Bike-riding in the Cleveland area is up 50 percent since 2006, according to a recent survey by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)
Cleveland Heights is hoping to push the figure even higher in next
year's survey with the addition of "sharrows" on city roads.
"Sharrow" is short for "share-the-road arrows," which are painted onto
road surfaces. "You use them when you don't have enough room for a bike
lane," explains Richard Wong, the city's director of planning and
development. Sharrows are intended to remind bicyclists where they
should ride -- with the flow of vehicular traffic, not against -- and
to encourage drivers to share the road.
"They'll help reduce tension between bicyclists and motorists," says Nick Matthew of the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition
which gathered more than 500 signatures on a petition urging the city
to become one of the first in Northeast Ohio to adopt sharrows. Cleveland was the first, on Franklin Avenue.
Last week, just two months after the petition was presented to the
city, sharrows were painted on Euclid Heights Boulevard,
between Taylor and Coventry. (West of Coventry, where on-street parking
is legal some hours, the city will install yellow "Share the Road"
signs.) By next year, Wong says, the city plans to paint sharrows on
Coventry, Lee and Fairmount.
Cleveland Heights ranks in the top 10 percent nationally for bicycle
commuting by residents, according to data from the 2000 Census.
Source: Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition
Writer: Frank W. Lewis