the details of individual bus and train routes or more information about RTA generally, this is the place to go.
Phillips, Lytle home page: Not really relevant to Cleveland or mass transit, but it's my law firm's home page.  If you need a law firm in New York State, look no further. The page's "Attorney Profiles" section profiles me and gives you my e-mail (, just in case you didn't catch it at the top).
Surface Transportation Policy Project ISTEA page: Information about the 1998 transportation funding bill.
Cleveland Neighborhood Maps (and other related info): A map of the city neighborhoods profiled here, and lots of related information.
The Plain Dealer: Cleveland's dominant daily newspaper.
Surface Transportation Policy Project: Transit users' voice in Washington.
American Public Transit Association: An association of transit providers (with lots of links to various cities' agencies)
Cleveland State University Cleveland Index: An enormous number of links, including links to most area museums, a few local governments, a variety of interest groups, and too much else to name.
Warren's Groovy Cleveland Links: 300 Cleveland-related links.
Cleveland Cartography: A list of map-related links.
Metro Area Map: Self-explanatory.
Finast: Greater Cleveland's dominant supermarket chain.
Daniel Convissor's Home Page: A 400 page web site covering mass transit issues and some other public policy issues. This page is truly an enormous labor of love.
Cleveland Map Co.: This page contains a downtown map and some interesting links.