new 'lake to lakes trail' will help cyclists safely travel from the heights to downtown

Thanks to roadway improvements and striking new signage, University Circle is becoming easier to navigate all the time. Yet it's a grim joke among cyclists that navigating the spaghetti intersection at Stokes, Martin Luther King Jr. and Cedar is akin to taking your life into your hands.

This issue affects more than a small, insignificant sliver of the population: According to City of Cleveland Bike Planner Marty Cader, the number of bike commuters continues to rise each year. In fact, he says, the parking garages at the Cleveland Clinic are filled with bikes these days, many of which originate from points further east.

The City of Cleveland recently broke ground on a new trail which is expected to ease this life-threatening commute. The so-called Lake to Lakes Trail consists of a new 10-foot-wide trail and improved intersections that should be complete by the end of summer. The trail will better connect the Harrison Dillard Bikeway in Rockefeller Park with the bike paths at Shaker Lakes in Shaker Heights.

The project overcame huge design challenges by funneling bike traffic through existing public land in University Circle. The City of Cleveland is reconstructing several traffic islands and adding ADA ramps and pedestrian signals to help make road crossings safer. The trail will meander through the hidden gem of Rudy Rogers Park, where Doan Brook flows into a culvert before emerging in Rockefeller Park, and then head up Fairhill Boulevard into the Heights.

The project is being funded by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The trail also adds another leg to the city's Bikeway Master Plan, which is beginning to form vital connections between city neighborhoods. With the help of the Lake to Lakes Trail, cyclists will be able to easily and safely bike from Shaker Heights to downtown Cleveland along Euclid Ave., or out to the lakefront.

Source: Marty Cader
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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