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The Lake to Lakes Trail

Renewed interest in cycling and a rising chorus of people who want to ride from home to their favorite destinations has led to a number of new trail building projects.

Biking across University Circle<br />The midway point in the Lake (Erie) to (Shaker) Lakes Trail, completed in 2012 with off-road trails, sidewalks and in some cases, dirt paths.Linking with the past<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail incorporates the existing Harrison-Dillard Bikeway, here through the median of Stokes Boulevard.Biking culture<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail has amazing views of architecture and art, including this piece from the David E. Davis Sculpture Garden along Stokes Boulevard.Tough sledding<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail has to traverse the difficult 'spaghetti bowl' of streets, here Carnegie Avenue, at the base of Cedar Hill.Linking business<br />BioEnterprise (building in the distance) and University Circle's 40,000 employees now have a viable bike link to Shaker Heights. <br />Transit links, too<br />This RTA bus loop will be replaced by a park, but the Rapid station at University Circle is being rebuilt.<br />Park connection<br />The Rudy Rogers Boy Scout park historically has been an underused green space between two commuting arterials. Perhaps the trail will help enliven it.<br /><br /><br /><br />Infrastructure tourism<br />The Baldwin Water Treatment plant for the city of Cleveland is an outstanding piece of architecture tucked in to the hill side climb to the Heights.<br /><br />Gateways<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail is along a major commute corridor and the entryway to the Larchmere neighborhood, home to world famous Shaker Square.<br /><br />Trail merging<br />At the entrance to Shaker Heights, the Lake to Lakes trail merges with the sidewalk.Fairhill in Shaker<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail transitions to a sidewalk as it crosses into Shaker Heights.Crossing Fairhill<br />The planning extension of the Lake to Lakes Trail will be facilitated by a crosswalk at Fairhill and North Moreland roads.Crossing Fairhill<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail extension will run along the north side of Fairhill Road pictured in the background.Trail extension<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail will be extended on this stretch of Fairhill Road in 2014.Coventry extension<br />The Lake to Lakes will be extended as a side path for Coventry Road.<br />North Park at Coventry<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail will improve walking and biking between Cleveland and Shaker Heights.This way to Shaker Lakes<br />The Lake to Lakes Trail extension planned for 2014 will include a spur leading to the Lower Shaker Lake. North Park Boulevard west<br />A new side path will connect North Park, where a dirt path and a bike lane can be found, with Fairhill Road which contains the Lake to Lakes Trail. North Park bike lane<br />A bike lane on North Park Boulevard west of Coventry in Cleveland Heights.Where the sidewalk ends<br />At the entrance to the Shaker Lakes, the sidewalk suddenly gives way (at SouthPark Road).<br /><br /><br />Stately<br />The sidewalk periodically returns -- if infrastructure is incomplete, the views along the dirt paths are nice. It points to room for improvement as the Eastside Greenway looks at a network of greenways and bike infrastructure.<br />Bioswale at Lower Shaker Lake<br /><br />Lower Shaker Lake<br />
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One of the more exciting trails built in recent years in Cleveland is the Lake-to-Lakes Trail. The 3-mile trail that runs from the shores of Lake Erie through Rockefeller Park along MLK Drive to Shaker Lakes and other points south and east goes a long way toward better connecting the eastern suburbs with University Circle.

The trail weaves together a number of planning initiatives, starting with the elimination of the ‘suicide’ traffic circle at E. 105th Street and MLK. Construction is underway (March, 2013) to create a proper intersection that should vastly improve the ability of cyclists, pedestrians and cars to safely share the road. University Circle, Inc. is also planning improvements to the Harrison-Dillard Bikeway on the other side of MLK (behind the art museum) and new transit waiting environments.

The Lake-to-Lakes Trail will benefit from a number of other improvements where it connects to the street grid. For example, improved intersections at Euclid Avenue, and at Carnegie and Cedar (by the Rapid station) will make it a straight, clear shot to pick up the trail on Stokes (which runs through the grassy median in front of the Children’s Museum and the Cleveland School of the Arts).

But, the biggest improvement is a new trail system heading up the hill. A trail was built along MLK (under the rail bridge) that will connect with an improved trail through Ambler Park and with a new section of bike trail along the north side of Fairhill (across from the Baldwin Water Treatment plant) to the top of the hill by the old Kaiser site. There, a new intersection at MLK and Fairhill Road improves safety, and an off-road trail offers a link to Shaker Heights and to Cleveland's Shaker Square. A trail heading east will continue along Fairhill to the border of Shaker, and a new trail spur will be built along MLK (at the eastern edge of the Baldwin property) heading south to Shaker Boulevard and the new St. Luke’s Point LEED-ND development.

The city of Shaker Heights has indicated it will build a trail extension along Fairhill Road—from North Moreland to Coventry Road and North Park Boulevard, the entrance to the Lower Shaker Lakes Trail.

“The city has $488,000 in our capital budget to start the project,” says Cleveland bike/pedestrian planner Marty Cader. “We’re still waiting to get estimates on what it will cost to build the trail.”

See the Lake-to-Lakes Trail presentation.

Update

The city secured $1.3 million to pay the firm Wade Trim to complete design and engineering of the Lake to Lakes trail by July, 2010, Cleveland city planner Marty Cader said in April, 2010. Construction is targeted for 2011, with the biggest challenge the section of trail that navigates through the Cedar/Carnegie/Fairhill/Stearns spaghetti bowl.

The city cut the ribbon on the Lake to Lakes Trail in 2012 (see the image gallery on this page, taken in March 2013).

Shaker and Cleveland Heights announced in late 2013 that they will extend the Lake to Lakes Trail east -- on the north side of Fairhill Road as it wraps around Coventry Road to the lower Shaker Lake.

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