Bicyclists ride to CH City Council meeting
To mark the start of Bike Month, a group of Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) members rode from the arch at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park to Cleveland Heights City Hall to address the city council at its May 6 meeting.
At the meeting, Brandon Henneman, HBC spokesperson, thanked Cleveland Heights City Council and staff for making the city more bicycle-friendly and suggested new ways of collaboration.
Henneman thanked council for designating the month of May Bike Month. He also thanked the city for increasing the number of bike racks in commercial districts, including bike officers on its police force, adding designated bicycle lanes to North Park Boulevard, adding bicycle-friendly provisions to the city’s Sustainable Zoning Code, collaborating with HBC to improve connections between University Circle, and adding bicycle infrastructure to the resurfacing project at Edgehill Road.
“When I moved to this community,” he said, “one of the main things that attracted me was the walkability and bikability—the accessibility of the business districts within the community and the vibrancy, really the potential vibrancy—of the streetscape if it were to come to fruition the way we believe it can.”
Henneman asked that the city institutionalize bicycle and pedestrian planning within the local government. HBC would like the city to create a bike master plan and a complete streets policy with public input. He asked the city to consider creating a bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee and adding a dedicated bicycle/pedestrian planner to the staff.
“I feel that there have been a lot of improvements made, but that there isn’t an institutionalized, guiding vision with the city for cycling and walking,” he said.
Mayor Ed Kelley said that Council Member Mary Dunbar had recommended looking into an advisory committee. He said that he wanted to look at creating a transportation committee to include bicycle, pedestrian and transit issues and suggested that Richard Wong, planning director for the city and an avid bicyclist, and Dunbar, a founding member of HBC, be involved with that initiative.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.