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An Initiative A Day 6.1: Expand the existing bicycle lane and trail system and connect it to regional transit hubs via on-and-off street facilities.

February 14, 2014 in Vibrant NEO 2040, Vision

On February 25, the NEOSCC Board will be voting on the the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Action Products.  Everyday over the next 5 weeks, we will be sharing an “Initiative A Day” so you can gain a better understanding of the vision and framework!  If you would like to read all of the Initiatives, you can download them here: Recommendation and Initiatives

Show your support for Vibrant NEO 2040 by adding your name to our Champions of Vibrant NEO 2040 list here!

Initiative 6.1: Expand the existing bicycle lane and trail system and connect it to regional transit hubs via on-and-off street facilities. 

WHAT THIS MEANS: Existing bicycle route and facility networks may not currently offer the best connections to transit infrastructure. Identifying key opportunities to enhance these system connections—either through on-street bicycle facilities or off-street trails and paths—can define a concise set of system enhancement projects to better tie transit’s regional connection potential to the greater reach afforded by bicycles. This involves coordination between the agencies providing service (who define transit route alignments and who often own and maintain transit stop and hub facilities) and local and state government agencies (who have responsibility for building and maintaining the roadway system). For this initiative to be successful, there must be an ongoing partnership to ensure that public funds are invested in the right places and in a way that provides benefit to all partners.

When combined with a revised set of project selection criteria at the MPO level emphasizing alternative modes in transportation decision-making (refer to Initiative 5.2), an approach based on transit access helps to define a focused strategic direction that increases regional travel choice and ensures that public investment in transportation infrastructure has the farthest-reaching regional benefit for its cost. Being able to access funding at the MPO level unlocks opportunities for making these kinds of connections to transit facilities.

Taking on this initiative may also involve identifying the key transit hubs for which bicycle investment needs to be prioritized. This in turn may involve coordination of transit service so that hubs of regional significance can be defined. (Refer to Initiatives 4.1 and 4.2, which discuss investment in a regional system of core connecting routes between major economic centers and service enhancements along these routes and other high-performing transit routes.) It also means defining clear policies and design guidance on how bicycles will be accommodated at the end of the biking trip. In general, urban buses throughout the United States are equipped with on-vehicle bicycle racks to allow bicycle riders accessing transit service to carry bicycles with them. This approach has capacity limitations that are directly related to the frequency of service provided. Transit agencies, local governments, and other partner organizations can invest in bicycle parking and storage facilities that increase the ability of transit service to serve patrons connecting by bicycle.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: Bicycles are a form of connecting to transit service that is underutilized in Northeast Ohio communities. Due to the greater travel speeds they offer, they can extend the potential reach of transit stations from the half-mile distances comfortable for pedestrians up to three miles in the same 10-minute travel time. Since these bicycle links are still comparably short distances compared to an overall commute trip, weather issues do not significantly limit these trips. As a result, bicycling enables potential increases in transit ridership without a need for corresponding investment in road projects or additional connecting transit service. Many communities have provided demonstrable benefits with respect to mobility and accessibility though resourceful and incremental additions to the bicycle network. Bicycle lanes may be striped on a street with a wide outer lane when that street is being resurfaced, or individual travel lane widths may be reduced across the street’s width to fit bicycle lanes.

This initiative is a useful investment that is likely to offer even greater benefit as cycling increases in the future. National Household Travel Survey data have shown an increase of nearly 50 percent in cycling as a commuting travel mode between 2001 and 2009 (citation: TCRP Report 163, Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations, p.66). Although the size of the Northeast Ohio region may not readily facilitate commuting exclusively by bicycle, strategic actions would connect local and regional bicycle networks to the transit service envisioned in Recommendation 4 and its supporting initiatives.

GETTING IT DONE: This initiative should be led by Northeast Ohio’s MPOs, in close collaboration with local jurisdictions where proposed connections would occur. MPOs are best positioned to scope and secure funding for a regional corridor and connection identification process, and prioritize projects for construction utilizing their established committees and procedures. MPOs should engage key implementing partners and stakeholders, including local jurisdictions and Metroparks authorities. Funding for planning work can be secured through normal MPO funding channels, or via discretionary grant applications, such as the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Transportation, Community, and System Preservation (TCSP) program.


Nonprofit Organizations; Metropolitan Planning Organizations; Metroparks Authorities; Municipalities, Counties

Target Community

Strategic investment areas, asset risk areas, cost risk areas

Implementation Complexity


These recommendations, initiatives, and products, are not one-size-fits all and some aspects of the initiatives won’t be applicable everywhere in the 12-county region. The Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Products are intended inspire and guide decision-making at the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Council of Government, and local levels to ensure that land use, transportation, and environmental considerations are simultaneously addressed by their processes. Ultimately, the implementation of Vibrant NEO 2040 is up to Northeast Ohio’s communities and residents. But regardless of the applicability of each initiative to any particular part of the region, the goal for each community within the Vision is the same: stability, prosperity, and a high quality of life for all of its residents.

Take the 2013 National Bike Challenge!

June 3, 2013 in Connections, News, Transportation

  • What is the Challenge?
    The Challenge is an exciting health and wellness initiative that encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation. In 2013, we aim to have 50,000 riders pedaling 20 million miles from May 1, 2013 until September 30, 2013. It is open and free to anyone who lives in the U.S. or works for an organization with U.S. employees.
  • What is the history of the Challenge?
    In 2009, Kimberly-Clark Corporation created an internal Bike Challenge for its more than 50,000 employees. With the help of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, the Challenge was successfully piloted In Wisconsin at the state-wide level in 2011. The Bike Challenge, then called the Get Up & Ride National Bike Challenge, went national in 2012. It had over 30,000 participants riding 12 million miles; 2013 will be the second year the Challenge is national in scope.

Learn more about the National Bike Challenge by clicking on the image above to visit their website!

Cleveland Launches a Bike Share Study

January 25, 2013 in News, Sustainability, Transportation

Over the next 6 months, Cleveland’s Bike Share Task Force will be taking a look at the feasibility of bike sharing and reviewing recommended business models for operating a system in the city. Building off of recent momentum in cycling and complete and green streets, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability issued a Request for Proposals in autumn 2012 and has contracted with Toole Design Group (TDG) as the lead consultant for this project.

Bike Share Task Force: In anticipation of the feasibility study, the Bike Share Task Force formed to provide a platform to advise the project and to assist with stakeholder engagement. The Bike Share Task Force consists of representatives from many organizations who see the potential benefits of bike sharing in Cleveland:

  • Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
  • ClevelandCity Planning
  • GreenCityBlueLake Institute
  • Bike Cleveland
  • Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
  • Cleveland City Planning Commission
  • Positively Cleveland
  • Midtown Cleveland
  • Ohio City Inc.
  • Downtown Cleveland Alliance/Cleveland Bike Rack
  • Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
  • Cuyahoga County
  • University Circle Inc.

Consultants: The lead consultant, TDG is a leading engineering, planning, and landscape architecture firm specializing in multi-modal transportation.  TDG served as the author and principal investigator for Bike Sharing in The United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation (2012), an independent study of current bike sharing programs in the United States, on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The purpose of the guide is to assist communities contemplating bike share with answers to common questions, guidance on conducting feasibility studies, and information on how to successfully launch and manage a program.

BrownFlynn is a sub-consultant that will lead the community engagement portion of the feasibility study. BrownFlynn is a women-owned sustainability and corporate social responsibility consulting firm


Current bike share systems operating in the United States. Click for an interactive map.

Why Now? Bicycling in Cleveland is on the rise. The most recent American Community Survey indicated an increase of 280% from 2000 to 2010 of people commuting to work by bicycle. Numerous bicycle-related businesses and services have opened in the City, including a commuter bike parking station, The Bike Rack. This past September cyclists and civic leaders created Bike Cleveland, a unified bicycle advocacy organization serving greater Cleveland.

Also, the City has recently adopted two pieces of legislation that will increase safety for the growing number of cyclists:

1. The first Complete and Green Streets ordinance in the state that requires road projects to incorporate best practices in Complete Streets and Green Infrastructure.

2. The Bicycle Transportation Safety ordinance that includes provisions to make streets safer for biking and walking, including a 3-ft passing requirement.

Benefits of Bike Sharing: Bike-sharing in urban areas can positively affect how residents, employees, and visitors experience a city.  Bike-transit systems allow for more people to access cycling for short trips, replace vehicle use, cycle for fitness and recreation, and for tourists and residents alike to explore a city.

Project Details: The Bike Share study is divided into two sections: a feasibility study and, dependent on the results of the feasibility study, an implementation plan for a flexible and automated on-demand bicycle sharing system. The feasibility study will include locations and sitings, integration with the existing transit system, technical discussions, and best practices. The feasibility study will incorporate public engagement in order to gather data about public interest and public feedback pertaining to bike sharing in the City. We anticipate the engagement process will address the particular needs of geographic areas of the City and the transportation network.

If determined feasible, the Implementation Plan portion of the project will provide a concise and comprehensive plan for the launch of the bike share network, including:

  • realistic projected costs of implementation;
  • recommended business model and business plan;
  • timeline for implementation;
  • performance standards/evaluation criteria; and
  • operations and maintenance plan.

Cleveland is  looking forward to launching this project this month and determining if and how bike sharing can be a beneficial option for Cleveland’s citizens, commuters and visitors provide economic development opportunity and reduce our city’s carbon footprint.

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