Axios Cleveland

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ğŸŽ¸ Hello, Monday. On this date in 1922, Cleveland's legendary concert and event venue Public Auditorium was dedicated.

☀️ Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 62.

ğŸŽ§ Sounds like: "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Metallica

Situational awareness: It's Tax Day. 😬

Today's newsletter is 904 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: E-ZPass users rejoice!

The Swanton Toll Plaza at mile post 49. Photo: Courtesy of Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission

The Ohio Turnpike last week debuted its new toll collection system, a $250 million modernization project five years in the making, funded entirely by toll revenue.

Why it matters: For the first time in Ohio, E-ZPass users will be able to drive through the turnpike's toll plazas at highway speeds on open road tolling lanes with no gates.

  • The gateless toll collection system will reduce travel time for the 74% of drivers who use E-ZPass along the 241-mile stretch of highway, which includes portions of Interstates 90, 80 and 76.
  • E-ZPass is accepted in 17 states, including Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.

Between the lines: The long-awaited revamp just missed waves of eclipse traffic. Visitors last week lamented long tollbooth lines on their way out of the state Monday and Tuesday.

State of play: Two new plazas at milepost 49, in Lucas County, and at milepost 211, in Trumbull County mark the ends of the new tolled system.

Zoom in: Nine plazas, located in Williams, Fulton, Trumbull and Mahoning counties, will no longer require tolls or have staff on site.

By the numbers: The overall number of toll plazas has been reduced from 31 to 24, and new flat rates are now in effect at the Westgate and Eastgate plazas.

  • Toll rates per mile will not change on the new system.

The fine print: Non-E-ZPass owners should still use gated booths, where cash or credit cards are accepted. If they don't, they'll be billed at a higher rate and will receive a mailed invoice with their unpaid tolls.

  • Payments not received within 30 days will accrue an additional $5 charge per unpaid toll.

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2. Greyhound considering Stephanie Tubbs Jones

On the corner of Prospect Avenue and East 21st Street. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

Barons Bus, the Northeast Ohio charter bus company, is in discussions with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to lease a portion of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center downtown to relocate the local Greyhound Bus operation, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The proposed new location, on the campus of Cleveland State University, is less than a mile from Greyhound's historic terminal on Chester Avenue, which was recently sold to the Playhouse Square Foundation.

  • A central location would be convenient for the thousands of Greyhound riders who depart from Cleveland every year, who tend to be younger and lower-income than other travelers.

The latest: An RTA spokesperson confirmed to Axios that the Puritas Rapid Station, which had previously been discussed as a new location for Greyhound, is no longer under consideration.

  • Stephanie Tubbs Jones would have been used for a select number of daily departures, even if the Puritas plans progressed, Axios reported last fall.
  • The newest development was first reported by Cleveland.com.

Between the lines: Unlike the Puritas Rapid Station and other sites nationwide where Greyhound has operated after the historic stations have been sold, the downtown transit center has bathrooms.

Zoom in

3. The Terminal: Secret lives, public headlines

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

📇 Bill Kelly, the adult programming manager for the Cuyahoga County Public Library, appears in novelist James Patterson's latest book, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians." (Ideastream)

📚 Clevo Books, the downtown bookstore specializing in works in translation, will relocate to the former Rise Nation space at 1030 Euclid Avenue later this month. (Cleveland Scene)

🦍 The baby gorilla Jameela, who was born in Texas and brought to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to bond with the gorillas here, is doing "really well," according to zoo officials. (Cleveland.com)

🏓 Ace Pickleball Club is progressing on building an indoor facility at the former Bed Bath & Beyond location in Solon, with plans for a fall opening. (Crain's Cleveland Business)

4. ğŸŽ¬ CIFF Streams

"The Last Video Store." Photo: Courtesy of Blue Finch Films/CIFF

The 48th annual Cleveland International Film Festival may be over, but you can still watch its films.

Driving the news: CIFF Streams began over the weekend and allows you to watch some of the films from this year's selection online through Sunday.

How it works: You can stream an individual film for $14 or purchase an online pass to all of them for $300.

  • Here are some movies you may want to check out:

☮️ "A Binding Truth"

The intrigue: The documentary follows former high school classmates — one Black, one white — with the same last name, who discover a connection that dates back to the days of slavery.

🤱 "American Delivery"

The intrigue: The documentary got its world premiere at this year's CIFF and focuses on community nurses from Northeast Ohio who look to address the country's high maternal mortality rates.

🥇 "Athletes of War"

The intrigue: Another CIFF world premiere, the documentary follows the Ukrainian athletes preparing for the 2024 Olympics while their country is at war with Russia.

🥊 "The Featherweight"

The intrigue: The film stars actor and Ohio resident James Madio as legendary boxer Willie Pep, one of the great defensive fighters of all time.

📉 "Gradually, Then Suddenly: The Bankruptcy of Detroit"

The intrigue: This documentary examines how Detroit's economy fell apart in 2013 and the contentious efforts to bring the city back to life.

📼 "The Last Video Store"

The intrigue: A clerk and his customers at Canada's last remaining video store must use their horror movie knowledge to fight off threats that come out of a cursed B-movie videotape.

Four more films to stream

Invest in Local Journalism

Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

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Support local journalism by joining Axios Cleveland as a member.

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Together, we can make a difference in keeping our community informed and engaged.

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5. 📸 Capturing Cleveland

Photo of a total solar eclipse at its peak.
Eclipse over Cleveland. Photo: Kirby Lee/Getty Images

This week's photo was taken by Kirby Lee (@kirby_lee), who photographed the eclipse over Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on April 8.

📷 If you have a recent photo representing Cleveland's essence, please submit it by replying to this email.

Thanks to our editor Lindsey Erdody and copy editors Matt Piper and Yasmeen Altaji.

Our picks:

🏀 Sam is absolutely watching the WNBA draft tonight.

ğŸŽ¥ Troy is going to see "Civil War" tonight so no spoilers!