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Cleveland-Akron: Bicycling Developments and News

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Today I was sitting in work at around 4 p.m. reading the horrible updates about Floyd Landis (this troubles me 1,000X more than the Browns, Indians and Cavs combined - hopefully that describes my interests, lol), and I was thinking "Dang! I have really been falling behind in my bike riding lately."

 

So, I headed straight home and hit the road!

 

As I live in Lakewood, my normal route is to go down Lake and then cut up into the Rocky River Reservation Metropark, which offers good scenery and decent roads to ride on. Plus it's ginmormous, so you connect into the Cuyahoga Valley if you're ambitious (I haven't done this yet:), and it has relatively low traffic volume. Anywho, I got into the park at around 6 p.m. and for the next hour, I was yelled at four times to get off the road -- that's a record for me. This drives me insane because: #1, the park people have clearly posted "Share the Road" signs all over the place and they don't mean SUVs sharing the road with Hondas #2, the speed limit is 30 mph, but with all the kids, you probably shouldn't be going that fast, although people drive closer 40+ anyway #3, it's supposed to be a PARK not the autobahn - people treate it as if its supposed to be another West Side artery.

 

I hate to say it, but I think drivers are worse here than in Detroit!

 

Last summer I lived in rural Michigan and there was nothing to do, and I was putting in some good mileage for a casual road cyclist ~60 miles a week if the weather and work cooperated. I was riding on the rural country roads with similar traffic volumes and in the Detroit metroparks, and the whole summer, I averaged one heckler a week.

 

I average at least one heckler a day here. I guess this is just a general rant. I don't know if it's like this in other Ohio cities, but for me it's a big turnoff. Some people like the beach, other people like the mountains, some people like drinking beer at Browns games. I like cycling; it's one of the top five things I look at when I chose to live somewhere!

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I don't know about NE Ohio but I do know that SW Ohio is one of those "meccas" for cyclists.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Found this on www.gcbl.org and thought 'Damn! Great idea!'

 

The photo depicts a currently vacant space in a parking structure (the white building in the center), owned and operated by the city of Cleveland, located near E. 4th Street and the Quicken Loans Arena.

 

files?file=cleveland_bikeparkingsite2.jpg

 

Is this the potential home of a bike station? The City will be working with ClevelandBikes and other partners to review a proposal and hire architects to consider suitability. We shall see how this works out, but it's an exciting possibility for the region's bike commuters.

 

As readers may recall, a bike station offers a variety of services, including secure bike parking and shower facilities for individuals commuting to work on bike. Other sites may include bike rental/touring assistance, car sharing services and others.  Bike stations are popular on the west coast and Europe (www.bikestation.org), but this facility would be a terrific new addition for downtown Cleveland. Other bike station and bike parking initiatives are developing elsewhere in the city and region as well. 

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Walkability in the 3 Cs isn't enough: bikeability is needed for places where you're near a walkable area, but not that close. Some of those developments west of the vertical strip of High St which consists of the Short North would be an example. It's a bit of a walk from them. They're doable, but biking would be an attractive option. Speaking of bikeability, check this out:

 

http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/cps/checklist.htm

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Encouraging news -- though I just got done posting a rant about biking in Cleveland in the "random venting" thread!

 

Another great link for Cleveland biking is Cleveland Bikes (the org behind this station proposal): www.clevelandbikes.org

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Did you know the city has been installing bike racks in all of its wards this summer?

They 492 racks going up all over the city.

 

this finally explains why there were little white boxes with an "x" inside painted all over the city sidewalks.  i had hoped these were future bases for unified newspaper and magazine racks, but bike racks are great as well.

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Not to complain about a great thing, but I hope the bike racks aren't as ugly as the ones shown. If so, I'm currently signing up Urban Ohioers to covertly decorate them under the cover of night.

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^As far as I know, yes, they are.  And yes, we should hold our own design competition to make them less offensive!

 

I recently discovered this information myself and it solved the mystery of the side-by-side "X"s on city sidewalks.  I'm not all that pleased with the program, though, as some of the locations are a little puzzling and there are certain locations that could've done with more than a single inverted "U" rack.  For instance, the racks in front of City Hall and on Wade Oval are particularly nice. 

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i knew something wasn't right.  most of the bike racks aren't even up yet!  they took a picture with the same u rack and moved it around the city to show what it would look like, a nice idea - even better if integrated with GIS, but they haven't even put these up! 

 

nothing like claiming a "win" when the project isn't finished.  anyone know the timeline on these racks?  i've seen these white "X"s for a long time...

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They're supposed to all be up by the fall.

The city held a design competition a few years back. I think one of the winners was the bike rack by the downtown Winking Lizard. There were other winners, but I seem to recall that the city needed sponsors to pay for the artist for the manufacturing. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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There was a competition to design racks back in 2001 (Viktor Schreckengost was one of the jurors). A number of racks were selected and apparently installed at test sites around the city (I swear one of the designs looks exactly like the racks installed in front of Arts Collinwood's facility). At any rate, not sure if these designs have been tied at all to the current rack installation or if the city is indeed seeking sponsors for them. You can read more about the competition and see the prototypes by going to http://www.clevelandpublicart.org/, clicking on Projects and then on the photograph of the bicycle rack.

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are the bike racks mentioned below actually installed or part of the ongoing effort that is discussed on the city's website but not on the streets?  i don't think there are 500 bike racks, anyone?

 

http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1158481952226180.xml?ncounty_cuyahoga&coll=2

 

Cyclists eye site for urban bike station

Showers, lockers, storage and more envisioned near The Q

 

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tom Breckenridge

 

Most Clevelanders roll on four wheels, but urban bicyclists say a downtown haven could boost their modest, two-wheeled numbers.

 

Cleveland Bikes, a biking-advocacy group, is pitching the idea of a bike station across from The Q.

 

The city is listening.

 

In places like Chicago and Long Beach, Calif., legions of commuters and tourists are using bike-station amenities, such as showers and secure storage, to anchor their pedal-pumping trips into downtowns.

For more information about bike stations, go to www.clevelandbikes.org

 

 

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Yeh Yeh... About time the PD caught up to Sun on this story.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Last month, 5,200 RTA riders brought their bikes along, the most ever, RTA officials reported.

 

Like many other transit ridership numbers, I'm skeptical about this.  I see lots of bikes on the bike racks and on the trains every day and I wonder how they're counting them.  If it's up to the drivers, well, I'll bet we're undercounting things by about half!

 

As for the installation of racks, I'm still seeing the "x"s, but I'm not seeing the racks.  What gives?

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Last month, 5,200 RTA riders brought their bikes along, the most ever, RTA officials reported.

 

Like many other transit ridership numbers, I'm skeptical about this.  I see lots of bikes on the bike racks and on the trains every day and I wonder how they're counting them.  If it's up to the drivers, well, I'll bet we're undercounting things by about half!

 

As for the installation of racks, I'm still seeing the "x"s, but I'm not seeing the racks.  What gives?

 

Oh, they're just waiting for winter.

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As for the installation of racks, I'm still seeing the "x"s, but I'm not seeing the racks.  What gives?

 

another example pointing to 3 areas where cleveland is lacking:

 

1. transparency - updates to stakeholders and the public

2. accountability - known milestones and expectations, consequences if not met

3. leadership - to drive 1 and 2, as well as formulate longer term strategy.

 

i have somewhat more sympathy for the city (b/c it's the city), but the link from the PD article to clevelandbikes.org shows all kinds of either outdated info (no updates on press releases re: changed ohio laws, bike station planning, the "upcoming event" is on June 30.  I can't wait!), non-working links (forum).

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Public Art meets bike rack in Pittsburgh:

 

20060708-2_pitts_023.jpg

 

Actually, these look nice for short-term parking in a highly-visible public area, but I don't think I'd trust them for long-term parking in a place not subject to public view; it looks like it would be too easy for a reasonably strong, determined thief to bend one back and forth until it breaks loose from the base, and then steal the bike with the rack still attached. I think even a geezer like me could probably do the job in two minutes or less.

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Most of the benches have been installed throughout the city (including 6 in University Circle along the CircleLink and RTA routes and a couple other strategic locations), but a manufacturing problem has caused the current delay in the arrival of bike racks.  Last I heard, they were due to arrive in early November and could be installed at a pretty rapid clip after that.  In addition, some racks in higher traffic locations will have multiple "humps," but the majority will be the single "n" rack.  They're supposedly very sturdy and should hold up for years. 

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i thought columbus had  installed rather funky bike racks along high street in clintonville as part of a streetscape project?  i remember the racks being of the 'hitching post' variety. 

http://bikeparking.com/bikebollards/index.html  <<< bottom of the page

my favorite bike racks/bike parking was in seattle where they had what looked like a railing running parallel to the street btwn street and sidewalk.  it was a great piece of street furniture enabling simple to figure out bike lock-up as well as a great leaning spot while waiting for the bus!

 

i remember columbus being an easier city to ride bicycles in b/c the streets are smoother, the landscape even flatter, a definitive grid makes navigation easier, and the larger population of students = more cyclists.  though in the last two years, i feel there has a been a massive increase in cleveland cyclists, esp.  on the near west side.

 

i wonder why cleveland or columbus for that matter, doesn't have a policy mandating bike racks for all new construction and renovation projects?  it would be wonderful if ohio's metro areas were progressive enough to draft legislation that enabled bike parking to offset parking requirments for retail businesses.

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One way streets make for far better biking.  Cincinnati (and Columbus?) has a much tighter Downtown grid, smaller blocks and narrower streets as a result.  Cleveland, by contrast, has all those massive avenues that are scary to cyclists like myself! 

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From the PD:

 

CLEVELAND

 

Bike station gets seed money

 

Local biking advocates snared a $10,000 grant to seed their pursuit of a downtown bike station. ClevelandBikes is pitching the idea of a bike station across from The Q, in a city-owned garage. In cities like Chicago, bike stations are serving hundreds of members who pay modest annual fees in exchange for lockers, showers and secure bike racks. Bikes Belong, a national nonprofit group funded by bike retailers and suppliers, recently awarded $10,000 to the downtown Cleveland effort. Lawyer Kevin Cronin, board president of the 700-member ClevelandBikes, says the proposal could cost several hundred thousand dollars, and he has pitched the idea to local foundations and business leaders. City planning officials are helping craft the proposal.

 

http://www.clevelandbikes.org/

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Yes.  Finally.  Over the past two weeks, the bike racks have been going in all over the city.  They are the familiar upside down "U" shape.  When installation is complete, there will be a total of 500 racks throughout the city.

Another piece of great news regarding bicycling in Cleveland is that for the first time ever, bicycles and related infrastructure will be a line item in the City's budget beginning in 2008.  This means that there will be money available each year for bike paths, bike lanes and lane studies, bike parking, etc.  Very exciting news!

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That is great news! 

 

I've been seeing the racks all over the city.  As nice as they'll be to have around, it's too bad they couldn't be a little more distinctive or unique...or that there couldn't have been more fanfare about their addition to the neighborhoods.  I guess it is December, after all, and these things are about 5 months late!

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^Good idea.

How about something along the lines of what was done for the Euclid Avenue fire hydrants a couple of years ago?

 

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That project was carried out by Sparx in the City, who then shifted their limited resources to Street Beats (the free outdoor performances during the summer) and the Urban Gallery Hop. But I think we could get at least a few high-profile bike racks painted for next to nothing.

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And who needs artists?  Anyone is an artist if they decide to call what the do "art".  Anyway, this might be a good bet for that UO day of service that got kicked around in the past.

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I agree. Although I think we can probably get some artists involved at an UO Day of Service event ... there are several arts and culture professionals (artists or people who work with artists) on the forum.

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With the recent announcement of bicycle infrastructure being part of the City of Cleveland's 2008 Capital budget and the recent installation of 500 bike (parking) racks around the region (and possible bike station) as well as the impending completion of the northern terminus of the towpath and the re-purposing of Rt. 2 as a boulevard with bike trails alongside (and a fight for a grade-separated bike lane on the new innerbelt bridge), I believe we have reason for a new thread. 

< NorthEast Ohio Bicycle Planning >

 

Cleveland's Bicycling Advocacy Group is Cleveland Bikes > http://www.clevelandbikes.org

If you need a new (to you) ride for the spring, check out the great folks and great deals at the Bike Co-op www.ohiocitycycles.org

 

 

Check out and attend this event (via greencitybluelake) sponsored by 'rails to trails' entitled "What Would Cleveland do with $50 million for trail, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements?

 

Start: Apr 16 2007 - 1:00pm

End: Apr 16 2007 - 3:00pm

 

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is working to build on a 2005 pilot program in the next federal transportation reauthorization. We envision a program serving at least 40 communities, with $50 million per community over 6 years, to promote the growth of trails, biking and walking for urban mobility. We have entitled this initiative our “2010 Campaign.” Cleveland has been identified as a potential 2010 community.

 

Explore the potential for Cleveland to make a compelling case for its inclusion in such a program.

 

    Krieger CanalWay Visitors Center

    4524 E. 49th Street

    Cuyahoga Heights, OH

    United States

 

 

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Anyone know anything about what's going on with this station? I wish we could do something fast around here. The weather is getting good for bike commuting, and I can't do it unless I have a place to shower and park my ride!

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Pedaling plan to link lake to eastern burbs

Proposal calls for adding to existing bike paths

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Thomas Ott and Patrick O'Donnell

Plain Dealer Reporters

 

Imagine slipping through city neighborhoods, coasting from Lake Erie past University Circle and slicing across eastern suburbs to Interstate 271, all from the saddle of your bicycle. [because that's a clear cyclist destination...I-271!]

 

It just might happen.

 

Cleveland, Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights, along with University Circle Inc., hope to link existing bike trails to form a 10-mile route that would roll by the Cultural Gardens in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park, past museums, climb into Cleveland Heights, then curve east along the Shaker Lakes and beyond.

 

Planners have to fill gaps between Cleveland's Harrison Dillard Bikeway, which runs from the lake along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to University Circle, and bike trails in Cleveland Heights and Beachwood.

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MapBoy,

 

Thanks for posting this article.  I went to the Council meeting at Shaker Hts where the Planning Commission presented its plan for using the RTA Right of Way to create a bike path that would link Beachwood Park with Shaker Hts.  IMO, the plan made a lot of sense by placing a bike path in an existing transportation corridor.  There were however a few residents against it, mainly for aesthetic reasons.  So, of course I had to stand up and say a few words for cyclists.  Luckily,  the city council is very much in favor of the idea, and once they overcome a few aesthetic glitches, I believe it will be given full support.  Interestingly, they are also creating two back-to-back soccer fields in a wider part of the ROW.  Apparently, active parks and bike paths are high on the community's wish list.

 

 

 

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and rightly so!  I've been going to meetings for this "Lake-to-Lake" corridor (as we are calling it) and the progress and partners are really moving.  very exciting!

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Mike Gill writes a great article about an under served topic; namely the economic opportunities presented by cycling.  What needs to be better explored is how cycling infrastructure (parking, lanes, etc) impacts economic opportunity for cyclists.  Hopefully this topic will be explored as Cleveland begins to build on existing bicycle infrastructure.

 

http://www.freetimes.com/stories/15/10/pedal-pushers

 

 

Pedal Pushers

Cyclists Find Opportunities Where Cars Aren't Wanted Or Can't Go

By Michael Gill

Allison Hurley - The face of Simple Yard Care, pedaling up the hill on Scranton Road.

Allison Hurley - The face of Simple Yard Care, pedaling up the hill on Scranton Road.

 

Bobby Breitenstein is hoping to create one new job. He and Julie Hutchison run the Phoenix Coffee Shop in Lakewood with community and sustainability in mind - recycling, using fairly traded coffees, giving away nitrogen-rich, spent coffee grounds for compost - and their customers have responded in kind. The sidewalk in front of their Detroit Avenue shop is often crowded with bicycles.

 

It's the bicycle, in fact, that may open up the next avenue for their business. Already they use bicycles quite a bit for banking and other errands, and they even keep one on hand for baristas to use. But Breitenstein recently started promoting the idea of bicycle delivery of Phoenix Coffee menu items to any location in Lakewood. There's a $10 minimum and $1 delivery fee. He's made only a few deliveries so far, loading up a thermal coffee urn in a bicycle trailer and pedaling to nearby shops. But he thinks this could work, both business-wise and ecologically, because bicycles are nimble, cheap to operate and don't burn gas.

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http://audio2.ideastream.org/wcpn/2009/06/0609an.mp3

 

Eric Wobser, special assistant to Mayor Jackson, discussed the downtown bike parking station on WCPN Around Noon today. He said the Downtown Cleveland Alliance agreed to operate the station and that, besides offering 40 indoor bike parking spots, lockers and showers, special services may include bike valet service during Cavs and Indians games. Wobser said the city would like to see an expansion of bike parking downtown, and mentioned other areas of the city that are looking at bike parking stations, including University Circle and Gordon Square in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. Greg Peckham, director of Cleveland Public Art, also discussed the public art competition for the downtown bike station.

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Not sure if these were posted anywhere else, but I noticed a presentation and some renderings released last week are all up on the ODOT site now: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/D12/PlanningPrograms/Pages/Lorain-Carnegie(HopeMemorial)BikewayImprovements.aspx

 

I know they weren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but at the end of the day, I think this is a better project than the proposed bike lane on the new Innerbelt bridge. 

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I was on record saying that a weakness of the I-90 bridge was its lack of pedestrian / bike lanes. Looking at this, though, I'm thinking maybe this is the better route after all. I think I'd be more comfortable walking/biking across Lorain/Carnegie than I would be with cars and trucks flying past me at 70+ mph.

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Well, that bridge needs improvement anyway. I'd personally sooner use the Superior Ave bridge since it takes you right downtown and you can coast the second half of the way. Anyway, glad this is getting done. The barrier is uncreative.

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