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What's cool about Cleveland's pop up complete and green street

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/02/12 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Transportation choices

A complete and green street demonstration went live in Cleveland over the weekend. If you are downtown this week, stroll or bike over to Rockwell Avenue (behind the Main Cleveland Public Library) and check out the handiwork of Cleveland Urban Design Center students.

Test-ride the cycle track, which is a buffered two-way bike lane. You can see what it feels like to bike on a Cleveland street separated from traffic (by a strip of turf and handsome 2-ft. x 4-ft. planters). Take a seat on a BiFi bench, designed to absorb rain water below you with plants and a bioswale system from local firm, Filtrexx. The students did a top-notch job recycling wood palettes and rigging them up WiFi hotspots.

In all, this is the kind of creative spark Cleveland needs to see. It signals that streets are places of innovation; challenging what we assume is sacrosanct. The public right of way is not that hard to re-imagine as people friendly. With a few thousand dollars, a hard working crew given the permission (or not) can reshape the road even in the heart of Cleveland so that bikes, pedestrians and creative loafing (or ideation if you'd rather) belong.

In addition to the launch event last Saturday, organizers will host a complete and green streets training session with local planning and transportation officials that includes a site visit to Rockwell on Thursday. Also coming up this week: The Cleveland Critical Mass Ride will roll out from Rockwell.

Pop up Rockwell also supports a small data collection project, with time-elapse video measuring contributing to a before and after count of Rockwell. The project lines up with official bike counts which NOACA is conducting starting this week.

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