Euclid Corridor History Project: Climb Aboard

This user-friendly, highly interactive website allows viewers to take an online tour of Cleveland via “the silverline,” which was created in 2008. The silverline is a bus transit line that goes from downtown Cleveland along Euclid Avenue near the Cuyahoga River through the city heading east, until it ends in East Cleveland. It has many interesting stops along the way.

The website divides the bus route into seven different districts, each filled with sites of interest for the online viewer to explore. The euclid corridor history project is a great method to explore a lesser-known American city that does not get much attention as its westward neighbor Chicago. It is highly educational, fun, and filled with interesting tidbits to inform viewers about Cleveland through its new public transit bus line.

This website is didactic in that it provides an excellent look at inner-city Cleveland with a detailed summary of the city’s major historical, community, and tourist attractions. Because it is a very user-friendly website, it would be able to attract a vast array of both tourists and students interested in Cleveland’s history. A viewer can find out details about different Cleveland neighborhoods and their culture, history, architecture, and people.

However, the site has more features that does not limit it to merely an informational tool on Cleveland’s history through its modern bus line. The site also features a section devoted to Cleveland public transit information. Unfortunately, the links I found were not active and did not take me to the sites related to farecards, routes, timetables, and special passes. There are also other sections on the site relating to public events, attraction, news and weather that also failed to take me to the offered links on the site. In this sense, the site is not yet complete but still has potential.

The website also needs to incorporate more facts and information about the silverline bus system itself. There are numerous reasons to appreciate this triumphant project of urban planning.  According to the Wikipedia website, “each bus has a GPS locator on board, which allows automated traffic signals to give the Silverline buses priority at busy intersections, keeping them moving as much as possible.” Moreover, these silverline busses are environmentally friendly, as they run on a diesel-electric hybrid motor that makes driving through Cleveland rush hour less hazardous to the Cleveland skyline, vegetation, and city residents.

These silverline busses are also highly available to the residents of Cleveland, as they run every 5 minutes each weekday morning and afternoon through rush hour. The busses actually run 24 hours, 7 days a week, albeit with fewer busses during the late night and early morning hours. Bus lines like the silverline are a safe way to enjoy a weekend night out on the town with friends at the bars and not have to worry about who is driving home or who is going to pay the expensive rates for a taxi cab.

Overall, this site serves as a concise teaching tool for either students or tourists to glean a better knowledge of Cleveland. It is not yet complete (or has been cast aside and neglected) and could include more information about this cool new bus line. Yet, it does feature interesting and significant information about Cleveland that would satisfy the curiosity of both students and tourists alike.

 

4 Replies to “Euclid Corridor History Project: Climb Aboard”

  1. I will give this site credit, this is the most interested I have ever been in the city of Cleveland. It did give a good overall sense of the history of the city and I enjoyed all the photos and the geographic layout. I completely agree that there needs to be more description on the photos. I’m usually a fan of letting photographs and artifacts speak for themselves, but I the captions do not explain who or what the people in the photographs are or why they are important to the history of Cleveland (or why the history of Cleveland is important at all for that matter). I also did not care for the photo viewing capabilities of the site. I think that the interface would be well served by a slide show feature where you don’t have to ‘x’ out of each photo to look at another one.

    I am also really confused by the tabs at the top. I am not sure what purpose they serve except to show you a screen shot from another site about Cleveland… but that might just be my computer not allowing a link or something? Did you run into the same problem or did I miss the point of the other tabs?

  2. After reading your article and examining the website I could not help but compare this to Philaplace, the first website we examined. While this website is currently in its early stages I still think it could learn a few things from Philaplace. Philaplace had the several map overlays which was nice, but also featured the user input to both generate input and create a more inclusive history. Philaplace also currently has much better outreach to educator, although I imagine this will change.

    At the same time it seems like Euclid has its own merits. Philaplace does not provide a linear format like Euclid provides the option of. Instead it can be difficult to dive into the many entries. Euclid at least gives you the option of following its zones and reading more carefully vetted entries.

    What do you guys think about Euclid compared to Philaplace

  3. I think this is a brilliant idea, perhaps even better than Philaplace. Philaplace was more of a general “here’s the info, you figure it out.” Whereas Euclid Corridor is much more like a guided tour.

    One of the challenges that any historic site faces is how to attract visitors. This is an excellent example of cross-promotion. The city of Cleveland has a number of goals to accomplish: 1) Attract tourists downtown 2) Highlight the historic sites of the city 3) Improve public transit. This project touches on all three.

    I think this is the type of interactive digital exhibit that would make a perfect iphone app. Not just for tourists, but for the everyday person who perhaps rides the Silverline to work and wants to learn more about their city.

  4. I agree with Allen. I think that while PhilaPlace does have its own merits, this type of a site is much more geared towards a self-guided tour. I really like that it touches on a number of topics instead of focusing on one specific message. By including links to outside sites such as bus timetables, the site allows users to interact with the history of the location while also being practical. These types of links make it easy for tourists to navigate a new city. As someone who has worked in visitor services, a large portion of visitor questions are about directions and locations. While being able to answer the history-oriented questions is important, providing easy wayfinding also has a significant effect on visitor experience.

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