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Cleveland City Council introduces replacement for 2011 Complete and Green Streets Ordinance

Posted at 10:08 AM, Aug 28, 2020

Cleveland City Council introduced a new ordinance that would repeal and replace the city’s existing Complete and Green Streets Ordinance, passed in 2011.

The new ordinance is being put forward by Councilmember Kerry McCormack and would attempt to prioritize what it calls “vulnerable road users,” like pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders, motorcyclists or people with mobility, vision or hearing challenges to improve the ability for those people to get around the city.

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“The City shall consider innovative or non-traditional design options where accepted design standards allow flexibility,” the ordinance says. “Design criteria shall be based on the thoughtful application of engineering, architectural, and urban principles in addition to prescriptive guidelines.”

It would also create a Transportation Infrastructure Advisory Committee (TIAC) that would work with the City Planning Commission that would “meet monthly to review and provide feedback on project scope and design for all transportation investments in the City of Cleveland and consider exemption requests,” according to the ordinance.

The Committee would be made up of:

  • a Council Member or staff appointed by Council
  • a representative of a Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • a representative of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Agency
  • a representative of a multi-modal advocacy organization
  • a representative of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
  • a representative of the Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects
  • a representative of the Department of City Planning Commission
  • a representative of the Department of Public Safety
  • two resident representatives of the community at large

Councilmember McCormack said the ordinance will now be referred to a council committee.

The 2011 ordinance was an attempt to make Cleveland’s streets safer and led to 80 new miles of bike lanes and trails. But critics say it lacks the teeth to effectively do that.

Bike Cleveland Executive Director Jacob VanSickle said the 80 new miles of bike infrastructure is a start but there should have been even more.

"We also see a lot of streets where there have also been missed opportunities where we feel like the ordinance should have applied," said VanSickle. "Streets like East 9th Street, East 55th, or Woodland."

Councilmember Matt Zone was involved in the initial green streets ordinance in 2011 and now he's heading up the city's Vision Zero Task Force alongside Cleveland COO Darnell Brown.

"I've seen, over the past two years, minds really change inside City Hall," said Zone.

See News 5 Cleveland's previous coverage of Vision Zero here.

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