Chris Bongorno | 02/05/09 @ 3:58pm
Last week, I had the privilege of joining a delegation of Clevelanders on a trip to Chicago to tour and learn about the McDonald's Cycle Center in Millennium Park. This innovative bike station features indoor parking for 300 bicycles, shower facilities, a supply and repair shop, as well as playing host to a rental and tour business. The endeavor has been very successful in Chicago and our group learned a lot about how the facility was designed and operates.
Why were we there? Because the City of Cleveland will be building its first bike station downtown later this year in one of the Gateway garages. UCI also plans to incorporate a station into its Mayfield Road Lot 45 development, a location that can serve Little Italy and University Circle residents, visitors, and employees and which will be tied closely to adjacent mixed-use developments and RTA bus and rapid facilities.
Cities across the country are investing in bicycle infrastructure in order to promote more sustainable, affordable commuting options, which will result in more livable communities for everyone. Cleveland is no exception, with a newly adopted Bikeway Master Plan, new laws, and several million dollars in capital investments either completed, planned, or underway.
University Circle has some of the best bicycle accommodations in the region, with more than 1,000 bike racks and connections to the Harrison Dillard Bikeway and the new Euclid Avenue bike lanes. The Lake-to-Lakes Trail could break ground later this year and further enhancements are in the works in a number of locations. UCI's Circle Bikes program provides a "bicycle library," with free loaner bikes that can be made available to UCI member institutions. We are looking forward to expanding this program in the future, perhaps with the help of a CIA student who is designing a bike sharing program from the ground up!
Chicago's extensive bicycle infrastructure took decades to build and they'll be the first to tell you that they still have work to do. Cleveland has its work cut out for it as well, but we have a path and a plan and implementation is underway.