Detroit Avenue bike lane a step forward for Cleveland
On Wednesday August 28th, the City of Cleveland presented to a crowd of 86 people a plan to add a bike lane to Detroit Avenue. Before the meeting even started, we knew it was going to be fun, since 68 out of those those 86 people had biked to the meeting. Bike Cleveland has worked with the City of Cleveland on the Detroit Avenue Bike Lane project since December 2011, when the City committed to find a way to get cyclists safely east and west while the City worked out its dispute with ODOT for funding the West Shoreway Project.
The proposed bike lane on Detroit Avenue will extend from W. 25th Street fifty blocks west to Lake Avenue. The proposed plan for Detroit Avenue shows bike lanes for about 80 percent of the 1.7-mile stretch. Bike lanes would be substituted for “sharrows” in the Gordon Square Arts District because the road narrows in that section due to the recently completed streetscape.
Cyclists at Wednesday’s meeting expressed concern about the current lack of accommodations on the south side of the Detroit Superior Bridge. Traffic Engineer Andy Cross said the city is considering improvements the south side of the Bridge to make it more bike friendly. Bike Cleveland will keep you updated on that progress.
Why is a Detroit Avenue bike lane important? According to the most recent bike counts conducted by NOACA, Detroit Avenue is one of the most heavily used bike corridors in the City of Cleveland. From September 2011 to May 2012, there has been a 32% increase in bike traffic. If we want to continue this growth and encourage more people to bike more often, we need to create stress-free biking environments, and bike lanes are a useful treatment in serving that purpose.
The bike lanes will be installed this fall, but if it gets cold too soon, the project will be completed by Spring 2013.
There will be another community meeting on the Detroit Avenue bike lane on September 24th in the Ohio City Neighborhood at Franklin Circle Church (1688 Fulton Rd) at 6pm. We encourage you to attend. You can also see the presentation from the meeting on BikeCleveland.org.