Friends of the
Citizen advocacy group working with cities to advance bike friendliness in the Heights and University Circle.
In 2002, EcoCity Cleveland held a series of public meetings in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights that ultimately led to the creation of the Circle-Heights Bike Networka map and concept to connect great destinations by bicycle in University Circle and the surrounding Heights area.
Some of the ideas raised at the group's first meeting include a "Ride the Heights" community bike event; helping cyclists and cities identify and fix problems with pavement or safety; and tapping the group's expertise in bike planning to help create a bike friendly environment through advocacy and delineating the network with wayfinding signs and possibly bike lanes.
At the second meeting, the group set the wheels in motion for its Rolling Block Party event, which occured Sept. 6, 2003 from 2-4 p.m. Twenty members gathered, were placed in a small group and assigned to ride, survey and document hazards on a portion of the Bike Network. The idea is to partner with communities in the network to advocate for the hazards to be eliminated.
Since then, the group has continued its work on a number of projects, including a partnership with the Cleveland Institute of Art Community Graphics class and the cities in the network to design a wayfinding sign program. This unique series of road signs for cyclists would provide direction and distance information to and from major destinations, and it would reinforce awareness of the bike network's existence.
In December 2003, the group initiated a bike parking census. Members were supplied a bike parking inventory form and visited the commercial districts in the network to indentify where bike parking exists, and where opportunities to add bike parking exists. The forms are being collected, tabulated and included in a report that includes best practices in bike parking to be submitted to the cities in the network for their review.
The Friends group is currently working with cities, business district representatives, local universities on projects in the network aimed at making our communities even more bike friendly. After all, bicycling improves interaction with friends and neighbors, eases traffic congestion in crowded commercial districts, and helps a great community to become even better.
The Friends group meets once a month in the Heights area. For more information about times and location, or if you would like to attend, or call 216-961-5020.
Minutes from the meetings