CLEVELAND-- Cyclists now have a new, safer path to help them get around Cleveland.
To make it easier and a lot safer to ride a bike across the Lorain-Carnegie bridge, Cleveland city leaders and ODOT opened up a bike way Monday morning. Since biking to work and around town is getting more and more popular, members of Bike Cleveland say making your ride safer is just the right thing to do.
"The most recent census said biking in Cleveland is up 280% which was the largest increase in the nation so infrastructure like this will encourage more people to bike more often and also make it safer for people getting in and out of downtown, Ohio City and Tremont," says Jacob VanSickle, Executive Director of Bike Cleveland.
The pathway is part of the bridge's $4.5 million makeover. The pathway has been closed since June as a decorative concrete barrier was constructed. Now pedestrians and cyclists don't really have to worry about car traffic while crossing the bridge.
"This is really, really a great opportunity for cyclists especially early in the morning. It's wet. It's dark. People are tired. They are in a hurry to be out of the way of the cars is a big safety improvement," says Davey Connor of Cleveland
City leaders say the pathway is a step in the right direction as the trend of getting on your bike and spinning around town continues to gain speed.
"This is just the beginning. You are gonna see more and more of these kinds of developments throughout the city because what this does- it says to people we care about bicyclists and we want you to bike. We are gonna create a safer way for you and the vehicles to travel across the bridge and when you think about it, this is one of the most beautiful views in Cleveland," says Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman.
The Lorain-Carnegie bridge is also known as the "Hope Memorial" bridge in honor of William Henry Hope, a local stone mason who was Bob Hope's father.
The bike way is open for the winter months and in the spring, the finishing touches will be made to make it even safer and more enjoyable to cross the bridge.