- This June-a full two years after the city of Cleveland passed its bike parking ordinance-all parking garage operators in the city will be required to install bike racks. One bike spot for every 20 car spots with a maximum of 24 bike racks means the city should have an instant infusion of new bike parking.
We'll have to keep an eye out on how the garage operators are rising to the occasion. If a recent visit to three of the largest garages downtown is an indication, the garages fall short of providing enough bike parking to meet the ordinance, and when they do have racks, they don't represent best practices (or even close).
An upside down U or 'staplerack' is the preferred option-but we found mostly 'grid' bike racks (aka 'wheel benders'). The garage at 515 Euclid (above), has 524 car spaces so it will be required to install enough racks for 24 bikes. Right now, it has a double sided 6-bike rack that is installed against a wall (eliminating three possible bike spots).
At the 'BP' or 200 Public Square garage (left), a single-sided 9-bike rack means another 15 bike parking spots are needed (both the BP and 515 at least have their racks located near the entrance to the garage). At Key Tower garage, a double-sided 10 bike rack is installed in the depths of the garage and in a way that only fits five bikes (making them short 19 spots).
While we give credit to these garage owners for offering free bike parking to date, downtown parking garage owners might take a page from the Cleveland Clinic which installed inverted 'U' bike racks-18 in its new E. 89th Street Garage and 13 racks in its new E. 93rd Street Garage (pictured right), right at the entrance. While some of the downtown decisions may predate the new bike parking ordinance, it does illustrate a gap in understanding what is a good bike rack and how cyclists might prefer to use them. Unless someone steps into the void and provides garage owners more education and perhaps coordination of purchasing, we might see more sub-par bike racks and garage owners missing an opportunity to declare themselves 'green' or advertise themselves as multimodal facilities. See more bike parking photos in our transportation image galleries.
- Not wanting to waste a good crisis-that is, we've run out of places to put more than 250,000 cubic yards of soil a year clogging the shipping channel in the Flats that washes off properties as more exurban development between Cleveland and Akron comes online-the Army Corps, the Port and the city of Cleveland are in a race to come up with alternatives. Addressing the problem at the source will mean a new kind of regional cooperation. The Army Corps in its final report on the 'dredging crisis' recommends in the short term moving the dredge from the river to contaminated industrial sites, to urban gardens (after remediation), to fill in old mines or to build the city in the lake as envisioned in the Cleveland Lakefront Plan. Long term, the report recommends that a task force be formed to address the source of the problem, and come up with solutions for better management of land around the Cuyahoga River in the Valley, with possible riparian setbacks and green infrastructure in suburban developments. Read the full report.
- Lansing, Michigan wants to be known as a walk and bike friendly community. Last week, it approved Complete Streets legislation. Word is, statewide legislation is being drafted with lots of group support, including League of Michigan Bicyclists and notably the American Association of Retired People (AARP). C'mon Ohio – are we going to let Michigan beat us?
- A group in Ohio City is hosting a public meeting about the upcoming Market Square TLCI planning process and an open a dialogue about livable, safe and Complete Streets in their neighborhood and all of Cleveland. Link.
- We noticed a new flow chart on RTA's vending machines trying to explain the overly complicated system of payment. Two years after they've been out there and after a torrent of complaints, when can Cleveland expect a completely new machine interface? (The vendor was on site in Cleveland in January working with RTA to scrap the old and implement a new system, so we expect to hear news on this soon).
- Officials with Linking Employment Abilities and Potential in Lorain County are trying to start a Lorain County Transit coalition of community members, residents and citizens who are affected by the loss of Lorain County Transit, Deborah Nebel, of LEAP, said.
"To me, it's trying to bring the situation to the grassroots level and building local interest to educate the public and educate public policy makers on the need to invest in public transportation," said Nebel, director of public policy.
The first organizational meeting for the new coalition is Thursday at 10 a.m. at the First Lutheran Church, 603 Washington Ave., Lorain.
LEAP will also host a meeting later that same day in Cleveland for creating a Cuyahoga County Transit Coalition to reverse cuts to RTA services. That's April 15 1:30-3 p.m., LEAP offices, 1468 West 25th St., Cleveland (just south of Detroit Avenue in the Ohio City neighborhood).