Marc Lefkowitz | 03/21/11 @ 2:52pm
- If Clifton Boulevard were a family duo on The Biggest Loser, one contestant just wrote its ticket home. Lakewood and Cleveland were, for more than a year, working together to slim down the wide and pockmarked boulevard as a more pedestrian and transit friendly place, but Lakewood fell off the wagon when the going got tough (its funding from Ohio's new ODOT regime was threatened). Little did it matter that $15 million from the 2009 Stimulus fund was dedicated and partly spent to re-design the major commuting corridor connecting Cleveland and its west side suburbs-there will be no road diet for big fat Clifton.
- Are Cleveland and Columbus separated by more than just 150 miles? The cities seem worlds apart on the will to reshape their streets. How mid-sized cities compete for young knowledge workers will depend on their attractiveness, which, when you break that down, means thriving neighborhoods and plenty of opportunity for walking and biking (not waiting in gridlock to drive home). Yes, Columbus is booming; Cleveland and Northeast Ohio's population continues to dip. Columbus-with its big youth population adopted bike and pedestrian friendly policy like Complete Streets. It has created 14 miles of bike lanes on its streets since 2008, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Columbus also has added pavement markings-or "sharrows"-and signs along 37 additional miles to welcome cyclists to the streets. Cleveland meanwhile is moving in slow motion around livable streets-the Euclid Corridor, its only bonafide bike lane, was completed in 2008.
- The news isn't all bleak for Cleveland. Thanks to an advocacy effort for a multi-modal Innerbelt Bridge, the idea of biking, walking and enjoying scenic views from a big bridge was introduced to the region. Ultimately, this informal but well organized group of citizens ? known as Access for All-created hope and a lasting movement with some capacity to present a vision for complete streets in Cleveland. It was a big reason ODOT agreed to commit $6 million to improving the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge with a multi-modal path and connections including bike lanes on Abbey Avenue connecting Tremont and Ohio City to downtown
The Cuyahoga-Cleveland River Crossing Trail, as its now being called, is moving ahead. The project involves the construction of an all-purpose trail along various routes over the Cuyahoga River Valley. The proposed routes include Abbey Avenue, West 20th Street, Lorain Road and the Hope Memorial Bridge in Cleveland. The project's estimated construction cost is $6,600,000. Eighty percent ($5,280,000) of the construction cost will be funded with State Transportation Enhancement (E/STP-S) funds. ODOT 12 will fund the twenty percent ($1,320,000) non-federal share. The project's estimated award date is April 19, 2012.