The newly minted nonprofit
will bring together Northeast Ohio cyclists through cycling events, educational programming and advocacy work, says Jacob Van Sickle, the group's new Executive Director. The group also will provide area cyclists with a unified voice in transportation planning across the region.
Over the course of the next year, Bike Cleveland plans to focus on prioritizing bike investments in the West Shoreway project, collaborating with the City of Cleveland to update and prioritize its Bikeway Master Plan, creating fun biking events and advocating for cyclist-friendly policies throughout the region.
One of the group's first advocacy projects will be to rally against HR 7
, the transportation bill that has been proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives. That bill would eliminate dedicated funding for transportation, cut funding that helps to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians, and shortchange funding for repairing existing roads and bridges and improving roadways for cyclists.
For several years, Cleveland's cycling community has been fragmented among different organizations. The launch of Bike Cleveland last summer and now the hiring of Van Sickle unites cyclists under a common banner for the first time.
Van Sickle says Cleveland's energized cycling community has a lot ot be proud of. The 2010 American Community Survey shows that .8 percent of Clevelanders now use a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation to work -- a figure well above the national average of .53 percent. This is a 280-percent increase over one decade, giving Cleveland the highest 10-year increase in the country.
“I am looking forward to working with current and future Bike Cleveland members, and the greater cycling community, to continue to grow the cycling movement in Greater Cleveland," said Van Sickle in a press release.
Source: Jacob Van Sickle
Writer: Lee Chilcote