Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition petitions CH City Council to improve bicycle infrastructure
Cities across the United States are learning the benefits of becoming more bicycle friendly.
Portland, Oregon, with nearly 100 miles of new bicycle lanes installed in the last decade, is now one of the top eight U.S. cities to attract recent college graduates.
In San Francisco, 66 percent of merchants said that bicycle lanes had a positive overall impact on their business, according to a survey conducted four and a half years after the lanes were painted.
A study of house prices by the Monon Bicycle Trail in Indianapolis found that homes closer to the bike path sold for an average of 11 percent more than other homes identical in the number bathrooms, bedrooms, and square footage, but farther away from the trail.
These are just a few reasons why the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition is urging Cleveland Heights City Council to improve bicycle infrastructure. In just four weeks, the coalition collected signatures from more than 500 individuals who support its cause. When the coalition presented its petition to Mayor Ed Kelley at the Aug. 16 city council meeting, more than 30 coalition members attended, applauding when Mayor Kelley announced, “we’re with you on this.”
Along with improved education and awareness, the coalition has requested the city to implement a program of installing bicycle “sharrows” on five key streets in Cleveland Heights. In order of priority, these roads are:
- Edgehill Road from Euclid Heights Boulevard to the Cleveland border,
- Euclid Heights Boulevard from South Taylor Road to Cedar Road,
- Coventry Road from Mayfield Road to Fairmount Boulevard,
- Lee Road from Mayfield Road to Fairmount Boulevard, and
- Fairmount Boulevard from South Taylor Road, through Cedar Road to Cedar Hill.
Sharrows are markings painted on the road to remind motorists and cyclists to share the road, and are an alternative to bicycle lanes when they cannot be installed because the roads are too narrow or because the asphalt is crumbling. Sharrows bear the image of a bicycle with two chevrons, sometime referred to as “Sergeant Bike.” They can be found on the roads of 86 other U.S. cities, including Columbus and Pittsburgh, and internationally in England and Australia.
The coalition has asked the city to install the sharrows on Euclid Heights Boulevard and Edgehill Road by Nov. 15 as a pilot program, and on Coventry Road by May of 2011.
If you’d like to learn more, visit www.bikesintheheights.org.
Nicholas Matthew is an officer of the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition.