LAKEWOOD, Ohio - A traffic pattern change on a busy street near downtown is another step in Lakewood’s plan to become a “multi-modal” city, catering to drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and buses.
Warren Road from Franklin to Detroit underwent what is called a “road diet,” converting four lanes of vehicle traffic down to two, adding a turn lane and two bike lanes.
“It’s important to us that people feel safe, both in their car and on a bike in this corridor,” said Bryce Sylvester, Lakewood’s Director of Planning and Development. “Be patient. We think the changes are going to work themselves out.”
Sylvester said the majority of congestion has been around the 5 p.m. rush hour, but for the rest of the day the traffic design appears to be working as planned.
“Our city is built on a grid, so there are other options throughout the community,” Sylvester said. “And for us, this was a reasonable accommodation to help more cyclists get on the road.”
The Warren “road diet” is just phase one of the Warren Road Beautification Project, spearheaded by nonprofit community development group LakewoodAlive. The group received a $50,000 grant from Cuyahoga County casino tax for the planned improvements.
For Jacob VanSickle, president of BikeCleveland, the bike lane additions are a step in the right direction.
“If you want to have a community that is truly bicycle friendly, you need to have routes that get people where they want to go. And certainly in Lakewood, people need to go north and south so this is a good solution,” VanSickle said.
The “road diet” four-to-three lane conversion and addition of bike lanes has also occurred in the city of Cleveland, in areas around W. 14th in Tremont, Pearl Rd. near State Rd., and Puritas near W. 150th.