Cleveland Awarded Grant to Improve Bike and Mobility Planning

"It will shape our implementation approach, with the goal of making quick improvements to bicycle connectivity on our roadways"

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click to enlarge Cleveland Awarded Grant to Improve Bike and Mobility Planning
Photo courtesy Bike Cleveland

Cleveland will receive a $50,000 grant and technical guidance from City Thread, a national nonprofit focused on urban planning and development, as part of the organization's Accelerated Mobility Playbook program.

Led by national mobility experts Zoe Kircos, Sara Studdard and Kyle Wagenschutz, the AMP program will emphasize equity, inclusion and high quality infrastructure. It follows on the success of City Thread’s The Final Mile, which helped five cities build more than 300 miles of bike lanes in two years.

“We help community, city and elected leaders identify a shared goal, and then keep everyone moving toward it while ensuring that folks stay informed, engaged and committed," said Kircos. "The trust and goodwill these communities build is essential to getting things done.”

As part of the program, Cleveland will first be assessed in terms of mobility and implementation readiness. The audit will examine existing mobility infrastructure, current plans and how mobility is funded. After the audit, the city will receive an action plan to improve its mobility network.

“Cleveland was selected because of the current momentum and leadership around developing a strategy for rapid low-stress bikeway construction that allows the city to significantly build out connections and close gaps over the next three years,” Suddard said.

City Thread factored in Cleveland's “willingness to accelerate network implementation and challenge the status quo of mobility planning” into its selection, citing Bike Cleveland’s longtime partnership with the city and Mayor Justin Bibb’s “commitment to providing a variety of transportation choices for residents”.

“With new leadership across our city there is urgency for the rapid build-out of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure as a strategy for improved community health, to address climate change, and improve safety on our roads,” said Jacob VanSickle, Executive Director at Bike Cleveland. “The AMP Technical Assistance will be a piece of the puzzle to build support and an action plan to connect our disparate bike network.”

A lack of protected bike lanes, disconnected pathways, and other issues have long been issues in the city, though major projects are on the horizon, including the fully funded Superior Midway, which the city hopes to begin construction on in 2025, and the Lorain cycle track, which is about halfway toward its funding goal.

“Recommendations from City Thread will shape our implementation approach, with the goal of making quick improvements to bicycle connectivity on our roadways,” said Calley Mersmann, Cleveland’s Senior Strategist for Transit and Mobility. "With approximately 16 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Cleveland coming from the transportation sector, making it more comfortable, safe, and convenient to bike, walk, and ride transit is a key climate action strategy."

Cleveland is set to launch a process to improve mobility early next year.

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