This past weekend, Bialosky + Partners hosted key members from cycling advocacy organization, Bike Cleveland, for a charrette to kick off the design process for a conceptual proposal of a separated cycle track network in the city of Cleveland. Bialosky + Partners is providing pro-bono planing and design services for the initial conceptual design of the project.
What is a separated cycle track? Let's let The Bicycle Network tell us:
Separated bike lanes provide a physical separation of bike riders from motor vehicles on a road. The physical separation makes the bike lane more comfortable for a wider range of people who want to ride their bikes than a painted bike lane.
In the case of Cleveland, our team is working on a proposal to reclaim right of ways in streets around the city of Cleveland that were home to street cars decades ago, before they were removed during America's post WW-II shift to a car orientated society. Many streets in Cleveland are not as wide as they are because there was a traffic demand that necessitated that width, even when the city population was 900,000 in the 1950s. Instead it was because the cheapest and easiest solution was to pave over the lines and add more car lanes when streetcar lines were removed. The current traffic counts the Bike Cleveland team have are only a small percentage of the potential capacity for many of these former streetcar streets. Many streets in Cleveland are ripe for a road diet. The Cleveland Separated Cycle Track Network seeks to reclaim these right of ways, previously used by street cars, and return these streets to their historic use of providing multi-modal transportation options to the public.
See some photos from Saturday's design charrette and stay tuned for farther updates on this exciting project!