Driving from Cleveland into Brooklyn, and passing through the tiny strip of land that is Linndale, can be daunting — the speed limit abruptly reduces from 35 to 25 mph, and there’s a speed camera to catch anyone going even slightly too quickly.
Cuyahoga County’s smallest town, with a population shy of 200 people, has surprised and frustrated thousands of drivers through the years with its famed speed trap. In 2022, according to the Parma Municipal Court’s annual report, it had 17,300 speeding camera tickets — all in a town that’s less than one square mile.
But now, that speed trap isn’t so hidden.
Planet of the Vapes, a vaporizer and smoke shop, stepped in to warn its potential customers of the speed limit. It installed a massive billboard atop the underpass on West 117th Street, with an image of a speeding camera and large text reading: “THIS IS A STRICT 25 MPH ZONE: A reminder courtesy of Planet of the Vapes.”
The bold text can be read all the way from the intersection of West 117th Street and Bellaire Road.
“We do have other billboards for our actual shops, but that one sparked interest, one, to put our name out there, but also due to the fact that there is that camera out there,” says Kari Pearson, the regional director of sales and marketing for Planet of the Vapes. “I truly do feel like it’s a money grab; just trying to snag people.”
Pearson, who lives in the area, isn’t the only person who feels that way. Customers have come to the Parma location of Planet of the Vapes saying that the billboard helped them avoid getting a ticket on the way, Pearson says.
“We’ve had people say that actually helped them, that it helped them notice their speed,” Pearson says. “It helps keep the community safe and aware of their speed.”
However, the billboard has drawn a bit of negative attention, too, Pearson says.
“Recently I had a lady call — something about asking us to take it down. They even suggested legal action, an obstruction of justice charge,” Pearson says. “I don’t know the City of Linndale, what their thing was on that, but I did respond to say that we’ve dealt with bigger cities that have issues with things. We’re not going to allow somebody to bully us into taking that down, just because a city isn’t profiting anymore, off the camera there.”