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

Today on the Streetsblog Network [1],
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 [2]‘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 [3] 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 [4] has a video on Los Angeles’s slick marketing campaign for Metro. WalkBikeJersey [5] reports on the rebirth of bicycle advocacy in Jersey City. And Bike Delaware [6] says it’s time for action on a three-foot passing law in that state.