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alternative transportation News Archive

The International Mountain Bike Association awarded $10,000 in planning and design services for a mountain bike park at Kerruish Park, in Cleveland's Lee-Harvard neighborhood. The matching grant will be used to prepare a conceptual site plan and report for the proposed bike park.

The City of Cleveland introduced an updated bikeway plan. It calls for adding 70 miles of bike lanes, paths, and sharrows by the end of 2017, expanding upon the current 47.5 miles. The plan does not specify the types of bicycle enhancements for the new routes.

Steven Litt of The Plain Dealer said that the expanded system "would be a vast improvement over the current patchwork" but that more is needed to "create the comprehensive citywide grid needed for a complete network of bike paths." A Plain Dealer editorial said that safety should be the top consideration when implementing the plan. At GreenCityBlueLake, Marc Lefkowitz urged City officials to create protected bike lanes. Bike Cleveland called it "an exciting plan".

In addition, a feasibility analysis for a bike sharing program in Cleveland found that the City could support between 77 and 140 stations with between 770 and 1,400 bicycles. It calls for a dual-core system focused on downtown and University Circle, with additional stations in Midtown, Ohio City, and Tremont. Marc Lefkowitz said that Cleveland now needs "someone entrepreneurial who wants to start up a business that manages bike share."

After several years of work, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium released its vision document for the 12-county Northeast Ohio region. The vision makes nine recommendations for improving the future of the region, and identifies 41 initiatives for implementing them. The NEOSCC is collecting signatures from supporters of the vision, and its board is scheduled to vote on the vision's adoption at a February 25 meeting. Marc Lefkowitz of GreenCityBlueLake called it "a path forward that amplifies the good things about our communities."

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency awarded $998,000 in Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grants. Of the 29 planning studies submitted for consideration, NOACA selected 13 for funding, including nine in Cuyahoga County. The largest award, $118,000, went to support the Eastside Greenway initiative. Other awards went to studies in Collinwood/Euclid, Parma Heights, and Rocky River. NOACA staff also will provide technical assistance for six transportation studies in five Cuyahoga County cities.

A report prepared for (PDF) University Circle Inc. and the City of Cleveland Heights made recommendations for improving bicycle and public transit connections within and between University Circle and Cleveland Heights. The TLCI-funded report identified concepts for potential bicycle facilities and opportunities for changes and enhancements to transit service. Last year, the two cities partnered to add a bicycle lane on Edgehill Road.

The increasing number of bicyclists in Greater Cleveland is creating tension between divers and cyclists. Bike Cleveland launched a public awareness campaign intended to improve motorist awareness of cyclists. Participants in a recent edition of The Regina Brett Show discussed the issues, and NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci promoted sustainable transportation alternatives in a Plain Dealer op-ed.

Meanwhile, Angie Schmitt of Rust Wire criticized the City of Cleveland for the way it implemented its complete streets policy on downtown's Ontario Street. A local coalition developed an alternative, the Ontario Street Bikeway plan, that would add bike lanes to the street. Marc Lefkowitz of GreenCityBlueLake also considered the reasons why the region hasn't built a second bus rapid transit line.

A new Shaker Heights bicycle advocacy group met for the first time in June. Members of Bike Shaker will educate about the benefits of cycling and work with City officials to improve bicycling infrastructure. They hope to see the city named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

For the first time, the League of American Bicyclists included Cleveland in its list (PDF) of Bicycle Friendly Communities, awarding the city a bronze-level designation. Bike Cleveland's Jacob VanSickle celebrated the announcement, but noted that much work remains. Marc Lefkowitz said that "Cleveland needs to 'name and claim' bike progress." Meanwhile, the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy produced a video about how "Cleveland is riding the bike boom all the way back to prosperity."

Update: the League of American Bicyclists published a community feedback report for Cleveland.

The NOACA Governing Board adopted Connections+ 2035, the five-county agency's long-range transportation plan. It "proposes $9 billion in major transportation investments to meet the needs of the traveling public" and emphasizes the need to maintain the region's existing transportation infrastructure. The previous plan was approved in 2009.

Some transportation advocates disagree about the City of Cleveland's plans for making West 65th Street a complete street. At GreenCityBlueLake, Marc Lefkowitz advocated for including bike lanes in the project.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park completed its trail management plan. Its preferred alternative calls for 37 miles of new trails, including 11 new hiking trails, 12 short interpretive trails, two cross-country ski trails, five connector trails, and three links into neighboring residential areas.

NOACA conducted an evaluation of its Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) program (PDF). The report examined the program's accomplishments and shortcomings, and made recommendations for improving its effectiveness.

Tony Hull, a planner helping to develop Cleveland's bike sharing plans, said that the City "can no longer claim the mantle of being first. At this point, it would be better served to get it right."

The cities of Westlake and Lakewood continue to advance their bicycle planning initiatives. Westlake's draft Citywide Bike Plan (PDF, 10.3 MB) was approved by the Westlake Planning Commission, and identifies potential on-road and off-road routes for a citywide bicycle network. Lakewood is implementing its Bicycle Master Plan (PDF, 4.7 MB), adopted last year, by introducing a Bike Rack for Business Program and making infrastructure improvements. At the regional level, NOACA recently adopted an update to its Regional Bicycle Transportation Plan (PDF, 71.0 MB).

Following the successful installation of a pilot project last year in Ohio City, four additional bike boxes were placed in Cleveland neighborhoods this spring. The converted shipping containers provide safe, sheltered bike parking.

GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz examined the hurdles that the City of Cleveland is facing when implementing its complete streets ordinance, many from the Ohio Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, the City is continuing to develop its complete and green streets typology and design manual, intended to assist with the ordinance's implementation. Smart Growth America recently named its best complete streets policies of 2012, and gave Cleveland's ordinance a grade of C.

The proposed Eastside Greenway would connect 14 communities in eastern Cuyahoga County through a network of parks, greenspace, and trails.

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt described how Cleveland is becoming more welcoming to bicyclists and pedestrians, noting that it "echoes a rising national trend inspired by the new popularity of urban living".

The U.S. Census Bureau used American Community Survey data to publish commuting flow information, and reported that Cuyahoga County "has among the highest number of commuters coming from another county in the nation." The Census Bureau also noted that 80.3% of Cuyahoga County workers drove to work alone in 2011, higher than the national average of 76.4%. WNYC used the data to map average commute times, and The Washington Post mapped the commuting patterns.

The Ohio General Assembly passed a two-year transportation budget bill that will allow the Kasich administration to proceed with its plans to issue up to $1.5 billion in bonds backed by Ohio Turnpike revenues. The Senate version of the bill included a provision that requiring that 90% of the bond proceeds be invested within 75 miles of the turnpike, while the House bill did not. The language was retained in a conference committee. A coalition called Ohioans for Transportation Choice urged legislators to increase the state's investment in alternative transportation options, but their proposal was not incorporated into the legislation. Governor Kasich signed the $7.6 billion bill at a ceremony in Warrensville Heights on April 1. The Ohio Turnpike Commission plans to raise tolls by 2.7% per year over the next decade.

West side Cleveland neighborhoods are developing plans for the area's corridors. The final public meeting for the West 65th Street Corridor Plan was held in February. Its draft recommendations (PDF) call for implementing a road diet, while making streetscape improvements and increasing bicycle and pedestrian accessibility.

Meanwhile, Ohio City Incorporated and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization are leading a streetscape improvement plan for a portion of Lorain Avenue. They're currently conducting a survey. Further west, the Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation is working to improve Lorain Avenue's streetscape, and will hold a public meeting on April 2.

The City of Cleveland's Office of Sustainability recently hosted a workshop on street typologies. The next step in the project is to create a draft typology for public review. The effort is intended to help the City implement its complete and green streets ordinance.

The City of Cleveland's Bike Share Task Force will begin conducting its bike share study in February. Toole Design Group will serve as its lead consultant. The work will begin with a feasibility study, and if determined feasible, continue with an implementation plan.

The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area awarded $121,000 in grants to eight projects through its Strategic Initiatives program. The awards included $23,000 to University Circle Inc. for development of its planned CircleWalk and $15,000 to LAND Studio for Lake Link Trail design and engineering work.

Local officials and bicyclists celebrated the opening of the Lorain-Carnegie Bikeway in Cleveland. The 14.5-foot wide multi-use path on the historic Lorain-Carnegie Bridge opened to the public on December 10. Painting and lighting improvements are scheduled to be finished this spring. Bike Cleveland, GreenCityBlueLake, NOACA, and ODOT posted photo galleries at Facebook.

The Shaker Heights Planning Commission and Shaker Heights City Council adopted a plan's strategies for improving the Lee Road corridor. The TLCI-funded Lee Road Traffic Study and Corridor Plan "provides recommendations for traffic and pedestrian improvements along the corridor, intersection transitions, bike lanes and connections to the existing and planned non-motorized network, and streetscape renovations for the section south of Chagrin."

The Gund Foundation's November grant awards included $5 million for the Cleveland Museum of Art's expansion, $500,000 for Land Studio to continue its downtown Cleveland greenspace and trail planning, and $75,000 for Bike Cleveland.

The City of Cleveland issued an RFP for the preparation of a feasibility and implementation study for a bike sharing program. Bicycling advocates praised the announcement, calling it a "progressive step towards making bikes an integral and healthy component of our community's transportation network".

The Cleveland Metroparks are nearing completion of the Watershed Stewardship Center at the West Creek Reservation in Parma. Work on the $11.37 million improvement project began in March 2011. The park also opened three new bridges along a trail, and the West Creek Conservancy finalized its purchase of a small lot at the park's southern end.

Bicyclists in Cleveland say the the City must do more to prioritize bicycle infrastructure and safety. Cleveland appeared in Bicycling magazine's list of the U.S.'s Top 50 bike-friendly cities in 2011, but failed to make the list this year because other cities are making more rapid progress. Rust Wire's Angie Schmitt attributed the slow pace to a lack of civic ambition, while a Plain Dealer editorial concluded that "great strides have been made, but more could be done to make the cycling experience safer for all."

Cuyahoga County awarded nearly $1.5 million in competitive municipal grants. The CDBG-based funding includes $350,000 for infrastructure improvements in Maple Heights, $350,000 for sewer separation in Newburgh Heights, and $150,000 to Parma Heights for a connector trail.

The City of Cleveland plans to stripe five-foot-wide bike lanes on a 1.7-mile stretch of Detroit Avenue between West 25th Street and Lake Avenue. Local bicyclists support the proposal, calling it "a step forward for Cleveland". Meanwhile, the Bellaire-Puritas Development Corp. is working with City Architecture to improve the walkability of Lorain Avenue.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland hopes to build a three-mile greenway and trail along the RTA Red Line tracks, eventually connecting downtown Cleveland to the Zone Recreation Center. Members prepared a video about their accomplishments and plans.

Update: the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy described the project.

The Ohio Department of Transportation issued the first documents in its Access Ohio 2040 long-range transportation plan. The PDFs include a demographic profile, a best practices paper, and two technical reports. They're also conducting a transportation preferences survey.

More than 250 supporters celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking for a 0.6-mile stretch of the Towpath Trail on the Scranton Peninsula in Cleveland. Cuyahoga County posted video of the event. The $9.1 million project will also restore 2,800 feet of natural shoreline and create new fish habitats. Construction is scheduled to begin in September and a late summer 2013 opening is planned. A Plain Dealer editorial offered praise.

The West Creek Preservation Committee soon may purchase a 60,800-square-foot lot near the southern end of the Cleveland Metroparks West Creek Reservation in Parma. Adding the property to the park will create more options for extending the West Creek Greenway Trail.

Ohio City Incorporated and the City of Cleveland prepared a neighborhood transportation plan (PDF). It aims to "provide as many transportation options as possible" and recommends implementing complete streets, transit-oriented development, a wayfinding system, and parking improvements. The plan calls for reconfiguring parking lots near the West Side Market and limiting free parking to 90 minutes. Some market vendors and patrons dislike the idea of paying to park. A Plain Dealer editorial said it's "a thoughtful plan that can easily be adapted as revitalization continues." Krissie Wells presented arguments in favor of the plan, and Angie Schmitt shared her reactions to the news.

The CDC also issued its TLCI-funded Inter-modal Urban Design & Wayfinding Plan for the Market District (PDF). It offers ways to "strengthen both the Market and Ohio City neighborhood by organizing the streets, parking facilities and land uses surrounding the area in a manner that encourages economic sustainability."

"What would cities around Cleveland look like if we grow the number of cyclists from hundreds to thousands traveling on its streets daily?" asked GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz. Meanwhile, Lakewood City Council approved funding to add sharrow markings to Detroit Avenue.

In its trail planning process, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park prepared and considered eight alternatives and selected a preferred alternative. The plan's objective is to balance the needs for active recreation opportunities and environmental stewardship over the next 15 years. The Draft Trail Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement is available online and open to public comment until August 20. The National Park will hold three public meetings in late July.

Update: the Akron Beacon Journal published more information about the trail plans and reported on the public meetings.

The TLCI-funded Lee Road Traffic Study and Corridor Plan makes recommendations for transportation and streetscape improvements (PDF, 9.1 MB) in Shaker Heights. A Sun News editorial says that "the upgrades called for in the study will only enhance the city's commitment to that area."

The Cleveland Metroparks celebrated the opening of Royalview Trail, a 10.1-mile mountain bike trail in the Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville. The trail cost about $50,000 and took nine months to build.

In focus group resarch conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Clevelanders expressed support for greater investments in public transit.

More bicycling news:

Update: Councilman Tom Bullock of Lakewood explained the sharrow proposal.

Towpath Trail planners devised a new route for the stretch of the trail between Harvard Road and Steelyard Commons. The new plan avoids the contaminated Harshaw Chemical site, and could open in 2016.

Participants on a recent Sound of Ideas program discussed the latest bicycling news in Northeast Ohio. Taryn Gress of the Civic Commons also described many local cycling activities.

Construction of bikeway improvements to Cleveland's Lorain-Carnegie Bridge will begin soon. The $4.5 million project is intended to make the bridge more friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians. Some Tremont residents are frustrated by the amount of road construction.

Update: the Plain Dealer shared more details.

Liveable streets and alternative transportation advocate Mark Gorton spoke at the City Club. He said that Cleveland leaders could easily and inexpensively make the City more friendly to bicyclists and walkers, and that overemphasizing the movement of cars is harmful to cities. The City Club posted video of his talk and the panel discussion that followed.

Update: audio of the forum (MP3, 84.2 MB) is also available.

With the opening of a 0.6-mile section of the Towpath Trail in Barberton, Summit County became the first county to complete its construction of the trail. A variety of events will be held on July 7 to celebrate the milestone (PDF). The City of Akron completed its portion of the construction last year.

Bike Cleveland is working with Cleveland City Council on a a package of measures intended to enhance safety for cyclists. One portion of the ordinance would require motorists to give cyclists a three-foot passing clearance.

Through its Pop Up Rockwell event underway this week, the Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative has created a temporary complete and green street along five blocks in downtown Cleveland. It includes a two-way cycle track, and Marc Lefkowitz said that the project provides "the kind of creative spark Cleveland needs to see." In Old Brooklyn, the second annual Pop UP Pearl event will take place on May 19. It will include a DIY Urbanism Competition.

Update: West Life described the Pop Up Rockwell project.

RTA ridership figures continue to rise, increasing by 5.3% between March 2011 and March 2012, and the agency is working to attract discretionary transit users. In Cleveland Heights and University Circle, consultants are developing plans for improving non-automobile transportation options and are conducting a survey. Marc Lefkowitz said that they face challenges and opportunities.

The City of Cleveland recently began construction of the Lake to Lakes Trail. It will connect Lake Erie with the Shaker Lakes.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking and Streets Plan Collaborative recently launched the Open Streets Project. Its goal is to share information about events where streets are temporarily closed to automobile traffic, and its first publication is the Open Streets Guide (PDF, 103 MB), a collection of best practices. It identified Cleveland's Walk + Roll initiative as one of seven models used by open streets programs.

NOACA and ODOT have begun the Northeast Ohio Regional Travel Survey, a year-long study of travel patterns in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties. Results from the GPS-based survey will help planners gauge the area's transportation needs. Results will be available next year.

Bike Cleveland hired Jacob VanSickle as the organization's first executive director. Meanwhile, AMATS issued a draft of its its bike plan (PDF) for Portage and Summit counties, and will hold public meetings on February 13 and 14.

Update: the Plain Dealer reported on Jacob VanSickle's new position.

In its biannual report on bicycling and walking in the United States, the Alliance for Biking & Walking examined a variety of factors, including activity levels, safety, policy issues, education, and advocacy. It looked at how states and major cities compare on those factors, and said that "many states and cities are making progress toward promoting safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians, but much more remains to be done."

The Plain Dealer described the status of the planned Lake Erie ferry between Cleveland and Port Stanley, Ontario.

Update: the News-Herald provided additional perspectives. A Plain Dealer editorial said that the "ferry is still an intriguing idea," while Bill Callahan pointed out some details.

Lakewood City Council approved the City's bicycle master plan on Tuesday. The City will start implementing the plan by adding sharrows and bike racks. Michael Gill said the plan "is good news for cyclists and the city."

Update: the Sun Post-Herald has more details.

Because its funding was transferred to the governor's JobsOhio program, the Clean Ohio program is no longer accepting applications. State leaders have not identified a replacement source of funding for the popular program. An editorial in Youngstown's Vindicator says that officials shouldn't allow the program to end.

Update: an Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that neglecting the Clean Ohio program "would amount to another blow to cities."

A group of Cleveland leaders, residents, and bicycling advocates traveled to Columbus last Thursday to demonstrate their support for the West Shoreway reconstruction plans. They attended a Transportation Review Advisory Council meeting and spoke with ODOT officials.

Update: Scene reported on the project, as well.

Officials in Central Elgin, Ontario say that the planned Cleveland-to-Port Stanley ferry will not begin operations before 2013.

(via Callahan's Cleveland Diary)

A $500,000 state grant to Cuyahoga County completed the funding for a 0.6-mile section of the Towpath Trail on the Scranton Peninsula in Cleveland. Work is scheduled to begin next year.

Update: the Plain Dealer has more information.

Last week's public meeting about the West Shoreway plans attracted a large audience. Cleveland officials criticized ODOT's approach to the project and encouraged residents to attend the December 15 TRAC meeting in Columbus as a show of support. GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz said that to succeed, the project must expediently serve the the bicycle and pedestrian communities.

Update: Fresh Water provided the City's views.

The board of the Gund Foundation awarded $7,425,902 in grants at its November board meeting. The 75 grants included a two-year $775,000 grant to LAND Studio and a $60,000 grant to Bike Cleveland.

Update: the award will enable Bike Cleveland to hire an executive director.

The City of Lakewood issued a draft of its its Bicycle Master Plan (PDF). It's meant to "establish bicycling as a main means of transportation and accommodate current bicyclists' needs through policies, programs & projects." Officials will present the plan to the Lakewood Planning Commission on December 1.

Update: the City continues to gather public input.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin attempted to quantify the benefits of reducing automobile usage for short trips in 11 Midwestern metropolitan areas, including Greater Cleveland. Their findings suggested that "significant health and economic benefits are possible if bicycling replaces short car trips."

(via GOOD)

The City of Akron opened a half-mile section of the Towpath Trail on Wednesday. It marked the completion of the trail through the City.

Update: an Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that "the value of moving forward never has been clearer."

The City of Lakewood is completing its comprehensive bicycle study, and plans to release it in November. City officials hope to create a more bike-friendly environment.

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority President William Friedman spoke at the City Club (MP3, 52.1 MB) about the Port's plans and accomplishments. The Port Authority has also identified a preferred provider for the planned Lake Erie ferry.

Update: Bill Callahan posted more information about the ferry plans.

Participants on a recent Outspoken Cyclist show on WJCU discussed mountain biking in Northeast Ohio, and the conversation on the latest Civic Commons radio show was about bicycling in Cleveland. An article in this month's issue of Cleveland Magazine calls for faster progress in the construction of the Cleveland portion of the Towpath Trail.

Local bicycling advocates are displeased that the latest changes in the West Shoreway reconstruction plans call for stripping multipurpose trails from the design. Rust Wire's Angie Schmitt characterized it as a failure of leadership and policy, while GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz recently stated that the entire plan deserves to be jettisoned.

Update: Marc Lefkowitz also called for a public discussion of the changes.

On Monday, Cleveland City Council approved complete and green streets legislation. Starting in January, 20% of road construction spending will go toward sustainable transportation options, up to $1 million. GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz addressed misconceptions about the policy and Streetsblog's Angie Schmitt supplied the decision's historical context.

More than 125 people attended the inaugural Bike Cleveland Summit and helped to craft the new organization's vision, principles, and goals. Marc Lefkowitz considered the state of transportation advocacy in Greater Cleveland.

Marc Lefkowitz asserts that the plans for the West Shoreway reconfiguration in Cleveland have digressed from their original intent to the point where the project is no longer worth pursuing. He says that the "city should stand firm against this diminished project, say, 'no, thanks' let's be fiscally responsible and find another way to invest $40 million in a project worthy of its citizens desire to improve the ability to recreate and enjoy the most amazing natural resource right at their doorstep."

The News Herald reported on sustainability programs in three east-side Cuyahoga County suburbs: the stormwater management project at Mayfield Heights City Hall, the Mayfield Village Greenway Corridor, and the City of South Euclid's Green Neighborhoods Initiative.

Cleveland State University partnered with Massachusetts-based Zipcar to offer car sharing to its students, faculty, and staff. The program will start with two cars on campus. The local CityWheels car sharing service is disbanding and is selling its cars.

At GreenCityBlueLake, Marc Lefkowitz wrote about the green zoning initiative in Cleveland Heights and about sustainability efforts at RTA.

The new bicycle station in downtown Cleveland opened to the public on Friday. The Bike Rack at the Gateway North Garage provides indoor parking for up to 50 bicycles, plus showers, lockers, and a bike-repair shop. A bicycle rental service will also be available.

Three potential operators of the proposed Lake Erie ferry submitted proposal packages by the August 15 deadline. Officials in Cleveland and Central Elgin are reviewing the submissions.

Update: Bill Callahan shared his perspective and called for a public discussion of the plans.

Two Cleveland City Council committees approved the proposed complete and green streets legislation. It includes a $1 million spending cap. City Council may consider the legislation at its September meeting.

Update: the Plain Dealer explained the delay.

Update 2: a Plain Dealer editorial says that "Council should pass the measure as soon as possible."

Participants on Monday's Sound of Ideas program discussed Northeast Ohio invasive plant issues. The guest on Tuesday's program was Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority President William Friedman.

Several companies have expressed interest in operating a Lake Erie ferry between Cleveland and Port Stanley, Ontario. Potential providers must respond by August 15.

(via GLIN)

An Akron Beacon Journal editorial urges state leaders to find replacement revenue sources for the Clean Ohio program.

This week's issue of Fresh Water includes articles about going car-free in Cleveland, bicycling advocacy, and the City of Cleveland's complete and green streets legislation, as well as a piece profiling local boomerang migrants.

Walk Score updated its rankings of walkable cities, last released in 2008. The City of Cleveland was ranked the 17th most walkable of the 50 largest cities in the United States. The most walkable neighborhoods in Cleveland were downtown, University Circle, and Ohio City. In Ohio, the most walkable cities included Lakewood and Cleveland Heights, while Broadview Heights and Solon were among the least walkable.

NOACA posted the Gateway District Streetscape and Transportation Plan (PDF, 32 MB) a November 2010 document intended to "provide a vision for the streets that will create a memorable downtown neighborhood." GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz wrote about the plan and the Ohio City Market District Plan, currently in progress. Both plans were funded through NOACA's Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative.

The Cleveland City Planning Commission approved plans for expanding bicycle and pedestrian access on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. The plans call for widening the multi-use path on the bridge's north side by nine feet, among other changes. Marc Lefkowitz's said that "the bridge could still use a road diet."

Officials from the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and the Municipality of Central Elgin, Ontario will jointly issue a request for expression of interest (PDF) for ferry service between Cleveland and Port Stanley.

GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz considered ideas for altering plans for South Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights to make it a complete street.

The Plain Dealer interviewed John McGovern of the Earth Day Coalition about bicycling in Cleveland.

Architect Miguel Rosales is continuing to refine designs for three pedestrian bridges in Cleveland. The City of Cleveland plans to begin construction of a bridge at North Coast Harbor next summer, Cuyahoga County officials started evaluating three options for a bridge to Whiskey Island, and Case Western Reserve University made public a proposal for a bridge that would link the Cleveland Museum of Art to the Temple Tifereth Israel.

The Plain Dealer provided updates on the experimental wind turbine initiative at Cleveland State University and the status of trail planning for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

In its second Dangerous by Design report, Transportation for America highlights pedestrian safety issues and recommends actions to create safer walking environments. The report examines pedestrian fatality statistics, maps individual pedestrian deaths, and ranks the 52 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The five-county Cleveland metropolitan area was the nation's second-safest. Meanwhile, the League of American Bicyclists issued its fourth annual Bicycle Friendly State rankings. Ohio was ranked 37th-friendliest.

Marc Lefkowitz wrote about the Healthy Communities Active Transportation Conference & Workshop held earlier this week and the state of local bike planning. Cleveland Bicycle Week 2011 starts on Monday. Meanwhile, a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Rockefeller Foundation says that most states lack adequate information to accurately evaluate the performance of their transportation networks. Ohio's scores were in the middle.

Update: ODOT posted the presentations from the HCAT conference.

A preliminary version of the Westlake Bikeway Plan makes short-term and long-term recommendations for a citywide bicycle transportation network. The TLCI-funded project should be completed in about a month.

Funding for the Clean Ohio program will expire in 2012 if the program is not renewed. Joe Koncelik considered the future of the Clean Ohio brownfields fund.

A piece of legislation being prepared for Cleveland City Council consideration includes complete streets and green streets components. If adopted, it would allow the City to incorporate access considerations and environmental design features into its planning process.

Steven Litt says that traffic studies for the proposed Public Square redesign and the forthcoming Cleveland casino "could determine the character of downtown for decades to come." They have the potential to decide the balance between a downtown that is pedestrian-friendly and one that is automobile-oriented. A Plain Dealer editorial on the casino parking proposal says that the challenge of downtown development "is to balance the needs of new development against the existing architectural and visual elements that make downtown interesting and desirable."

On Friday, NOACA awarded $845,000 in Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grants to 13 transportation projects (PDF) in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Lorain counties. Eight of the selected planning studies are in the City of Cleveland, and the others are in Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Euclid, Eastlake, and Elyria. Eastlake City Council refused its grant.

Update: the Sun Press described the projects in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.

Fresh Water looked to Pittsburgh for lessons that Clevelanders can incorporate into local efforts to make the city more bicycle-friendly and to improve its bicycle culture.

Leaders of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and Central Elgin, Ontario soon may begin formal negotiations on the proposed Cleveland to Port Stanley ferry (PDF). Unlike earlier proposals that emphasized trucks, the proposed pilot program would focus on on tourism and recreation.

Update: officials may soon schedule a meeting. Discussions about ferry service between Ashtabula County and Port Burwell, Ontario are moving more slowly. Bill Callahan supplies more context.

URS Corp. will conduct engineering studies for the Mayfield Village Green Corridor this year. Construction is scheduled for 2012 and 2013. The project received $600,000 in Transportation Enchantment funds in December, as one of 17 selected for funding (PDF).

The Ohio Department of Transportation committed $6 million for improving bicycle and pedestrian access on Cleveland's Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. Construction is tentatively scheduled for next year. Marc Lefkowitz called it a victory for the Access for All campaign.

The new mayor of Central Elgin, Ontario expressed interest in discussing a proposed Cleveland to Port Stanley ferry. Another group wants to establish ferry service between Port Burwell and Conneaut.

(via GLIN)

Cleveland City Council declined to adopt a complete streets policy. Marc Lefkowitz looked at the issues and offered a response.

The Plain Dealer's Joe Frolik reflected on the past year, and thinks that "in 10 years, we will look back on 2010 as the year that Cleveland turned the corner and began to regain its status as a vibrant American city." Steven Litt described the year's architecture highlights, while GreenCityBlueLake summarized the major sustainability stories, and the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition listed the top bicycling news.

The NOACA Governing Board approved $9 million in Transportation Enhancement funding for 17 bicycle and pedestrian projects in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties. Nine Cuyahoga County initiatives will share about $5 million: projects in the Flats, Garfield Heights, Lakewood, Larchmere, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Village, Tremont, University Circle, and the Warehouse District. In Summit County, AMATS approved two $50,000 grants through its new Connecting Communities Planning Grant Program.

Update: the Sun Press described the Larchmere project.

The latest issue of the Trust for Public Land's Land & People magazine features an article about initiatives to increase the amount of public greenspace in the Flats through new parks and greenways, including Canal Basin Park, Rivergate Park, the Towpath Trail, and the Lake Link Trail.

The Ohio Department of Transportation continues to refine plans for bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge in Cleveland. Officials with the incoming Kasich administration would not comment on the plans.

University Circle Incorporated is raising funds to create Circle Walk, a series of self-guided walking tours. The one to two-mile long path could draw attention to as many as 85 sites.

At a Thursday meeting, ODOT staffers and local transportation advocates discussed proposed pedestrian and bicycle enhancements to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, a possible alternative to including a multipurpose lane on the planned new Innerbelt Bridge.

A Plain Dealer editorial said that the idea of international "container service between Montreal and Cleveland merits further study."

The Akron Beacon Journal examined the plans to complete the last miles of the Towpath Trail through Cleveland and the challenges facing its construction.

In his first press conference after the election, John Kasich said, "Passenger rail is not in Ohio's future." He later said that Governor Strickland should halt planning studies for the 3C Corridor. Streetsblog's Angie Schmitt wrote an open letter to Governor-elect Kasich, asking him to reconsider his stance against the 3C Corridor and to support a robust multimodal transportation network. Many of the 120 attendees at the Ohio Department of Transportation's public meeting in Cleveland also want the state to better support transportation choice.

Work on the downtown Cleveland bike station is underway. The facility at the Gateway North Garage is scheduled to open in the spring, and will include public art by Scott Stibich and Mark A. Reigelman II.

Tim Donovan of Ohio Canal Corridor spoke at the City Club last week (MP3, 54.1 MB) about the Ohio & Erie Canalway and the Towpath Trail.

Attendees at a public meeting in Columbus told Ohio Department of Transportation officials that the agency should devote more resources to public transit and alternative transportation. It was the first in a series of workshops that ODOT is holding at various locations. A Cleveland meeting will be held on November 3 at the downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel. Officials with ODOT District 12 have also been meeting with local transportation activists.

Update: the Plain Dealer provided more information about the Cleveland meeting, and ODOT posted its presentation (PDF).

The West Creek Preservation Committee is interested in building a multipurpose trail in Seven Hills and Independence.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority hopes to make Cleveland the first Great Lakes city with regular international container service. Port Authority officials are negotiating with a Canadian company to provide weekly container shipping between Cleveland and Montreal. One of its ships visited Cleveland on Friday for a demonstration (PDF).

The City of Cleveland Heights painted its first shared lane markings along a 1.5-mile stretch of Euclid Heights Boulevard. The sharrows are part of a larger initiative by the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition. GreenCityBlueLake offers its observations on what the group is doing right.

The Lakewood Observer summarized bicycle planning efforts in Lakewood, while the City of Lakewood provided a recap of the recent Birdtown/Madison community meeting. On November 9, LakewoodAlive will hold a community forum titled "Bailey Building & Beyond - Downtown Lakewood's Renaissance."

The Architect's Newspaper looked at Miguel Rosales' proposed designs for pedestrian bridges in Cleveland at North Coast Harbor, Whiskey Island, and Case Western Reserve University.

The third issue of Fresh Water includes articles about designs for Cleveland's public spaces, plans to extend the Towpath Trail through Cleveland, and the transplantation of prairie grasses from Mall B to the Morgana Run Trail in Slavic Village.

NOACA conducted counts of bicycle traffic at 17 locations in Cuyahoga County in 2006 and 2010. Over the four-year period, bicycle counts increased by an average of 50%.

Update: Channel 5 reported on the figures.

Update 2: the Plain Dealer published more information.

Plans for the Bike Rack in downtown Cleveland were delayed, and the bicycle station at the Gateway North Garage is currently expected to open early next year.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials presented plans for the Opportunity Corridor (PDF) at six public meetings in Cleveland this week. Residents in Central and Kinsman were skeptical about the project's benefits, while Slavic Village residents expressed mixed opinions.

Meanwhile, the City of Lakewood held its first Bikeway Planning Community Workshop on Tuesday evening. More than 60 people attended. The City plans to hold its next workshop in mid-November.

Update: Lakewood residents who were unable to attend the workshop can still provide input.

The six candidates for Cuyahoga County executive discussed regional transportation issues at a Cleveland State University forum on Tuesday evening. They expressed different views about priorities and funding.

An article in this week's issue of Scene built upon an article the alt-weekly published in March. It examined land acquisition in the Flats for the planned Towpath Trail and described problems with "a pattern of excessively high property appraisals".

In one of its occasional rescissions, Congress required states to return transportation funds to the Federal Highway Administration. Ohio was one of 30 states to make a disproportionally large cut in funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects. While Ohio was required to return 5.8% of its annual apportionment, it cut 33% from its Transportation Enhancement Program.

Officials in Northeast Ohio and Ontario continue to discuss plans for a Lake Erie ferry. Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority CEO William Friedman is interested, as are leaders in Lake County and Ashtabula.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial backs the idea.

Update 2: the London Free Press presents a Canadian perspective.

The National Park Service developed six alternatives for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Trail Management Plan. They range from no action (alternative one) to an overhaul of the park's trail network (alternative six). The draft alternatives will be presented at public meetings on September 22, 23, and 26 at the Happy Days Lodge in Peninsula. The public comment period is open through October 30.

Erick Trickey interviewed new Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority CEO William Friedman for the September/October issue of Inside Business.

The Ohio Department of Transportation intends to award the design-build contract for the new Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland to the team of HNTB and Walsh Construction. Their design, earlier known as "Bridge A", features a series of arched steel beams atop concrete piers. The team's proposal calls for opening the bridge a year ahead of plans and came in $163 million below expectations. Marc Lefkowitz said that some of the savings should be used to provide a multipurpose lane.

Update: ODOT posted more renderings of the winning design (PDF).

Update 2: ODOT officially awarded the contract to Walsh and HNTB.

Architect Miguel Rosales may design two pedestrian bridges in Cleveland, in addition to the planned bridge at North Coast Harbor. Cuyahoga County is negotiating with Rosales to design a bridge to Whiskey Island, and he is working with Case Western Reserve University to study possibilities for a bridge to its future West Campus.

Participants on Thursday's Sound of Ideas program discussed the future of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and shipping issues in Cleveland. The guests, including new port CEO William Friedman, also discussed dredging plans.

In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Kevin Cronin describes what bicycle and pedestrian advocates have learned in the debate over plans for the new Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland. He concludes that "it's not about a bridge, it's about a process, it's about livability and it's about people being counted."

WKSU's Kabir Bhatia spoke with planners and potential users of the planned Towpath Trail extension through Cleveland.

Members of the new Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition asked Cleveland Heights City Council to make the City more sustainable and bicycle-friendly, and to paint sharrows on five of the City's busier streets. They also presented a 500-signature petition.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded $8.29 million in Clean Ohio Trails Fund grants (PDF), including $468,000 to the Cleveland Metroparks for the West Creek Greenway, $350,000 to the City of Euclid for a Lake Erie waterfront trail and $88,524 to ParkWorks for the Lake Link Trail in Cleveland. ODNR also awarded $1.87 million in grants from its Recreational Trails Program, which includes $150,000 (PDF) for the trail in Euclid.

Update: the News-Herald has more information about Euclid's plans.

Ohio Canal Corridor and the Trust for Public Land will purchase 11 acres in the Flats for the planned extension of the Towpath Trail through Cleveland. The $4.8 million purchase will allow the trail to connect to Cleveland's planned Canal Basin Park.

Update: planners anticipate additional acquisitions.

Work on the Chagrin Falls Region Alternate Transportation Study is nearing completion. A final public meeting took place on July 6, and a final stakeholders meeting will be held on August 4.

In an editorial, the Plain Dealer urges the Ohio Department of Transportation to gather input about the proposed Innerbelt Bridge multipurpose lane from the competing design-build teams instead of outright rejecting the concept.

As anticipated, the Ohio Department of Transportation told Governor Strickland that including a multipurpose lane on the planned new Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland would not be feasible. The agency instead proposed (PDF) replacing the bicycle lanes and sidewalks on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge with barrier-separated multipurpose lanes.

Update: Governor Strickland and Jackson agree with ODOT's conclusions, while backers of the multipurpose lane are continuing their advocacy campaign.

The City of Cleveland plans to build an intermodal transportation center north of Mall C in downtown Cleveland. The center would serve Amtrak, RTA's Waterfront Line, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. It could open in five to 10 years.

The Bainbridge Township Trustees raised several questions about the Chagrin Falls Region Alternate Transportation Study.

Update: the Chagrin Valley Times has more information.

The Ohio Department of Transportation again rejected a proposal to include a multipurpose lane on the planned new Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland. Marc Lefkowitz wrote that while the campaign for the lane may not succeed, it has increased local awareness of the complete streets movement.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that ODOT reached the wrong conclusion, and the subject was among those discussed on Friday's Sound of Ideas program.

The discussion on today's Sound of Ideas program was about policy changes to support bicycling and walking in Greater Cleveland. Panelists also discussed the plans to complete the Cleveland segments of the Towpath Trail.

Consultants have prepared a preliminary concept plan for the Chagrin Falls Region Alternate Transportation Study. The study should be completed by August or September. Two public meetings have been held, and the final one take place on July 6.

The Plain Dealer has more details about the Ohio Department of Transportation's plans to grind rumble stripes along the edge lines of state routes.

Kent State University recently opened a canoe and kayak livery on the Cuyahoga River. The livery in Kent is the second on the Cuyahoga, joining Camp Hi in Hiram.

As part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's trail management plan update, park staffers and volunteers are exploring potential locations for new trails.

Towpath Trail planners continue to examine the options for the stage in Cleveland between Harvard Road and Steelyard Commons. Cleanup of the Harshaw site threatens to delay construction or force the use of a less desirable route.

This week is Cleveland Bicycle Week, and a variety of events are being held across Greater Cleveland. The Plain Dealer reported on the City of Cleveland's bicycle parking requirements and the plans for the downtown Cleveland bicycle station.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded that the Harshaw Chemical site in Cleveland presents "no unacceptable risk to current or reasonably anticipated future land uses" and that "no further action is necessary". The findings will allow the Towpath Trail extension to pass through the site. The Harshaw Investigative Area 06 Proposed Plan (PDF) is open to public comment through May 26.

On Friday, the Cleveland City Planning Commission approved the Canal Basin District Plan. The plan identifies three trail loops that would connect the planned Canal Basin Park to downtown and other neighborhoods.

ODOT District 3 has proposed installing rumble stripes along the edge lines of some state highways (PDF) in the eight-county district that includes Lorain and Medina counties. Bicyclists object to the rumble stripes, saying they would make the roads more dangerous for bicycles.

Chagrin Falls officials and consultants with Behnke Associates have begun work on the alternative transportation study for a group of Chagrin Valley communities. The first public meeting will be held on Tuesday evening.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission recently adopted a complete streets policy. Plans for roadway projects that receive funding through the Columbus-area MPO now must consider all potential users. NOACA does not yet have a similar policy.

By June, parking lots and garages in Cleveland must offer spaces for bicycle parking. The deadline was specified in the City's 2008 bicycle parking ordinance.

A grant from the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association will fund the fourth year of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Bike Aboard program in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The program drew a record 21,500 cyclists in 2009.

At its meeting on Monday, Cleveland City Council approved a resolution urging the Ohio Department of Transportation to include a multipurpose lane on the planned new Innerbelt Bridge. However, that attitude is not shared by all local politicians, as Steven LaTourette ridiculed Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's recent announcement that we have reached "the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized."

Meanwhile, ODOT announced the finalists to design and build the new bridge. The three competing teams will submit technical and price proposals in August, and ODOT will choose the winner in September. GreenCityBlueLake considered what may come next.

The first Greater Cleveland Trails & Greenways Conference will take place on June 7 in Middleburg Heights. Registration opens on April 12.

Chagrin Falls Village Council voted to accept a $68,000 TLCI grant for the Chagrin Falls Region Alternative Transportation Study. The $85,000 study will be conducted by Behnke Associates.

At an open house on Tuesday, planners presented two alternate routes for stage three of the Towpath Trail extension in Cleveland. Construction of the leg between Steelyard Commons and Literary Road in Tremont could begin in 2012. Meanwhile, the cover story of this week's Scene is about allegations of impropriety in the process of awarding Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program grants. In a controversial decision last year, the Natural Resources Assistance Council recommended funding the acquisition of two properties in the Flats for the Towpath Trail.

Update: Scene followed up with additional details about the appraisal process.

Governor Strickland told the Ohio Department of Transportation to re-evaluate the feasibility of including a multipurpose lane on the planned new Innerbelt Bridge. A Plain Dealer editorial notes that "for Strickland's call to make a real difference, ODOT planners need to bring open minds to a review they have staunchly resisted."

A Plain Dealer editorial urges the Ohio Department of Transportation to consider a multipurpose lane on the planned new Innerbelt Bridge, calling the department's responses "bureaucratic runaround."

Trail users provided input at public open houses last week for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's trail management plan.

The winners of the 2009 Cleveland Design Competition were announced on Friday. First prize went to Mario Caceres and Christian Canonico of Montrouge, France; second prize went to Pepijn van Voorst of The Hague; and third prize went to Russell Collin of London.

A report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that the former Harshaw Chemical site in Cleveland remains contaminated by radiation, but not at levels that would prevent passive recreation. The site had been considered for a potential leg of the Towpath Trail extension. Cleanup could take as many as five years.

Officials in Brecksville, Broadview Heights, and North Royalton have begun to seek funding for an extension of the Valley Parkway Trail through their communities. A trail alignment study (PDF, 35.6 MB), funded by a TLCI grant, was completed last year. It identified three alignment options.

Participants in the third annual Cleveland Design Competition devised plans for a multi-modal transportation center for the north end of the Mall in downtown Cleveland. The submissions were recently judged, and the winners will be announced on Friday. Steven Litt provides an advanced look at a couple of the entries.

Greater Cleveland residents have the opportunity to share their opinions at several meetings:

Update: Scene and the Plain Dealer have more information about FirstEnergy's request. Channel 3 reported on the Harshaw site findings. The News Sun shared details about the aerotropolis meetings.

Last Friday, the Cleveland City Planning Commission approved public art and signage designs for the Bike Rack, the planned bicycle station at the Gateway North parking garage.

A study released (PDF) by the Municipality of Bayham, Ontario examined the feasibility of ferry service between Bayham and four potential ports on the American side of Lake Erie: Ashtabula, Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, and Erie, Pennsylvania. It concluded that Cleveland and Fairport Harbor were the most promising destinations, but that while "service is feasible, it must be viewed as speculative."

Update: Bayham Council decided to cancel the second phase of the study.

A Plain Dealer editorial looks at the next steps in building the Lake Link Trail in Cleveland.

In a purchase facilitated by the Trust for Public Land, ParkWorks acquired 3.23 acres of a former rail corridor on the west bank of the Flats for the planned Lake Link Trail and Greenway. They secured a trail easement for another 1.75 acres, protecting 1.3 miles of the route that will connect the Towpath Trail with Lake Erie. Funding for the $1.2 million purchase came from a Clean Ohio Conservation Fund grant.

The Chagrin Falls Region Alternative Transportation Study was one of the 13 projects awarded a TLCI planning grant earlier this month. The study will begin in January, and will develop a plan for a trail network in eastern Cuyahoga County and western Geauga County.

Five ordinances introduced in Parma City Council were developed by students in the sustainability program at Baldwin-Wallace College. The legislation would establish a mixed-use zoning classification, legalize rain barrel installation, permit green roofs, allow bicyclists to use the sidewalks in some areas, and enhance recycling in City buildings.

A Plain Dealer editorial said that ODOT's unwillingness to consider bicycle and pedestrian access on the planned new Innerbelt Bridge reflects "an all-too-familiar lack of imagination." NOACA published 40 pages of public comments (PDF) about the proposed bike lanes.

NOACA awarded a total of $777,250 in Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grants to 13 projects in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. The NOACA Governing Board also added the 3-C Corridor passenger rail line to its long-range transportation plan.

Jacob Van Sickle of Slavic Village Development described how the Morgana Run Trail has been "an important asset in selling houses and revitalizing the neighborhood."

More than 100 people attended a rally in Tremont on Sunday for bicycle and pedestrian access on the planned new Innerbelt Bridge. They were joined by Dennis Kucinich, who wrote a letter to Governor Strickland in their support. Groups of attendees followed ODOT's proposed alternate routes in an effort to highlight their flaws.

On Monday, the City of Cleveland Heights held the third of three public meetings on the Cedar Fairmount Traffic Study. City Architecture will submit its final report and recommendations to City Council next month.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is proceeding with property acquisition for its planned new Innerbelt Bridge, including the purchase of three historic buildings that it intends to demolish. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2011, and will cause traffic disruptions until work in completed in 2017. Local cyclists continue to advocate for the inclusion of a bicycle and pedestrian lane. They will hold a rally in Tremont on Sunday.

Update: Renovating the Rust Belt has more details about the proposal for pedestrian and cyclist access. Steven Litt also described the efforts of bicycle advocates.

The Earth Day Coalition highlighted the Cleveland Clinic's efforts to encourage bicycle commuting.

Steven Litt suggests that advocates of a bike lane for the new Innerbelt Bridge should hire an independent engineer to draft plans for a bridge that would include the bike lane.

Dangerous by Design, a new report from Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Project, examined pedestrian safety in American cities. It highlights the hazards of inadequate investment in pedestrian infrastructure and the need for better design. The Cleveland MSA was one of the safer large metropolitan areas for pedestrians.

Update: the Columbus Dispatch looked at the situation in Ohio.

The Cleveland Downtown/Flats Design Review Committee approved changes to the design of the planned new Innerbelt Bridge on Thursday, and the Cleveland City Planning Commission discussed the plans today. Cyclists are not pleased with ODOT's treatment of bicycle lane issues.

Update: the Planning Commission criticized the plans for the new Innerbelt Bridge, but praised the designs for the pedestrian bridge at North Coast Harbor. GreenCityBlueLake continues to advocate for accommodating bicyclists and pedestrians.

On November 10, Clean Fuels Ohio and the Levin College Forum will host a discussion about the future of transportation in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded $6.25 million in grants from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund to 25 projects, including three in Cuyahoga County. Bedford Heights received $374,726 for the Richmond Road All-Purpose Trail, Cuyahoga Heights received $500,000 for the Cuyahoga Heights Multi-Use Trail, and the West Creek Preservation Committee received $103,125 for the O'Malley-Henninger Greenway.

While Congress passed an one-month extension of SAFETEA-LU, the 2005 transportation law, it did not remove the $8.7 billion rescission included in the old bill. The cuts have hit alternative transportation projects especially hard, and Ohio is among the states canceling funding for transportation enhancements, CMAQ, and trails projects.

Marc Lefkowitz looked at proposals for multipurpose trails and greenways in suburban Cuyahoga County and described the process that led to the construction of the Lake to Lake Trail in Middleburg Heights

Citing a lack of support from residents, the City of Parma canceled the planning study for the proposed Avon-Juniper Multipurpose Trail.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park's first step in updating its trails plan is an informal survey of area stakeholders. Backpackers, equestrians, and mountain bikers would all like to see more trails.

Today's Plain Dealer presents additional details about the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's unwillingness to support a grant proposal for a trail at Dike 14 in Cleveland.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that "port officials need to be far more forthcoming" about their decision. Port Authority President Adam Wasserman said that there are ownership questions about the site that must be resolved.

The third annual Cleveland Design Competition launched today. This year's competition focuses on the downtown Amtrak station and "challenges entrants to propose designs for a Multi-Modal Transportation Center in Downtown Cleveland at the north end of the historic Mall." The registration deadline is December 1.

Cleveland Metroparks officials hope to eventually extend the Lake to Lake Trail to Beyer's Pond at the Big Creek Reservation in Middleburg Heights.

The Ohio Division of the Federal Highway Administration conducted a Review of Ohio Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning and Safety Efforts (PDF) at the Ohio Department of Transportation and the state's metropolitan planning organizations. It included a set of recommendations to improve the conditions for bicycling and walking. Meanwhile, two Ohio Senators introduced a bill that would establish a safe lateral passing distance for motorists passing cyclists.

Trail projects in Brooklyn Heights and Cuyahoga Heights were among the 15 Ohio projects awarded grants through the Recreational Trails Program.

Update: one of the planned trails is a portion of the West Creek Greenway and would connect the Henninger House in Parma to Brooklyn Heights Village Park.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority is no longer pursuing a proposed Lake Erie ferry from North Coast Harbor to Port Stanley, Ontario, at least partly due to issues on the Canadian side. However, planning continues for the initiation of ferry service between Lake County and Port Burwell, Ontario. Port Authority officials instead want to proceed with modifications to the Port of Cleveland and the development of cargo container shipping. The Port Authority will apply for federal stimulus funds to establish a containerized shipping line between Cleveland and Montreal.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association and the National Park Service are launching the new Trails Forever initiative, an effort to repair and expand the park's trail network. One of their goals is to raise a $10 million endowment by 2016, the interest from which would be used to enhance the trails. Meanwhile, the environmental cleanup of the former Krejci Dump in the park was extended through the end of November 2011. Contamination at the site is more extensive than anticipated.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority withdrew its support from a proposal to build a trail at Dike 14 in Cleveland, because it wants more time to consider how Dike 14 relates to the planned port relocation. On September 26, the Dike 14 Education Collaborative will hold Migration Mania (PDF), an open house with self-guided walking tours (PDF).

Architect Miguel Rosales has developed six concepts for the planned pedestrian bridge at Cleveland's North Coast Harbor. The City plans to select a design this fall, begin design work next year, and start construction in 2012. Steven Litt said that the project could "set a new standard of excellence for public infrastructure in Cleveland, if not the entire state." The City is conducting a poll where people can vote for their favorite design.

The newest stretch of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is 2.25 miles long and includes 1,645-foot section that floats over Summit Lake in South Akron. It will be dedicated on Friday.

Update: an Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that investment in the Towpath Trail "already is paying off handsomely."

URS Corp. prepared a feasibility study for the proposed Avon-Juniper Multipurpose Trail in southern Parma. It identified several possible routes for a trail that would connect the Big Creek Reservation with the West Creek Reservation. However, many residents object to the concepts because of worries about privacy and crime.

An editorial in the newly-consolidated Chagrin Solon Sun says that "it's time for Chagrin Valley municipalities to put bike racks around town."

Leaders in Orange are considering the installation of bicycle paths along seven roadways in the Village. Construction would cost an estimated $4 million.

The Downtown Cleveland Alliance launched the City Bikes program today. The bicycle rental program begins with 17 bicycles and will operate seven days a week. It's based on East 4th Street, but next year could move to the planned bike station at the Gateway North parking garage.

Independence officials say that the proposed Hemlock Trail could be completed in the next few years. Federal and state funding will cover most of the costs, with the City paying for ecological and environmental studies.

GreenCityBlueLake reports that the Downtown Cleveland Alliance plans to launch a bike rental program by the end of this month. The Plain Dealer has more details about the organization's efforts to renew the Downtown Cleveland Special Improvement District for a second five-year term.

Later this year, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park will begin work on a new trails plan. The current trails plan was prepared in 1985. Meanwhile, National Park Superintendent John Debo announced his retirement today (PDF), effective July 3. In August, he will become the chief development officer of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association. Debo has served as superintendent for 21 years.

Update: the Akron Beacon Journal and WKSU have more information about Debo's departure. The Beacon Journal also published a very positive editorial.

Friday's Sound of Ideas program on WCPN was devoted to a discussion of cycling issues in Northeast Ohio

Update: Jim Sheehan of the Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op shared his thoughts in a Plain Dealer op-ed.

Steven Litt spoke with Boston architect Miguel Rosales about the pedestrian bridge he will be designing for North Coast Harbor in Cleveland.

Mayor Brick of Chagrin Falls would like to create an ad hoc committee to advise the Village on bicycle and walking trail issues. The committee would facilitate planning for multipurpose trails that would connect with networks in Cuyahoga and Geauga counties.

On Monday, Brooklyn City Council voted to accept the Big Creek Trail and Neighborhood Connector Plan, and reassured apprehensive residents that a trail would not run through their back yards.

Backers of the Canal Basin Park District Plan say that the greenspace and trail network would be a transformational green project. The City of Cleveland is seeking federal stimulus funds for its implementation. A complementary proposal, Flats Connections Plan, calls for converting old infrastructure into more trails and greenways in the Flats. GreenCityBlueLake has a virtual tour of the plans.

The designers selected in 2007 have begun working on the planned pedestrian bridge for North Coast Harbor in Cleveland. Their first goal is to create around five conceptual alternatives for review. The project is scheduled to break ground in 2011.

The final public meeting about plans for the Canal Basin Park District in Cleveland will be held on March 11. The open house will be held at the Bridgeview Apartments from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Now that the Lower Big Creek Valley Greenway Redevelopment & Restoration Plan has been adopted by the City of Cleveland, backers have begun seeking funding for the implementation of the $11 million plan.

The Cleveland City Planning Commission today unanimously approved the Lower Big Creek Valley Greenway Redevelopment & Restoration Plan (PDF, 79.1 MB). It calls for investments of nearly $11 million in a trail network and environmental restoration projects. The new trails will connect Brookside Reservation and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with the Towpath Trail.

Update: the Plain Dealer published more details.

Channel 3 followed up yesterday's story about creating a sustainable transportation system with a report about transportation choices that individuals can make. The station also examined proposals for commuter rail in Ohio.

GreenCityBlueLake Institute Director David Beach appeared on Channel 3 this morning to discuss the state of Greater Cleveland's transportation infrastructure and the need to develop a sustainable transportation system.

The Cleveland City Planning Commission unanimously approved the Train Avenue Greenway Plan last week. The plans call for creating a 2.5-mile trail and greenway along the Train Avenue corridor between West 65th Street and the Towpath Trail. The project will cost an estimated $2.6 million.

David Beach shares his thoughts about the recommendations recently identified by ODOT's 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force and what it will take to develop a sustainable transportation system.

Steven Litt critiqued the plans for the Towpath Trail through Cleveland, and was displeased with the design of the section at Steelyard Commons. He also commented on the way that bureaucracy is deterring creative solutions and the challenges in designing the stage 1 extension of the trail.

The Flats Connections Plan, a new proposal from ParkWorks, Cleveland Public Art, and Building Cleveland by Design, shows how a greenway could link the Towpath Trail to the west bank of the Flats and Whiskey Island.

The Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force delivered its report to Governor Strickland today. The task force identified four strategies and made 13 recommendations. The final report (PDF) and its appendices (PDF) are available online.

Update: the Plain Dealer and the Blade have more information about the task force's recommendations, which include raising the state's fuel tax. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that the report "intelligently addresses the state's transportation needs".

Project organizers and consultants presented the Big Creek Trail and Neighborhood Connector Plan to Brooklyn City Council on Monday. A public meeting on the plan will take place on December 15 at 3:00 in Brooklyn City Hall.

A public meeting about stage 3 construction of the Towpath Trail will take place on November 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Sokolowski's University Inn in Tremont. This leg of the trail will connect Steelyard Commons to Literary Road.

Over 18,000 bicyclists used the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway's Bike Aboard! program this year, nearly three times as many as in 2007. The service will resume in April with the same $2.00 fare.

The Plain Dealer recounts the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association's dispute with the Cleveland Metroparks over building trails in the park system. Meanwhile, the National Park Service is preparing a rule that will transfer decision making-power about bicycle trails to local park administrators. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park will use funds from the Krejci dump settlement to study the possibility of building trails.

On October 23, the Ohio Department of Transportation will hold an open house about funding and development of recreational trails in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties. It will be held at the CanalWay Center in the Cleveland Metroparks Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation.

NOACA awarded $869,600 in TLCI grants for 15 transportation planning studies in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Medina counties. The awards include $50,000 to the City of Parma for planning a multipurpose trail along the First Energy corridor near the City's southern border, and $48,000 for planning a bicycle path in Medina.

Update: Maple Heights will use its award to study ways to make Broadway Avenue friendlier to pedestrians and bicyclists.

A June audit of Chester's town center found that the area lacks infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. Similar workshops were held in Brooklyn Centre, Lakewood, and Strongsville.

The Plain Dealer summarized the impacts of the Clean Ohio program in Greater Cleveland. The bond program is up for renewal as Issue 2, and Lakewood City Council passed a resolution in support of program.

Update: Issue 2 has bipartisan support from top office-holders in Columbus.

The partners working on the proposed Big Creek Trail and Neighborhood Connector hope to select a preferred alignment next month. About 100 residents attended an August public meeting about the trail.

At a public workshop last month, consultants presented three concepts for improving the Cedar-Fairmount business district in Cleveland Heights. Participants favored an option that calls for widening the sidewalks along Cedar Road and narrowing the street.

The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association reports that it has been unsuccessful in its efforts to get the Cleveland Metroparks to allow the expansion of a bike trail network.

(via Cool Cleveland)

A Plain Dealer editorial urges voters to approve Issue 2, the renewal of the Clean Ohio program, calling it a "a sound investment that benefits both urban and rural Ohioans."

On Friday, WCPN's Sound of Ideas examined the conflicts between bicyclists and motorists.

An Akron Beacon Journal backs the renewal of the Clean Ohio program, saying that it "has been a catalyst for change in the state's economy."

Mayor Jackson's Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee summarized the City of Cleveland's progress over the last year.

Several potential routes have been identified for the planned Big Creek Trail and Neighborhood Connector, and residents are invited to provide input about the proposals at a public meeting this evening in Brooklyn City Hall. The greenway would link the Cleveland Metroparks Big Creek and Brookside Reservations by running through Parma, Brooklyn, and Cleveland.

Walk+Roll Cleveland's signature event will be held on Sunday in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park, and provides an opportunity to reflect on the renewed interest in the park's Cultural Gardens. Steven Litt is encouraged by the recent activity, but feels that the park and gardens "need to be re-envisioned". ParkWorks and University Circle Incorporated are engaged in a strategic planning process to improve the park.

The National Park Service is working to reduce automobile traffic in its parks. In the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Bike Aboard service has tripled in popularity this summer. It offers cyclists the opportunity to bike the Towpath Trail in one direction and ride the train in the other for a $2 fare.

The City of Cleveland's 2010 Active Transportation Plan calls for creating a 180 mile network of bicycle routes, including a City Trail Loop connecting the City's large parks.

In an editorial, the Morning Journal supports the renewal of the Clean Ohio program, saying that "it's one issue that should not get lost in the crowd" this November.

A public meeting about the Canal Basin District Plan will be held this evening at KA's design studio on West 9th Street in Cleveland. Planners are looking for ways to connect the Towpath Trail and planned Canal Basin Park to nearby neighborhoods and Lake Erie.

Construction of the all-purpose Lake to Lake Trail in Middleburg Heights is continuing, though its expected completion date has been pushed back to spring 2009. The 2.3 mile trail will connect Lakes Abram and Issac.

In addition to offering driving and public transit directions, Google Maps now includes walking directions.

(via The Map Room)

The Plain Press describes the plans for the Train Avenue trail and greenway in Cleveland. Officials hope to obtain funding for the project through ODOT's Transportation Enhancement Program.

Walk Score has been updated with new walkability rankings by city and neighborhood. Of the nation's 40 largest cities, the City of Cleveland was ranked as the 14th most walkable. The only Cleveland neighborhood to make the top 100 was downtown, at number 73.

GreenCityBlueLake provides an update on bicycle planning in Cleveland. The City received an honorable mention as a Bicycle Friendly Community in May, and the League of American Bicyclists provided suggestions (PDF) for earning a full designation. A complete streets resolution has been prepared (PDF) for consideration by Cleveland City Council. The City also applied to participate (PDF) in the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program if Congress reauthorizes it in the 2010 transportation bill.

The Heights Observer provides more details about the recent public meeting on potential changes to the Cedar-Fairmount area.

Plans for the extension of the Towpath Trail from Harvard Road to Steelyard Commons include the construction of a tunnel and two new bridges. Consultant DLZ has posted materials from this week's public meeting, and is accepting public comments.

The economic stimulus package signed yesterday by Governor Strickland includes a renewal of the Clean Ohio program. If Ohio voters approve the $400 million bond issue in November, funding for the program will be doubled. Half of the funds would be used for brownfield remediation, and the other half would support greenspace conservation, trail construction, and farmland preservation.

Cleveland Heights residents would like the Cedar-Fairmount district to be more pedestrian-friendly. Planners are evaluating several options, including narrowing Cedar Road from six to four lanes. A second public workshop will be held in September.

Workers finished excavating a 137-foot-long tunnel last week for the Lake to Lake Trail in Middleburg Heights. The trail should be completed next spring.

Strongsville was one of four Greater Cleveland communities to host National Center for Bicycling and Walking workshops aimed at finding ways to make the City friendlier for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Local employees have adopted a variety of policies to help employees deal with rising commuting costs, and RTA reports that Park-N-Ride ridership increased by 4% between April 2007 and April 2008. At the same time, nonprofits, governments, and businesses are encouraging Ohioans to reduce idling in order to save gasoline and reduce pollution.

In addition to the other projects mentioned earlier, the Ohio capital budget bill includes $500,000 for lakefront development in Euclid.

Update: the bill also includes $150,000 for the renovation of League Park, $100,000 for the redesign of the Euclid Beach Pier, and $15,000 for the completion of a walking trail in Parma Heights.

ODOT's Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force will hold one of its seven statewide transportation conversations at Cleveland State University on June 17. Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting, complete an online survey, and provide ideas and opinions.

Commuters are showing more interest in carpooling and public transportation because of the high gas prices. New user registrations at OhioRideshare increased from an average of a dozen per month to more than 130 per month in April and May.

The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association is trying to convince the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Metroparks systems in Cuyahoga and Summit counties to build a 100 mile network of unpaved trails.

The Treadway Creek Greenway Restoration & Trail in Old Brooklyn was offically dedicated at a ceremony at Harmody Park this morning.

Christopher Leinberger, the featured speaker at today's Historic Downtown Cleveland Luncheon Forum, writes about Cleveland and his recent study of walkable urban areas. He predicts that if Greater Cleveland follows national trends, the region should have "12 to 14 regionally significant walkable urban places over the next 20 years". At the luncheon, he urged local developers to build walkable neighborhoods. Steven Litt feels that downtown Cleveland has great potential, although it currently lacks pedestrian activity.

The Cleveland City Planning Commission approved a proposal to require one bicycle parking space for every 20 car parking spaces. The proposal also calls for reducing the number of required car spaces by one when six bicycle spaces are provided.

The Northeast Ohio Rideshare program has been expanded to encompass bicycle commuters seeking riding companions through the new OhioBikeBuddies program. Interested participants are encouraged to check the site frequently as its database grows.

Update: WCPN offers additional details.

The City of Parma Heights will build a walking path in Greenbrier Commons. The construction, funded by a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant, should be completed by mid-June.

The Plain Dealer took a brief look at the history of the Sidaway Bridge in Cleveland.

At its Friday meeting, the NOACA Governing Board adopted a new Regional Bicycle Transportation Plan (PDF). It is an update to a 1997 plan, and will be incorporated into the agency's long range transportation plan.

This week's Free Times looks at the pending legislative reauthorization of the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway and the progress on the extension of the Towpath Trail through Cleveland.

This evening, the Stockyard Redevelopment Organization will convene the first of three public meetings about a proposed Walworth Run trail. The trail would run along Train Avenue and connect the West Side Reliever High School and Zone Recreation Center to the Towpath Trail.

The West Creek Preservation Committee and the Village of Brooklyn Heights are working to gather funding for a trail that will head east out of the Village Park. The trail will form part of the planned West Creek Greenway.

A group of port authority and municipal officials met in Mentor to discuss the proposed Cleveland to Port Stanley ferry and the proposed Fairport Harbor to Port Burwell ferry. A working group will assess possible collaborations on several issues.

(via Brewed Fresh Daily)

The City of Cleveland is seeking interdisciplinary consultants to develop the Canal Basin District Plan, which will be a conceptual study intended to "help to establish a roadmap for future public and private investment decisions that will turn the Cuyahoga River Valley into a major attraction for residents and visitors, alike."

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail continued to grow in 2007. To date, 78 of the trail's planned 101 miles have been built.

The Shaker Boulevard median trail in Shaker Heights was officially completed on Friday.

Plans for a ferry between Cleveland and Port Stanley, Ontario remain on the drawing board, despite several years of planning and nearly $1 million spent. Officials with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority attribute the slow progress to complications on the Canadian side.

Work will begin next summer in restoring a 10 acre site at the confluence of West Creek and the Cuyahoga River in Independence. The City of Independence and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are also planning Hemlock Trail, a 1.5 to 1.7 mile long multi-purpose trail through Independence and Valley View that would connect the Towpath Trail to Brecksville Road.

The Treadway Creek Trail in Old Brooklyn recently opened to the public. It links Harmody Park to the Towpath Trail, and will be formally opened in the spring.

A new report from the Brookings Institution on walkable urban places ranked Greater Cleveland 29th of the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. Washington, D.C. was ranked first. Under the survey's criteria, University Circle was the only walkable place in Cleveland.

Update: the Plain Dealer provides additional analysis.

Construction of the Lake to Lake Trail in Middleburg Heights has begun, and it should be finished in November 2008. The Cleveland Metroparks project will connect Lake Isaac and Lake Abram. In Brooklyn Heights, the Eagle Glen Connector Bridge in the Village Park was installed. It eventually will be part of a trail linking Brooklyn Heights to the Towpath Trail. In Seven Hills, a new mile-long trail behind City Hall opened to the public.

At a public meeting late last month, residents provided input and ideas in the planning process for the Lower Big Creek Valley Greenway Redevelopment & Restoration Plan.

The Plain Dealer looked at the popularity of neighborhood footpaths in older Cleveland suburbs.

Broadview Heights City Council rejected a $69,000 TLCI grant for planning a greenway connector trail along Chippewa Creek. It's the first time a city has refused a TLCI grant.

The new RTA Red Line rapid transit station at West 117th Street opened at 9:30 this morning. Its official name is the W. 117th St.–Madison Avenue Highland Square Rapid Station. RTA officials also announced that bicycles will now be allowed on the rapid during rush hour.

Leaders in Strongsville are discussing the City's lack of sidewalks.

Canadian officials budgeted $315,000 to study the proposed Lake Erie ferry that would link the Mentor Headlands Beach State Park area to Port Burwell, Ontario.

The Plain Dealer profiled Ryan McKenzie's efforts to make the CityWheels carsharing service a success.

The new Towpath Trail segment through Steelyard Commons in Cleveland was formally dedicated yesterday. Steelyard Commons will hold a grand opening celebration (PDF) on Thursday.

(Update: The West Side Sun News offers additional details about the dedication and the grand opening.)

The City of Broadview Heights was awarded a $69,000 TLCI grant to conduct a feasibility study on the creation of a greenway connector trail between The Fields and the Cleveland Metroparks Brecksville Reservation.

The City of Cleveland selected a team led by the Cleveland office of Wilbur Smith Associates to design a new pedestrian bridge at North Coast Harbor. The bridge will connect Voinovich Park to the finger pier north of the Great Lakes Science Center.

Brooklyn officials obtained a $60,000 TLCI grant to help pay for a feasibility study for a three mile extension of the Big Creek greenway trail. In Middleburg Heights, work on the Lake to Lake All Purpose Trail will begin in September. The trail will link Lake Abram to Lake Isaac. In Shaker Heights, construction of the Shaker Boulevard median trail started earlier this week.

Brooklyn Heights' leaders plan to use the Cuyahoga Valley, the Village's central location, and the Towpath Trail (including the West Creek Greenway) as the linchpins of the Village's redevelopment plans.

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency awarded $750,000 in Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grants to 12 neighborhood transportation planning studies (PDF) in Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Lorain Counties.

In Shaker Heights, City Council unanimously approved the construction of the Shaker Boulevard median trail. Work is scheduled to begin next month. In Broadview Heights, crews have nearly finished building a multipurpose trail along Broadview Road. The City will seek a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to extend the trail to the south.

In multipurpose trail news:

The Village of Brooklyn Heights will hire Nerone & Sons of Warrensville Heights to build the Eagle Glen Connector Bridge and Hiking Trail for $174,700. Construction of the bridge is scheduled to begin in October.

Michael Gill of the Free Times profiles several local entrepreneurs who use bicycles to create business opportunities.

The proposed multipurpose trail in the Shaker Boulevard median has elicited mixed reactions from Shaker Heights residents.

The City of Shaker Heights plans to build a 1.5 mile multipurpose trail in the Shaker Boulevard median. It would form part of a trail network linking the Heights area with Cleveland's east side. Meanwhile, Bedford officials are preparing to begin work on a trail connecting City Hall to to Ellenwood Center.

This morning's edition of The Sound of Ideas on WCPN was devoted to a discussion of the Towpath Trail and its planned completion through Cleveland. The guests were Ohio Canal Corridor Director Tim Donovan, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent John Debo, and CPC Executive Director Paul Alsenas.

The Village of Brooklyn Heights is soliciting bids for the construction of the Eagle Glen Connector Bridge and Hiking Trail over West Creek. It will connect the Village Park to Seven Hills and eventually with the Towpath Trail.

On June 27, the City Club will host a panel discussion about plans to bring the Towpath Trail to downtown Cleveland. It will be held at the CanalWay Center in the Cleveland Metroparks Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation.

The City of Seven Hills approved spending $75,000 and opening bids for the construction of a mile-long multipurpose trail that will eventually link to the West Creek Greenway. Construction of the $800,000 trail should be completed this summer. Meanwhile, Broadview Heights officials are applying for grants that would permit them to examine the feasibility of building trails.

Mittal Steel donated $30,000 and close to an acre of land along the west bank of the Cuyahoga River for the development of green bulkheads. The land will also be used for the extension of the Towpath Trail through Cleveland.

Bill Callahan shares updates from the Port Stanley News on the status of the planned Cleveland to Ontario Lake Erie ferry.

The City of Brooklyn will apply for a $75,000 TLCI grant to conduct an alignment study for a proposed trail linking the Cleveland Metroparks Big Creek and Brookside Reservations.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded approximately $2.3 million in NatureWorks Grants for park and recreational improvements. The recipients included a number of projects in Northeast Ohio.

Today's Plain Dealer supplies more details about the new 1.75 mile stretch of the Towpath Trail at Steelyard Commons in Cleveland. Meanwhile, Summit County may meet a landowner's demand for $80,000 to purchase land that was appraised for $20,000 and is needed for the trail.

Bill Callahan paid a visit to the new Towpath Trail section that runs through Steelyard Commons, and described it as "basically a long, narrow chainlink tunnel".

Feedback from residents was positive at the first in a series of meetings convened by the West Creek Preservation Committee. The final meeting will be held at the Parmatown Conference Center in Parmatown Mall on May 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The West Creek Preservation Committee will host a series of public meetings about the planned West Creek Greenway, which would link the West Creek Reservation to the Towpath Trail. The first meeting will be held on April 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Brooklyn Heights Community Center.

The owner of a strip of land needed for the Towpath Trail near the border of Akron and Coventry Township is preventing the trail's construction by demanding $80,000 for the land, which was appraised at $26,000.

The Towpath Trail Partnership Committee, a group of eight nonprofit organizations and government agencies, will host a public meeting about the proposed extension of the Towpath Trail from Harvard Road to Steelyard Commons. It will be held on April 17, from 4:00 to 8:00 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

The Portage Park District has begun developing a countywide parks, trails, and greenways plan. The $65,000 plan will take about a year to complete. Seven public meetings will be held to collect public input.

U.S. Representative Ralph Regula introduced a bill that would extend the authorization for the Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway for 15 years and provide an additional $10 million in federal funding. Legislation approved in 1996 authorizes federal support until 2012, but the $8 million made available since 1996 is near the federal maximum.

Plans in northern Summit County call for rerouting a one mile stretch of the Bike & Hike Trail in Northfield Center and Sagamore Hills Townships from Brandywine Road to an off-road route. Meanwhile, the City of Akron is planning a 7,000 foot extension of the Towpath Trail that includes a floating section.

The city councils of Westlake and Cleveland passed resolutions in support of federal funding for a West Shore corridor alternatives analysis. The study would examine the proposed commuter rail line between Cleveland and Lorain and other potential transportation improvements.

As part of the Fulton Road Bridge replacement project, the closed John Nagy Boulevard will be replaced by a $1.2 million multipurpose trail. The trail near near the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will connect to existing trails in Brookside Park and eventually to the Towpath Trail, once the Big Creek Connector is constructed.

Work on the multipurpose trail portion of the Treadway Creek Greenway Restoration Project is slated to begin this spring. It will eventually link Harmody Park to the Towpath Trail. Planning for a second trail linking the Zoo to the Towpath is being conducted as part of the Lower Big Creek Greenway Redevelopment and Restoration project.

The City of Berea obtained $150,000 in CDBG funds for the construction of a $450,000 pedestrian bridge at Coe Lake. An August groundbreaking is scheduled.

On February 14, NOACA will host the first in a series of APA web conferences. The session on complete streets is free to APA members and $5 for non-members. Additional web conferences will be held in March, April, and May.

Yesterday, workers placed a 65 foot long pedestrian bridge over the Ohio & Erie Canal near Lock 2 Park in Akron. When completed, it will form part of a Towpath Trail loop around downtown Akron.

The cover story in the current issue of Science Weekly examines the correlations between urban sprawl and obesity, and considers several studies conducted over the past few years that looked at walkability and health concerns.

(via Boing Boing)

On Friday, ODOT Innerbelt Project Manager Craig Hebebrand presented Innerbelt planning updates to the Cleveland City Planning Commission. Some members offered support for a proposed bicycle/pedestrian lane on the Innerbelt Bridge, but the Commission did not vote on the issue. ODOT will hold a public open house on Thursday, February 1, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Tremont.

In this week's Free Times, Michael Gill examines the efforts to get ODOT to consider a bicycle lane for their planned new Innerbelt Bridge. ODOT officials have not been receptive to the proposal. Meanwhile, a Plain Dealer editorial urges ODOT to be more flexible in their Innerbelt planning and calls for a brief cooling off period.

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