Why Parma, Ohio Sucks
Updated: Dec 11, 2021
When I moved back to Ohio at the turn of the millennium, my beautiful bride and I moved to Parma, Ohio. We lived in the southeast section of the city in a small apartment. When we started house hunting, we looked at some houses in Parma, but we kept running into the same 2 problems.
#1 - The houses for sale were almost always that of someone's deceased great-grandparent.
#2 - Traffic was TERRIBLE.
After visiting a dozen homes or so with almost the identical problems, we stopped looking at Parma houses, despite living in Parma ourselves.
Between 1950 and 1970, people couldn't get out of Cleveland fast enough and the population of Parma ballooned from 30,000 to 100,000. As Parma burst at the seams and every square mile of the city was developed, people slowly tired of Parma's congestion. There are no highways in Parma. There are state routes everywhere and 5 lane thorough fairs with 35 M.P.H. speed limits. There are traffic lights every couple hundred yards and there is no easy way to get from one side of the city to the other. From talking to other former Parma residents, traffic is the number 1 reason the city's population has ebbed to 80,000 today.
But thanks to precipitous population losses in places like Youngstown, Lorain, and Canton, Parma is still the 7th largest city in Ohio. Starting in 1970, the City Fathers should have been looking at solutions for traffic problems. Other than widening southern artery Pleasant Valley Rd, which the city decided should continue to flow at the maddeningly slow rate of 35 M.P.H., I don't recall any major traffic solutions over the past half CENTURY, except for bulldozing their mall. As a matter of fact, are there any Parma City streets with a speed limit over 35?
So as State and Ridge turn into parking lots with every rush hour cycle, imagine my surprise when I saw this headline at Fox 8 News:
Apparently the Parma City Council unanimously voted to reduce the speed limit from 25 to 20 MPH on residential streets. Uh, that's probably 80% of the city streets. The article claims cities such as Boston, Minneapolis, and Portland have done the same thing. Yeah, and Boston, Minneapolis and Portland all have highways that crisscross their boundaries. Parma and Boston are Apple and Oranges.
The solution to Parma's traffic problems is to raise the speed limit on all 5 lane streets to 45. Take out redundant lights. Then, all of a sudden, people aren't cutting through residential areas to bypass traffic. That's the model of most Detroit suburbs.
Hopefully sane people in the State's capital turn down Parma's request.
If you live in Parma, here are your Ward representatives. Please vote them out of office.