The Cleveland area is easy to navigate around, being based on a grid pattern. Lake Erie is north, and most north-south streets are numbered, starting from Public Square downtown and proceeding east and west. For example, E. 40th Street is just east of downtown, while W. 210th Street is in the west suburbs. Two highways run south from downtown, I-77 which is nearly the east-west dividing line, and I-71, which veers southwest towards Hopkins Airport. Two east-west highways, I-90 close to the lake, and I-480, about 15 miles south, quickly move travelers from one side of town to another - except during morning and evening rush hour, when traffic on all the highways slow down. The Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90), an east-west toll road, runs further south on its route across northern Ohio from Pennyslvania to Indiana.

Downtown visitors are advised that the Innerbelt Bridge project has caused some changes to traffic patterns and closed highway exits on I-90.

Using public transportation such as the downtown free trolleys, Healthline bus rapid or the rail rapid lines, all operated by RTA, are a better choice than driving downtown and between downtown and other neighborhoods, such as the Market District, Shaker Square, Univeristy Circle and LIttle Italy.