Using the Past to Move Cleveland into the Future

The Midway: Map of Protected Bike LanesMore than a century ago, you would be traveling the roads of Cleveland by horse-drawn streetcars. Today, the paved-over streetcar rails of yesteryear might lay the groundwork for a potentially innovative way to connect the city’s neighborhoods with protected bike lanes and increase local business traffic.

Members of Bike Cleveland, St. Clair Superior Development Corporation, and Bialosky + Partners Architects hope the buried transit system can be transformed into the “Midway” ― a two-way bike lane in the middle of St. Clair Avenue protected on either side with boulevards and including a traffic and parking lane in both directions. The Midway team proposes to build protected bike lanes along an initial one-mile stretch of St. Clair Avenue between East 55th Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard with plans to extend the expressway across several miles of former streetcar routes and into the Cleveland Metroparks. At eight feet wide in each direction, more than cyclists would benefit. Bike lanes would have room for runners and walkers as well as benches, gardens, planters and trees.

Proponents of the plan say it would put Cleveland at the forefront of urban areas with non-car connections, making Cleveland one of the most livable cities in the country.

Source: Grant, A. (8/7/14). “Put Cleveland bicycle expressway where streetcars once rolled down wide streets, planners say.” URL: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/08/cleveland_bicycle_expressway_c.html