Marc Lefkowitz | 03/04/10 @ 4:00pm
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote to Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH) today urging him to include a bicycle and pedestrian path in construction plans for the replacement Innerbelt Bridge in downtown Cleveland. The project, recently described as "Ohio's largest single infrastructure project ever," will be partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
"With a strong and growing bicycling community in Cleveland, a sizeable carless population, and new development in nearby neighborhoods, it would be penny-wise and pound-foolish to build this bridge with only cars and trucks in mind," wrote Sen. Brown. "We can only do this project once, and it is critical we do it right."
Brown praised the work of the Ohio Department of Transportation under Gov. Strickland's administration, noting its unprecedented approach to supporting different modes of transportation.
Brown has been an outspoken advocate for diversifying forms of transportation in Ohio. In October 2009, Sen. Brown led a bipartisan group of 14 members of the Ohio Delegation in sending a letter to the Department of Transportation, urging that Ohio be strongly considered for funds to develop passenger rail corridor across the state. In January, Ohio was awarded more than $400 million in funds to expand high speed rail lines connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton.
Full text of Sen. Brown's letter to the governor can be found here.
The chorus of support from the state's elected leaders is growing. In addition to Sen. Brown's letter, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, State Rep. Mike Skindell (District 13 which is the west side of the bridge) and State Senator Dale Miller also wrote letters to Governor Strickland asking him to direct ODOT to build the Innerbelt Bridge with a separated, multipurpose bike-pedestrian path on the bridge.
If you would like to thank Senator Brown for his letter, you can call his office in Cleveland: (216) 522-7272.