“2 Miles” is a true crime documentary examining a road-less-traveled called Train Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. Notoriously known as Trash Avenue – for the last 120+ years this two mile paved artery has become the illegal garbage dumping destination for the city’s westside.
Because of its position along the railroad tracks, tucked away in a valley out of plain view coupled with a lack of any real intervention, this has afforded nefarious characters the opportunity to carry out and commit a host of crimes to the environment and violent acts against animals as well as people without much fear of getting caught.
Tons and tons of old tires, mattresses and other trash dumped annually. Dozens of dead dogs found in trash bags discarded over the years. The many robberies, rapes, and murders committed over the past century, makes Train Avenue appear beyond repair.
Every major city has a Train Avenue of its own – a place where reinvestment opportunities are far and few between and rules aren’t equal as they are in their affluent counterparts.
This film intends on creating dialogue about what’s allowed in downtrodden cities and neighborhoods, while exploring our rarely talked about global trash crisis.
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.