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Looking for lessons as $6M urban bike way breaks ground

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/02/12 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Biking, Transportation choices

· Access for All was the bike advocacy campaign that won a $6 million makeover for biking and walking from Tremont to downtown Cleveland. The first stage-bike lanes on Abbey Avenue- breaks ground this month. What lessons can bike advocates take from the campaign? For example, is it important to recognize that accepting compromise-from ODOT to build a new bike connection including a new Lorain-Carnegie bike path-can lead to the right outcome - better transportation options in Cleveland?

Gary Toth of Project for Public Spaces offers a good take away for bike advocates-define the problem (not the solution). For example, the problem- safe and convenient cycling and walking was not a good option between Tremont-Ohio City and downtown. While the campaign initially focused on the solution, a bike path on the Innerbelt Bridge, the campaign was flexible enough to recognize that ODOT's compromise was an acceptable solution, and because of that we have hope for more success in the future.

· Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland took top honors from American Planning Association's "Innovation in Sustaining Places". The hope is the city's vacant land re-use strategy, which was adopted as policy in 2008, will "make the fragmented grid whole again" by adhering to a triage approach to vacant land, an article in "Planning Magazine" explains. How Cleveland now turns the vision into a driver of economic gain and hitches the quality of life of its residents to, say, helping them gain access to land for growing their own food or lowering their sewer bills by building highly functional green spaces, one hopes is a top priority of the Jackson Administration.

· Northeast Ohio green building professionals think we need a break through not a chipping away at the edifice of global warming. They've joined up with the national Architecture 2030 movement. The idea is to set an aggressive but appropriate target of 90% reductions in energy use from buildings by 2030. Locally that might take the form of thousands of old homes retrofitted for 'factor of 10' energy reductions. Ed Mazria, the father of 2030, will explain how do we get there from here on May 10 at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It's the kick off for Cleveland's 2030 District group.

· May is Bike Month and more that 50 scheduled events are yours to behold, like the family friendly Old Brooklyn Pedal for Prizes, Bike to Work Day, bicycle art shows, repair clinics at Eddy's Bike Shop, Towpath Pajama Rides, and much more. See all of the events on the Cleveland Bicycle Month Calendar.

· Your health is a great reason to bike, but if you need a little extra motivator, why not download this cool app that uses GPS to record your biking and walking trips. It's being used by teams of 10 competing city-to-city during Bike Month.

· Mark Gorton, founder of Streetsblog and OpenPlans, will speak at the City Club on May 9 at 5 p.m. about "Designing Cities for People, Not Cars." Gorton's background is in technology (he's the founder of Limewire). He is also founder of a global quantitative trading firm that last week inspired the Huffington Post headline, "The Man That's Beating Wall Street." He is a board member at Transportation Alternatives, New York City's bike advocacy group, which has helped establish New York as a national leader in cycling.

· The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium – a 12-county effort to plan for growth as a region – raised some good discussion points on this morning's WCPN Sound of Ideas. Callers asked some great questions. Andrew wanted to know what infrastructure investments would the Consortium recommend for Northeast Ohio that helps us grow more sustainably? Jean wanted to know what the Consortium could do to curtain infrastructure from plowing under the rural character of her town?

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