Blog › Open minds and open access: Designs for better Innerbelt bridge


Open minds and open access: Designs for better Innerbelt bridge

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/02/09 @ 3:31pm

ClevelandBikes, the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op, GreenCityBlueLake Institute, the Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and others are developing a plan for a cycling and pedestrian lane on the proposed I-90 bridge, from Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood to downtown Cleveland. So far, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has refused to consider accommodating all Clevelanders, despite strong public support and legal requirements. Access for all on highway bridges is a reality for 30 communities across the United States; it can happen in Cleveland with your support. 

A rally to support pedestrian and bike access on the bridge will be held this Sunday, December 6 at 2 p.m. at Lincoln Park in Tremont (W. 14th Street and Kenilworth Avenue). Anyone interested in safe, convenient and healthy car-free access between Downtown and Tremont (and a great scenic overlook of downtown) is invited to attend. The event is free, and refreshments and entertainment will be provided. Cyclists are urged to ride their bikes, with free mechanical safety checks provided by the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op. Helmets are strongly suggested, and OCBC will have some available to borrow or purchase.

The rally will evaluate alternative walking and biking routes proposed by ODOT for the bridge and present other information about a dedicated path over the bridge. Participants will divide into groups, taking a different route from Lincoln Park to the intersection of Ontario Street and Carnegie Avenue, where a brief rally will address the issues of equity and civic interest in this nearly $1 billion project, before returning to Tremont for refreshments and discussion of strategies for further public input in this process.

After the rally, the job is not over. Please consider attending and voicing your support at a very important follow up: The December 11 meeting of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) at 10 a.m. when this local board will review an informational presentation on ODOT's final design proposal for this project.   All written comments submitted to NOACA before Dec. 10 will be distributed to board members.

If you cannot make the meeting, consider sending an email, calling, or writing the Mayor's action line 216.664.2900, and the ODOT project director, Craig Hebebrand, at 216.581.2100 to let ODOT know you support biking and walking the proposed I-90/71 bridge. This huge taxpayer investment-ODOT's largest ever-will affect the places we live, work and play for the rest of our lives. Any donations to the event organizers will be used to help pay for engineering and professional services to document ODOT miscalculations of the feasibility and cost to safely accommodate pedestrians and cyclists in this project.

For more information, please stay tuned and visit http://www.gcbl.org/innerbelt

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