cleveland in process of passing bike-friendly 'complete streets' legislation

Cleveland City Council is considering "Complete and Green Streets" legislation that would require all infrastructure and roadway redevelopment projects to be designed, operated and maintained for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists.   

If it passes, Cleveland's law would require that the City consider striping in bike lanes or 'sharrows' that mark cycling routes as well as crosswalk enhancements when it resurfaces roads. It would also require that the city consider "multi-modal" user access (bikes, pedestrians and transit users) when completing roadway reconstruction projects. Finally, infrastructure projects would have to be designed to complement the community, incorporate 'green' elements such as recycled and permeable pavement, and connect streets for all users.

The legislation was tabled at Council's July meeting after Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone and members of Sustainable Cleveland 2019's transportation working group expressed concerns about its loopholes. "Some people think it's 'complete streets light,'" says Marty Cader, Bike and Pedestrian Planner with the city. "Matt and others are looking to toughen it up, so there are fewer exceptions."  The legislation will now be read by committees before it is reintroduced.

According to Jacob Van Sickle, Active Living Coordinator with Slavic Village Development and a lead organizer behind the nonprofit advocacy group Bike Cleveland, such legislation not only makes sense, it's long overdue.

"In the past, there hasn't been enough consideration of multi-modal projects -- it's been more about paving roads," he says. "Yet a lot of people don't own cars in the city of Cleveland because they can't afford them, so this is really an equity issue."

Van Sickle hopes that once the legislation is passed, implementation policies can be put into place to ensure that once a project is in the planning stages, motorists as well as pedestrians, cyclists and transit users can be better accommodated.

"Right now, accommodating cyclists and pedestrians is an afterthought," he says.

He cites the reconstruction of Broadway Avenue in Slavic Village as an example. Although the street is considered to be a bike route between Morgana Run Trail and Mill Creek Trail, the city does not have plans to provide bike lanes or sharrows. Slavic Village Development has advocated for additional measures beyond simply adding signage; according to Van Sickle, the engineering department is considering their request and has not yet made a decision.

Source: Jacob Van Sickle
Writer: Lee Chilcote

Signup for Email Alerts