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Bikes at the Dike?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/14/07 @ 3:57pm

Last week's Free Times ran a short article denouncing bike access on the future nature preserve at Dike 14. Bike access at Dike 14 is part of Cleveland's new Bikeway Master Plan, which was approved by Cleveland City Planning Commission last Friday. The article states that environmentalists are against allowing bikes onto Dike 14 for fear that it will disturb trail users and migratory birds which use the 88-acre site as a rest stop.

Some environmentalists, however, think there might be room to plan for a shared-use path leading from the main entrance along the perimeter to the 'beak' or western-most point of Dike 14 without it disturbing the most sensitive birding areas in the interior. They argue that pedestrians, more than cars or faster moving vehicles, are often more of a disturbance to nesting birds like hawks and eagles (as the recent blockade to a portion of the Cuyahoga Valley Towpath Trail near the nest of eagles illustrates).

It's a sensitive issue because cyclists and hikers have historically been segregated by trail design. The legacy is inherent in this comment: "If you have any bike access (to Dike 14) mountain bikes will invade and destroy everything. City people have plenty of noise and machinery-we need to offer them a chance to connect to the natural world. Lower blood pressure, less violence, brain works better-lots of solid evidence."

Read more about Dike 14 here. Is there room for cyclists at Dike 14 on the perimeter trail to the western point, or should it be pedestrian-only?

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