Our excellent Holiday Party at Nighttown on December 9, 2015, included a brief overview of highlights of Heights Bicycle Coalition activities in 2015. After a few welcoming remarks, HBC President Mary Dunbar offered this summary of 2015:
“…We have an Engineering Committee which has proposed wayfinding in the Heights, and we’re working to move that along. It could coordinate with the Eastside Greenway Project to connect the eastside of Cleveland via 19 eastside communities to the Emerald Necklace and Metroparks. This obviously requires collaboration with the City of Cleveland Heights.
I’m happy to report that we have ongoing support for bicycle facilities – sharrows, bike lanes and bicycle parking – from the City. I hope you may have had an opportunity to view the latest success for Cleveland Heights – our connection to the Lake to Lakes Trail. It’s a nice space with a bike fix-it station at the corner of Coventry and North Park so you can pump up your tires or adjust your bicycle.
A couple of years ago we also received donations to add some bike racks in key places around town – the last two of these were just installed – we don’t give up!
Cleveland Heights has a Transportation Advisory Committee which, as just one example, has recommended that City Council adopt a Complete and Green Streets Policy. Such policies call for roadways to accommodate all users – from bicyclists to pedestrians to transit users and people with physical challenges – as well as to try to tame storm-water run-off. Our Complete Streets Policy will also encompass water lines and sewers, so that roads don’t get fixed then have to be dug up again for these infrastructure repairs. The policy is still under development, but we expect it to be complete within the next six months.
The Heights Bicycle Coalition advocacy for education has focused on Safe Routes to School, another collaboration with our city and schools. So far, Cleveland Heights has been awarded almost $300,000 for infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects. We promote Walk or Bike to School Day twice a year, and we’ve helped some elementary and middle school programs with bike rodeos, bike clubs, and free helmets for kids provided by the Ohio Chapter of the American Association of Pediatricians.
This past May, Canterbury Elementary School invited families from the entire school district to a family bike event – called All Geared Up – that included rides, a bike rodeo, bike sales, free helmets and more. It was so much fun, they’re planning a repeat in the spring.
Our bicycle police are a great help with bike rodeos and other bike education activities. They get full marks for training and enforcement related to bicycling.
May is Bike Month, and that’s when we do a lot of our encouragement to bicycle. 2015 was our second annual bike fix-it at Coventry in collaboration with the merchant association there. We have a great group of volunteers that make this free event a success. 2015 was our fifth year to celebrate Bike to Work Day with free coffee and pastries at the Edgehill-Overlook intersection – one of the busiest bike routes in Northeast Ohio. Bike traffic has doubled there since Cleveland Heights and Cleveland added sharrows and a buffered bike lane to Edgehill. NOACA helps us with evaluation through bike counts in the area.
We kick-off summer group rides in May, too, often in collaboration with other groups, such as the Cleveland Heights Historical Society. However, one of the most popular rides is the pub crawl, and we do that all on our own. One of our collaborative rides in May is the Ride of Silence to remember bicyclists injured or killed while riding – we meet up in University Circle with a Bike Cleveland contingent coming from downtown.”