Pedal Pushing

The Ohio Department of Transportation takes a look at the call for a multipurpose lane for the new Inner Belt Bridge.

CLEVELANDERS CRUSADING
for more non-motorized transportation options are still fighting to bring a mile-long bike and pedestrian lane to the new $450 million Inner Belt Bridge. Although the Ohio Department of Transportation had the idea walking the Green Mile earlier this year, Gov. Ted Strickland granted a temporary stay of execution in March when he asked ODOT to take another look. Does the idea deserve a full pardon? You be the judge.

NO // ODOT's decade of research and the project's 560-page environmental impact study found enough safety, maintenance and cost concerns to exclude a multipurpose path from the new Inner Belt Bridge design. The agency concluded it didn't make sense to build a $15 million to $20 million, mile-long path that would need to be policed and plowed. Plus, there are already other ways to get from Tremont to downtown. "We have several alternate routes that are pretty darn close to the direct route from point A to point B," says Bonita Teeuwen, ODOT District 12 deputy director. ODOT Plans to rehab the primary alternate, Abbey Avenue, to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. "I'm pretty confident our engineers looked at all the alternatives. If there was a way to make it happen, I think they would have," Teeuwen says. What's she make of the grassroots campaigning that spurred Gov. Strickland to get involved? "Even though it might mean more work for ODOT, that's what this country is all about," Teeuwen says.

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