A Successful Collaboration
City governments have to embrace bicycle-friendly policies and practices for a city to become a Bicycle Friendly Community. Heights Bicycle Coalition appreciates the support and actions of Cleveland Heights city leaders, departments and employees who do so much of what it takes to be bicycle-friendly. Their commitment is essential. Heights Bicycle Coalition advocates for and provides important input and assistance that boost the initiatives that make the City of Cleveland Heights more bicycle-friendly. It’s an excellent and essential collaboration. When it comes to Engineering projects, Cleveland Heights Departments of Planning and Public Works deserve special credit.
Setting the stage for Cleveland Heights City Council to adopt a Complete Streets Policy is a key priority. Heights Bicycle Coalition has assisted the Cleveland Heights Transportation Advisory Committee (launched in January 2014) to develop a Complete Streets Policy based on guidelines developed by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission and Department of Public Works. Heights communities rely on various agencies for transportation funding on non-local roads.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) provides funding for roads through the federal-aid system, while the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) funds and builds roads in the state-wide transportation network. Having Complete Streets Policies will enable Heights communities to better collaborate with ODOT and NOACA in building roads that accommodate the needs of all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders of all ages and abilities.
Bicycle Map & Future Wayfinding
Cleveland Heights and Heights communities generally have quiet residential streets that often run parallel to major roadways. These are typically perfect for bicyclists, with 25 miles per hour speed limits and stop signs. Heights Bicycle Coalition and Bike Shaker collaborated in 2013 on a bike map that identifies good ways for bicyclists to get around Heights communities based on a rider’s level of bicycling expertise. The coalition’s Engineering Committee is currently spearheading an effort to develop wayfinding for bicyclists in Cleveland Heights.
At present, ODOT policies generally continue to favor motor vehicles on major, arterial roadways through Cleveland Heights and other Heights communities. That means it is often challenging to add bike lanes to state, county and federal routes. Past successes are:
- Bike lanes at Severance Center and along North Park Boulevard
- Buffered bike lane that Cleveland and Cleveland Heights added in 2013 to the uphill lane on Edgehill Road between Overlook and Murray Hill Roads – the first buffered bicycle lane in Northeast Ohio
- Sharrows on a growing number of Heights streets
- Bike parking facilities at almost all schools, libraries and business districts in Cleveland Heights, with more being added in Heights communities regularly
- Multipurpose trails that bicyclists and pedestrians are welcome to use in Cleveland Heights parks – Forest Hill, Cumberland, Cain, Denison and Shaker Lakes
All business districts and nearly all schools in Cleveland Heights have racks for bicycle parking, creating approximately 1,000 bicycle parking spaces in the City. Heights Bicycle Coalition supplemented this by asking for contributions to place bike racks in a few critical places where bicycle parking was not previously an option, such as the post office at Severance.
Combining Transit And Bicycling
All Regional Transit Authority (RTA) buses have racks for two or three bicycles. HealthLine buses and RTA trains have several spaces for bicycles onboard. If space on racks or inside buses and trains is unavailable, bicyclists may have to wait for the next bus or train.