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Cleveland's prepping for new bicycle routes helping expand statewide, nationwide network

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Posted at 8:38 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 08:38:45-04

CLEVELAND — New bike routes are coming to Cleveland.

Cleveland city council passed a resolution to help “establish a statewide network of State and U.S. Bike Routes, which will provide bicyclists with safe and convenient connections through and to population centers and destinations within Ohio.”

According to the city council website, the plans came about after a study by the Ohio Department of Transportation on how Ohioans feel about bike routes. The national corridor already had 14,000 miles of routes established in 31 states and Washington DC, bur ODOT is working to add more. ODOT plans to put signage on the Towpath, the Lakefront Bikeway and the Harrison-Dillar/Lake-to-Lake Trail converges with a national bike route plan.

“Some portions of this are trail segments, others are shared road, and some are bike lanes as well,” said Calley Mersmann, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Cleveland.

In addition to creating safer options for cyclists, the Cleveland planning commission says bicycle tourism pumps 83 billion dollars in the u-s economy each year. Bicycle tourism also supports 845,000 jobs across the nation and produces $97 million in annual retail sales.

ODOT will apply for formal designation of the bike routes. Later this year the department will start developing signs in partnership with the public. Those signs could go up by late 2022 or early 2023.

The planning commission also admitted these routes may change over time to allow for development.

The city’s current bike routes are in the process of being improved, expanded and ready for use, according city council.