Blog › Will city embrace bikes on bridge; vacant land 2019 group to be ambassadors; subdivisions growing food


Will city embrace bikes on bridge; vacant land 2019 group to be ambassadors; subdivisions growing food

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/22/09 @ 10:41am

Transportation cyclists, walking club members, business owners, religious leaders, congressional aides and Cleveland residents packed the room at the region's transportation agency board meeting on December 11 with many voicing their desire for a bike and pedestrian space on the new Innerbelt Bridge. The outpouring of support provided a shot in the arm for some NOACA trustees to join existing board members who have expressed support for complete streets. They questioned ODOT staffers, who were present, why they are unwilling to consider bike and pedestrian accommodations on the bridge.

"$20 million (ODOT's estimated cost for a bike/ped path on the bridge) doesn't sound like much in the total ($450 million) for the project," said Board member and Lafayette Township Trustee Linda Bowers.

Cleveland Heights City Manager and board member Robert Downey asked if ODOT had produced a price tag yet for the bike/ped lane (as an aside, the cost may be less than $20 million, which is ODOT's figure to build enough infrastructure to support cars and trucks). And Daniel P. Troy, board member and Lake County Commissioner also expressed support, noting he would like to see more Complete Streets produced by NOACA.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is how little faith the city of Cleveland has in backing its past convictions. Cleveland Planning Director Bob Brown noted that the City Planning Commission voted to support a bike and pedestrian lane on the bridge in 2006, but Brown's comments suggested the city isn't convinced of the groundswell of support for the bike/ped accommodation in the project's RFP, even though it could easily be amended (especially notable is how the bridge footprint is still an connector route on the city's master bike plan).

Finally, NOACA's own bike plan eloquently makes the case for a resolution of support. NOACA's long-range plan also calls for the agency to address climate change.  

In the year 2030 ...We envision that many more people choose to bicycle for transportation for many reasons, including concerns about climate change, increased gas prices, air quality, and health. A wide variety of safe and convenient bikeways have been provided to the traveling public. Great strides have been made toward providing a regional bikeway system that is safe, convenient, and fully integrated into the transportation system. Many more facilities are planned for the future to encourage even more people to bicycle for transportation.

To learn more and to get involved, click here.

?On Tuesday, December 15 more than 60 participants gathered at CSU to design the core elements of a communications and collaboration platform for Sustainable Cleveland 2019. The participants identified specific needs that would bolster communication within and between the 20 outcome groups as well as externally to Northeast Ohio, the nation, and to key decision makers such as Cleveland city government. A small design team formed to develop a scope of work and identify resources to move this forward. The city anticipates having a prototype within a month.

?ReImagine a More Sustainable Cleveland is moving from study into a far-reaching sustainability program. First came the announcement that the city will fund 58 pilot projects. Now a joint effort between the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and Neighborhood Progress, Inc. with cooperation from the city of Cleveland will locate best opportunities for catalytic green infrastructure and urban agriculture projects (for example, a commercial greenhouse in the Forgotten Triangle area of the city's east side, a project being pursued by the city). ReImagine 2.0 as its being called will also identify policy changes at the city to scale up the reuse of vacant land, and it will spearhead a local food feasibility study. UDC and NPI have invited the 2019 summit to plug into the project. The sustainability summit group focused on vacant land will serve as ambassadors and engage neighbors on how vacant land regeneration could be hyper-local examples of sustainable land use. 

?Speaking of sustainable land use, New Urban News has spotted an exciting trend in the suburbs. Traditional neighborhood development (TND) ? subdivisions that are designed for walking and biking ? have been sprouting up for decades. New Urbanism developers are now seeing a rise in TNDs that incorporate farms or community gardens. Laurel in Yuma, Arizona will contain a 25-acre community farm. Serenbe a TND in Palmetto, Georgia has a farm that sells shares of the harvest to surrounding neighborhoods. And at Hammond's Ferry in North Augusta, South Carolina (pictured above) developers allocated $50,000 a year to set up Blue Clay Farm. The farm attracted a local baker to set up a café in the middle of the subdivision and pay his employees to tend the farm (the café buys the food that ends up being served).

"The next few years should see extensive experimentation in how to fit farms and gardens into communities and how to organize their operations and finances," writes New Urban News editor Philip Langdon. "The nation appears to be on the cusp of a more satisfying relationship to food production."  

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