CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The City of Cleveland is moving forward with plans to eventually create a bicycle lane on Superior Avenue from Public Square to East 55th Street.
The Superior Midway bike lane project would cut vehicle traffic on Superior from six lanes to four, and the middle of the street would be dedicated to two bicycle lanes, protected on each side by green space and trees.
“Making biking more accessible to people of all ages and abilities and things like protected bike lanes, we know from experience in other cities, are what bring people out and make them comfortable riding bikes and kind of help shift how people get around our city,” said Jacob VanSickle, the executive director of Bike Cleveland.
Bike Cleveland is among the organizations that are supporting the Superior Midway, the largest bike lane project in the history of the City of Cleveland.
The $24.5 million project is being funded by a federal program that aims to improve urban traffic congestion and air quality. The city is contributing bond money to match those funds.
“Really what people want, they want to be able to access the destinations they need to get to and the Midway, in this instance, all of those businesses along the corridor. Accessing downtown and out to East 55th, up to the Lake really makes a great connection in our community to kind of the core of our downtown,” said VanSickle.
But not all Greater Clevelanders who work on Superior Avenue or travel along the corridor are sold on the bike lane project.
“I’m a cyclist, I love bike paths, but I think that money could definitely be allocated to something a little bit more pressing and a little bit more serious,” Charles Rose said.
Small business owners have also raised concerns about how construction of the bike path might affect their bottom line and the long-range impact on traffic patterns.
But Bike Cleveland and other supporters of the project believe that Superior is overbuilt for the current volume of traffic, and that the bike lanes will eventually improve consumer traffic along the Superior corridor.
“The businesses along the corridor will have the opportunity to interact with more people, whether they’re biking or they’re walking along the corridor or even accessing public transit because it will be a more inviting place for people who are outside of a car,” said VanSickle.
In response, Rose said, “that may be important but not as important as many other issues that could be taken care of.”
Construction of the Superior Midway bike lane is scheduled to begin in early 2025 and is expected to take about a year to complete.