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Cleveland will pursue Complete Streets; gardens for all another target for Healthy City initiative

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/04/11 @ 3:07pm

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is supporting the development of a Complete Streets policy as part of the Healthy Cleveland initiative. Complete Streets was not present in the original draft of the resolution, but it did make it back into the one passed by city council yesterday. Thanks to a coalition of advocates for a livable city and members of his own cabinet, the mayor agreed, rightly, to pursue this important policy that considers the design of streets and sidewalks which provide access for all.

We congratulate the mayor, and encourage him to take the lead on developing a comprehensive policy, one that considers the health of residents, many of whom don't have cars but travel on all of the city's roadways by bike, on foot and by public transit.

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A city garden within walking distance of every Cleveland resident by 2020 is another point of light in the Healthy Cleveland resolution. Cleveland has 3,000 vacant lots-the city can do much to encourage some of them to be re-purposed as community gardens. It will need to partner with groups that have financial resources like the philanthropic foundations (and tap into massive revitalization efforts like those funded by a $14.75 million Living Cities grant, which includes a goal for strong neighborhoods and green business development). The city will also need to update policies to make the garden goal happen-including removing or altering a five-year limit on land bank property used for these special community gardens. It shouldn't hesitate to use its urban garden zoning overlay to protect in perpetuity this grand vision for access to healthy food in every corner of the city.

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