Sidewalk improvement project sparks controversy in local neighborhood

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Lake Avenue sidewalk project

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – There’s controversy in one local neighborhood over a proposed sidewalk improvement project.

Residents are at odds over the Cleveland Metroparks’ proposed widening of Lake Avenue’s sidewalk to improve biker and pedestrian access to Lake Erie and Edgewater Park.

Yard signs are displayed outside a number of homes on the north side of Lake Avenue that display opposition to the proposal.

“What they want to do is connect the bike lanes in Lakewood with Edgewater Park in a fashion that is safe for bikers of all ages and abilities. That’s a goal we support. However, we disagree with the means they are taking to achieve this end,” said resident Patrick Norman.

Norman’s family has lived on Lake Avenue for 40 years. According to Norman, the proposal includes widening the six-foot sidewalk outside their home to an eight to 10-foot concrete path between West Boulevard and West 117th Street.

According to Cleveland Metroparks, that is something a third-party arborist assessed when they constructed the project so it would have little impact.

Not everyone in the neighborhood disagrees with the project. In fact, a number of residents have formed a group called OneEdgewater in support of the proposal, saying it creates a safe and wide sidewalk to Edgewater Park.

Cleveland Metroparks released the following statement to FOX 8:

“The City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Metroparks are taking feedback on the proposal, which will better connect our lakefront and connect to Edgewater Park.  No definitive dates have been established and feedback is ongoing.”

According to their website, the project would be funded in a collaborative effort by both the county and the city.

Construction would begin next year.

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