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From the comments:

 

Posted by pomutz

March 24, 2010, 3:02PM

Rather than adding a $20-million bicycle lane that will be over 150' above the Cuyahoga River and subject to the vagaries of extreme wind & weather, not to mention "wash" from passing cars, ODOT should consider providing a lesser amount - say $10-million - to the Towpath Trail project. The Towpath, which is already planned to bisect the area, will provide a safe, mode separated means of traveling to downtown from Tremont and the region. One aspect of adding a bike lane to the bridge that has not been adequately examined is how does one transition to the spaghetti bowl of arterials in the vicinity of Ontario & Carnegie Avenues and then safely to the rest of the downtown street network and its attractions/destination. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather travel an exclusive bike trail that offers safe passage than some freeway appendage.

 

 

I always wondered how the bike line would integrate with the other end of the bridge.  I know that there is no direct access from tremont, but ending up right there in that mess doesn;t sound appeling.

 

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I think I agree with pomutz.  Ten million dollars could go a long way towards finishing the Towpath and connecting it to Downtown and Tremont.  Or it could go to making W. 3rd into a more pedestrian friendly path and connecting that to Downtown.  I think we've become focused on the Innerbelt bike lane more as a symbol than as an optimal solution.

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From the comments:

 

Posted by pomutz

March 24, 2010, 3:02PM

"Rather than adding a $20-million bicycle lane that will be over 150' above the Cuyahoga River and subject to the vagaries of extreme wind & weather, not to mention "wash" from passing cars, ODOT should ..........

One aspect of adding a bike lane to the bridge that has not been adequately examined is how does one transition to the spaghetti bowl of arterials in the vicinity of Ontario & Carnegie Avenues and then safely to the rest of the downtown street network and its attractions/destination."

 

I always wondered how the bike line would integrate with the other end of the bridge.  I know that there is no direct access from tremont, but ending up right there in that mess doesn;t sound appeling.

 

 

The goal of the Access for All Campaign is to get a spec for bike/ped access included in the bridge construction specifications.  Thereby placing design and cost in the court of the experts, the architecture and engineering firms who will be responding to the RFP.

 

The $20M number being tossed around by ODOT is at best a back of the envelope calculation based on creating a 15' wide lane using the same amount of concrete that would be necessary to support motorized vehicle traffic.

 

The comment regarding the transition from the bridge to city streets is an important one and would be best answered by the firms who will bid on the project. Unfortunately, ODoT has made it impossible for them to do so; as thus far they have not included the specification in the RFP.

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Anyone get stuck in that Westbound mess on the innerbelt yesterday?  A tanker truck overturned right after dead mans curve.  I work in Euclid and was driving home (downtown) and luckily got off at 55th right when the backup started and was able to take Marginal all the way to W3rd.  They were routing people on 2 to E9th and up to the E9th entrance ramp.  What a mess.

 

To add to that, a lot of people where I work that live on the West/South side took 271 to 480 and there was a 4 car pileup where those two highways meet heading West.  Tough to travel West through Cleveland yesterday afternoon.

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Anyone get stuck in that Westbound mess on the innerbelt yesterday? A tanker truck overturned right after dead mans curve. I work in Euclid and was driving home (downtown) and luckily got off at 55th right when the backup started and was able to take Marginal all the way to W3rd. They were routing people on 2 to E9th and up to the E9th entrance ramp. What a mess.

 

I was wondering why there were police officers at every major intersection on 9th street yesterday afternoon directing traffic.

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OH!  And I forgot to add that for those hoping to quickly go up route 2 and through Lakewood there was an accident where Route 2 meets Clifton going West.  All of my West side coworkers were grumbling this morning.  There was, literally, no fast way to the West side of town yesterday.

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OH! And I forgot to add that for those hoping to quickly go up route 2 and through Lakewood there was an accident where Route 2 meets Clifton going West. All of my West side coworkers were grumbling this morning. There was, literally, no fast way to the West side of town yesterday.

 

I live in on the west side (Ohio City) and had no trouble getting home quickly. ;)

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^yeah, there is no way that those metal cables could ever have anything innovative like an heating element that would keep the cables above freezing.  That is 1970's technology!  ODOT is very cozy in the 1950's, thank you very much

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^yeah, there is no way that those metal cables could ever have anything innovative like an heating element that would keep the cables above freezing. That is 1970's technology! ODOT is very cozy in the 1950's, thank you very much

 

Haha! :)

 

A stone arched viaduct perhaps?

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I was hoping we could get something slender, elegant, and modern.  And dynamic, very dynamic:

 

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Would a $20 million bike path be asked for if this bridge were re-situated further south to tie in to 77?  ODOT could save some $$..  Plus with the expected $2billion+ building boom in downtown maybe the expected savings in new downtown land would appreciate to make it worth ODOT's time to re-evaluate.

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^I don't follow what you mean by "re-situated further south to tie in to 77."  How would that save ODOT money?  Or are you talking about not building the new bridge at all and simply expanding the 71-490-77 connection and removing the giant interchange downtown?

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^I don't follow what you mean by "re-situated further south to tie in to 77." How would that save ODOT money? Or are you talking about not building the new bridge at all and simply expanding the 71-490-77 connection and removing the giant interchange downtown?

 

As many of us have said on here before, that would probably be ideal.  But ODOT doesn't like it seems unlikely that that will happen.  See KJP's drawings up-thread.

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^I don't follow what you mean by "re-situated further south to tie in to 77."  How would that save ODOT money?  Or are you talking about not building the new bridge at all and simply expanding the 71-490-77 connection and removing the giant interchange downtown?

 

As many of us have said on here before, that would probably be ideal.  But ODOT doesn't like it seems unlikely that that will happen.  See KJP's drawings up-thread.

I think we are long past the point of no return on that one.

 

Agreed, but is that what he was referring to or did I misunderstand him? 

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Inner Belt Bridge bicycle lane is still not feasible, ODOT determines

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/06/inner_belt_bridge_bicycle_lane.html

But ODOT does have an alternative: It will make the Lorain-Carnegie (Hope Memorial) Bridge -- the designated route for bicyclists to cross the Cuyahoga Valley -- safer by removing sidewalks on each side and creating wide multipurpose lanes in each direction. Barriers would be installed on both sides to protect people from traffic.

 

I've never biked the area, so I don't have a lot of standing here, but this doesn't sound so bad to me.  I think I'd be even happier to see a much improved bike/pedestrian connection from Tremont to Ohio City (via Abbey) and over the Loraine Carnegie bridge than I'd be with an innerbelt bike lane.

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^I don't live or bike in the area myself either, but it does seem like a good compromise. As it currently stands I wouldn't be brave enough to bike across the Lorain/Carnegie bridge, (though I've walked over a few times) but adding a barrier and removing the sidewalk (which isn't flat, it slopes slightly toward the road) would make it much more bike/ped friendly.

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^A good compromise, that's for sure. Those bike lanes on the L-C bridge are a little sketchy IMO. That big curb is just begging for you to catch your peddle on it and the fall into the 40 mph traffic. If they do something like they did on the D-S bridge then it will be a very welcome improvement.

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Though I don't think it's feasible because of space restraints, I wish they could put in some kind of traffic-calming feature (landscaped median, etc.)  People don't seem to realize that the speed limit doesn't magically jump to 50 just for the bridge, and it can be really intimidating for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

 

Since they also seem to think that the Abbey Ave. bridge is an acceptable detour, I hope they also offer to re-do it, preferably with bicycle lanes.  At the minimum, get rid of the dang concrete barriers that make the sidewalks and side of the road one long stretch of glass shards.

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I think we are long past the point of no return on that one.

After the ODOT builds this new span and destroys the original Innerbelt Bridge, they can *still* reroute I-90 to I-77.  This new bridge could be turned into a parkway to bring traffic downtown.

 

I propose a box girder bridge to replace the Innerbelt Bridge with the bike lanes running through the box.  It could have windows like a pedestrian bridge so that you can see outside while protected from the weather.

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Though I don't think it's feasible because of space restraints, I wish they could put in some kind of traffic-calming feature (landscaped median, etc.) People don't seem to realize that the speed limit doesn't magically jump to 50 just for the bridge, and it can be really intimidating for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

 

Since they also seem to think that the Abbey Ave. bridge is an acceptable detour, I hope they also offer to re-do it, preferably with bicycle lanes. At the minimum, get rid of the dang concrete barriers that make the sidewalks and side of the road one long stretch of glass shards.

 

In some plans I saw somewhere they had a redone Abbey Rd bridge.  I think it was for some "Tremont connection plan though, so not sure if it would be done in conjunction with the inner-belt.

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^Didn't they redo the Abbey Rd. bridge just a few years ago?  I think they did, and they did a crap job- the lanes are wider than necessary (resulting in high speed travel) and the sidewalks too narrow.  Maybe it was just a minor renovation though and I'm confusing it with the span over the rapid tracks closer to the WSM.

 

As nice as direct bike route to downtown would be, this compromise route would actually better connect Tremont to the rest of the city, IMO, as long as it significantly enhances the route to Ohio City.  I'd think $10 or $15M would go a long way, and would be still be a lot cheaper than the estimated cost of the Innerbelt bike lane.

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Trouble is, the issue for pedestrians is different than the issue for bikers.  Pedestrians really do need a direct path because walking across Abbey then doubling back makes the trip take a whole lot longer.  In many cases, too long.  It's curious to me why this wasn't framed more as a pedestrian issue.

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Well what really drives me crazy is this... why on earth can't ODOT at least have the firms bidding add a multi-purpose lane alternative and show how they would do it and how much it would cost.  Can't we at least gather all the facts before blurting out "No!"?

 

 

Add:

I think it was this that I saw.  Tremont pedestrian and bicycle linkages from NOACA (study).

Abbey road starts at about page 49-52

http://www.noaca.org/tremont.pdf

 

By the way, without getting too far off topic, does anyone know who was in charge of this TLCI?  Simply put, this plan is outstanding.  These are the types of things that encourage investment and development.

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It's curious to me why this wasn't framed more as a pedestrian issue.
Perhaps because even with a ped/bike path on the innerbelt bridge  Tremont to Downtown is outside of the distance most people would choose to walk on a regular basis.

Pedestrians really do need a direct path because walking across Abbey then doubling back makes the trip take a whole lot longer.  In many cases, too long. 

Just for comparison I measured from where 90 crosses Abbey to the intersection of Broadway and Carnegie using both routes on Google maps. Over the Innerbelt bridge it's .84 miles and on Abbey to E 20th to the Lorain-Carnegie bridge is 1.44 miles.

 

I think I walk a little more than the average person and regularly walk about 4 mph. So if someone is taking their time and going half of that (2 mph) you're talking about saving 17 minutes off of their 43 minute walk. I don't think that cutting 2/3rds of a mile is going to be that big of a benefit as people willing to walk across the new innerbelt bridge would probably not mind the Lorain-Carnegie and most people that don't have access to a vehicle will still take RTA.

 

I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice to have the option, but I do think that fixing up Lorain-Carnegie is a nice compromise.

Well what really drives me crazy is this... why on earth can't ODOT at least have the firms bidding add a multi-purpose lane alternative and show how they would do it and how much it would cost.  Can't we at least gather all the facts before blurting out "No!"?

Agreed

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I think I walk a little more than the average person and regularly walk about 4 mph. So if someone is taking their time and going half of that (2 mph) you're talking about saving 17 minutes off of their 43 minute walk. I don't think that cutting 2/3rds of a mile is going to be that big of a benefit as people willing to walk across the new innerbelt bridge would probably not mind the Lorain-Carnegie and most people that don't have access to a vehicle will still take RTA.

 

 

I live car-free in Tremont, and I can tell you it would be a huge benefit.  Walking the Abbey Avenue to Lorain-Carnegie route, it takes me nearly an hour to walk to Tower City from my house.  It takes about half that time if I cut through the Flats.  I actually do mind walking over both those bridges, since the sidewalk on Abbey Ave. has a concrete barrier that retains all of the glass shards, flaked concrete, broken branches, and rocks that end up on the sidewalk.  The Lorain-Carnegie bridge is somewhat better, except for the foot-deep holes in the sidewalk where something used to be anchored (utility poles?) and the traffic that treats the bridge like the freakin' Indy 500.

 

And as for RTA, with the latest service cuts and re-routing, it takes about a half-hour to get to Public Square from my house.  My walk through the Flats is competitive with that.  If I miss a bus, depending on the time of day and day of the week, I could be waiting 45 minutes to take a 30-min. bus ride that I could drive in 5, bike in 15, or walk in 30.

 

Now, I choose to be car-free, and on the whole I don't mind RTA, walking, or biking (though I do resent the condition of the bridges,) but you should understand that a multi-purpose lane on the Innerbelt bridge would be a great asset from a resident's standpoint. It would make my neighborhood an even better place to live.

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It's curious to me why this wasn't framed more as a pedestrian issue.

 

A good point and the reason is likely due to the fact that there is no Pedestrian advocacy org in CLV.

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^^(to Confitteordeo) Understood....but all the unpleasant aspects of the Abbey Ave/Lorain-Carnegie route you mention (other than the length) would be remedied by this proposal.  And they'd be remedied for your walk to the WSM or Ohio City bars/restaurants too- not just for trips downtown.  Ideally we could get both routes, but I don't know where the Abbey Ave enhancements sit is in the money queue.

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How can they manage to put in a bike lane across the entire new Bay Bridge construction in San Francisco/Oakland, but the Cuyahoga River valley is somehow an insurmountable feat of construction?

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^This is not an engineering challenge, it's a spending issue.  Any I don't think there are any alternative biking routes from SF to Oakland (other than BART), so their case is a little more compelling, IMHO.

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^This is not an engineering challenge, it's a spending issue. Any I don't think there are any alternative biking routes from SF to Oakland (other than BART), so their case is a little more compelling, IMHO.

 

 

Understood--but in the bigger picture how much could 8 more feet of concrete and a fence cost?  The City of Cleveland should be able to seek additional funding for that add-on from other sources.

 

If you want to attract suburbanites, who thrive on the shortest possible routes and convenience, to live in the Tremont neighborhood, a direct walking/biking connection to downtown is a huge sell.

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^I hear ya.  One has to wonder how accurate ODOT's $20M number is.  My guess is that the improved route over Abbey and Lorain would actually benefit a lot more people, but doesn't mean we shouldn't get both.

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