“Somewhere between Wall Street and Main Street is life on the ‘other side’ of the tracks”
“2 Miles” is a true crime documentary thriller exposing our trash crisis, and how the lack of resources and reinvestment dollars contribute to the further decline of already vulnerable neighborhoods and cities.
For over 120 years, Cleveland’s Train Avenue has existed virtually unchanged. Tucked away in a valley out of plain view, this two mile stretch of road is notoriously known as the illegal dumping spot on the city’s westside, where tons of trash are routinely discarded without repercussion.
The lack of enforcement and intervention has invited nefarious characters the opportunity to carry out and commit a host of violent crimes towards people, animals and the environment without much fear of getting caught red handed.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom on Train Avenue. For those who get to know this road less traveled, fall in love with its beauty, potential and odd sense of peace.
It would be impossible to discuss Train Avenue without first examining its past. It wasn’t always called Train Avenue…It wasn’t even always a road.
Prior to 1900, the pathway we know as Train Avenue today was once a thriving tributary called Walworth Run, which connected and flowed into the Cuyahoga River – the river notoriously known for catching fire an estimated 13 times in its recorded history due to excessive pollution, made internationally famous in a 1969 article for Time Magazine in the infancy of the environmental movement. Walworth Run also had its share of environmental problems.
The birth of Train Avenue was founded on the idea by Cleveland city officials to solve a growing issue in the mid-late 1800s where nearby industry – such as slaughterhouses, breweries and other manufacturing operations, exploited Walworth Run by dumping waste into the stream without repercussion.
Area residents used Walworth Run for their primary source of fresh water, and filed complaints to the city for multiple decades about the foul stench permeating from Walworth Run rendering it useless. Until about 1900 when Cleveland City Council passed a measure to bury it and turn it into an extension of the city’s sewer system. Once completed, sections of it were paved to connect to other roads along the railroad tracks, and Train Avenue was born.