The Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) is a chapter of Bike Cleveland, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. HBC was formed in the spring of 2010 with the goal of making the Heights area of Cleveland, Ohio, more bicycle friendly. In October 2013, the League of American Bicyclists recognized the City of Cleveland Heights as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.
Since its inception, the Coalition has gained the support of the City of Cleveland Heights, as well as of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District for a number of bicycle friendly initiatives. The Coalition has also collaborated with the cities of University Heights, Shaker Heights, Cleveland and East Cleveland to lay the foundation for improved area bicycle routes.
Early on, the Coalition worked with Cleveland Heights Director for Planning Richard Wong for the installation of sharrows on several major streets. In 2010, Cleveland Heights already had bike lanes around Severance Circle, and side lanes on the southern part of Lee Road. Since then, Cleveland Heights has installed sharrows on parts of Euclid Heights Boulevard, Edgehill Road, Coventry Road, Taylor Road and Mayfield Road. Cleveland Heights also installed bicycle lanes on much of North Park Boulevard.
The Coalition was instrumental in obtaining a planning grant and developing plans to improve bicycle connectivity between Heights communities and University Circle, which has had strong job growth in recent years. These efforts are paying off: in 2013, Edgehill Road between Overlook and Murray Hill Road became the first street in northeast Ohio to have a buffered bike lane heading uphill; downhill on this street has sharrows.
Working in collaboration with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District and teachers, the Coalition has promoted Walk or Bike to School Days for several years. We have worked with Cleveland Heights Police, PTAs, physical education teachers and others to revive bicycle safety education and bike rodeos in public schools. Ruffing Montessori Schools also embraced Walk or Bike to School Days recently. In 2014, working with the school district and the Hebrew Academy, the City of Cleveland Heights applied for and received $207,000 in Safe Routes to School funding for infrastructure and non-infrastructure improvements. This will pay for ladder crosswalks and other enhancements at Oxford, Canterbury and Roxboro Elementary School, Monticello Middle School and Hebrew Academy.
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