Marc Lefkowitz | 12/10/09 @ 2:51pm
Take a stand for better transportation options in Cleveland. You are invited to testify at tomorrow's NOACA Board meeting about why a bike and pedestrian path on the new $450 million Innerbelt Bridge is so clearly wanted and needed. GreenCityBlueLake Institute, ClevelandBikes, Ohio City Bike Co-Op, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, EarthDay Coalition and others will present a design and facts (such as, how it works in 30 communities across the country) for ODOT and NOACA to consider.
Letters of support for a beautiful and scenic bike and pedestrian space on the new bridge are pouring in every day to GreenCityBlueLake. The following excerpt is from a letter sent by Ryan McKenzie, founder and President of CityWheels. It informs NOACA that advocates have been pushing ODOT for more than four years on this issue, and ends with a direct request for NOACA to adopt a new vision for the bridge.As a member of the Innerbelt Committee years ago, I was among those who gave our valuable time and energy to ODOT's long public process. Many of us repeatedly raised the need for nonmotorized access on the Innerbelt bridge, and I am disappointed to see that ODOT has, to date, dismissed this potential without a methodical and thorough review.
I urge the NOACA staff and board to require non-motorized access within ODOT's scope for final bridge design and construction. Whether as a matter of social and economic justice, environmental sustainability or civic pride, the people of Cleveland deserve the very best effort of ODOT to truly serve all members of our northeast Ohio community.
-Ryan McKenzie, founder and President of CityWheels
And here's an excerpt from a letter to the editor which ran in Cleveland.com (Plain Dealer) on Dec. 9.While I am supportive of the new bridge, I am deeply concerned that as of yet there are no plans to include pedestrian and bicycle options on the bridge. I feel that this is a serious flaw in the plans, and goes against significant current wisdom regarding urban bridges. There are many safe and successful bridges being built around the country that easily incorporate access and routes for foot and bicycle traffic. I urge you to advocate to the Ohio Department of Transportation for such plans in our new bridge.
-Rev. Allen V. Harris, pastor of Franklin Circle Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Cleveland.