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Who's ready to Rust Belt Battle?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/06/13 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Biking

This Wednesday is Bike to School Day, a national movement to return the bike and little-foot power to the center of the community.

Bike to School week in Bay Village<br />attracts hundreds of students and teachers to ride their bike to schoolPop up Rockwell<br />Students at Kent State University School of Design installed a temporary complete street on Rockwell Avenue in downtown Cleveland in 2011. Bike lanes on Case campus<br />In 2012, Case Western Reserve University added bike lanes on the paths of their campusBiking downtown Cleveland<br />As more people choose to bike to work, Northeast Ohio cities can do a lot to make cycling safer and more convenient.Biking on the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park<br />Northeast Ohio has some great recreational trails for cyclists. Now there's growing demand for trails that meet real transportation needs.

As 850 kids on bikes in Bay Village, Rocky River and Medina demonstrated last year, it is a fun and healthy alternative to the mom-and-dad bus. Those west side suburbs were organized by local bike shop, Century Cycles, but every city in the region is invited to participate.

You can get in on the action and show how serious Cleveland is about biking. May is Bike Month. Join others around the Cleveland area competing in the National Bike Challenge. This year, we’re taking on fearsome rival, Pittsburgh, in the Rust Belt Battle. Log miles on your mobile with this cool app. Connect with fellow cyclists in a big celebration on May 17 for Bike to Work Day.

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park is looking to expand its trail system, but first it needs to know the environmental impact. You can see the trails plan and comment on its cost-benefit.

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The Cincinnati Streetcar is one of the most heavily anticipated public transit projects in recent memory. It will provide a link between the downtown business district and the Findlay Market and Over-the-Rhine districts, offering greater transportation options while reducing emissions and driving economic development and revitalization.

Supporters raced to its defense last week as cost estimates came in high and city council started to falter. Sierra Club called it one of the Top 50 public transit projects in the country. The organization has written a letter of support that touts the beehive of real estate activity under way since the announcement of the project.

“Like other streetcars, (it) will not merely be a method for getting from point A to point B, but rather a fixture in the fabric of the city that will enhance the livability, economic investment, and character of Cincinnati,” Sierra states.

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We’ve seen the studies before that link transit to recession-proof development. The connection of lower foreclosures and transit, however, is a ripple that Rust Belt regions might want to study for themselves.

With a sample of 40,000 mortgages in Chicago, Jacksonville, and San Francisco, the American Association of Public Transit Agencies found the probability of mortgage default increased as the auto-ownership rates rose. In high-income areas, the likelihood of default decreased with better WalkScores; the results did not hold true in low income areas, however.

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5 years ago

May 6, 2013 -- A record 1,183 students biked to five Northeast Ohio schools for the kick-off of Bike to School Challenge (www.centurycycles.com/for/BTS), an award-winning program in Bay Village, Medina and Rocky River that encourages students to bike to school for three weeks each May to help the environment, improve their health and be more physically active, win prizes and have fun.

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