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Cleveland Bikers to ODOT: “Let Us Cross the Bridge”

Today on the Streetsblog Network,
we’ve got the story of some bicyclists who turned out in the bitter
cold last weekend to rally for a bike path to be included in the
reconstruction of the I-90 Innerbelt Bridge.

Advocates
have been pushing for such a path, which would give bikers a direct
route from some of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods to
downtown, in the face of continued resistance from the Ohio Department
of Transportation. The thing is, now they have federal policy on their
side.

Here’s what Rustwire.com‘s Nick Wright has to say about the situation:

img_0135_large_225x300.jpgBicyclists demand equal access to a key river crossing in Cleveland.

The bridge is going to be replaced anyway, beginning in 2011. So why not include such a path? It seems rare nowadays that the common sense, the public interest, and federal agency’s directives are on the same page. The Federal Highway Administration’s officially adopted policy for new transportation infrastructure, you would think, makes it easy for ODOT to give the path a green light:

"Every transportation
agency has the responsibility and the opportunity to make a difference
to the bicycle-friendliness and walkability of our communities. The
design information to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians is
available, as is the funding."

…Given the
scale and scope of the I-90 Inner Belt project, the state and feds
cannot afford…to invest in infrastructure that solely
caters to the automobile.…[I]f a bike/ped
path along the contour of a roaring interstate highway bridge isn’t
easy and innocuous enough, then the horizon is bleak for our
Clevelands, Detroits, Buffalos and Toledos.

More from around the network: The City Fix has a video on Los Angeles’s slick marketing campaign for Metro. WalkBikeJersey reports on the rebirth of bicycle advocacy in Jersey City. And Bike Delaware says it’s time for action on a three-foot passing law in that state.