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Cleveland City Council approves proposed Cleveland 'Midway' bikeways on Superior, Lorain avenues

The first midway project will feature 2.5 miles of protected separated bikeway installed in the median of Superior Avenue from Public Square to East 55th Street.

CLEVELAND — Some of Cleveland's most traveled roadways will look different in the future.

On Monday night, Cleveland City Council approved a pair of projects calling for the implementation of separated bikeways at two spots in the city. 

The Superior Midway will serve as the pilot project for the city. It will feature 2.5 miles of protected separated bikeway installed in the median of Superior Avenue from Public Square to East 55th Street. Eight-foot buffers on each side of the all-purpose path will protect users from car traffic.

Construction of the Superior Midway is expected to begin in Summer 2025 and be completed by October 2026. The cost of design and construction of the bikeway is estimated at roughly $25 million, $19.6 of which is coming from federal funds.

The project will be constructed by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Superior Midway planners believe that the bikeway will provide "a safe and comfortable east-west bicycle and pedestrian connection for riders of all ages, abilities, and socioeconomic levels to access Cleveland’s downtown and surrounding neighborhoods." They add that Superior Midway is located along an RTA priority corridor, facilitating "multimodal travel and convenient transfers from foot to bike to transit."

Credit: City of Cleveland

Jason Kuhn with the non-profit organization Bike Cleveland says the project is a win-win for the city and for cyclists.

“This is absolutely a game-changer for mobility in the city of Cleveland," Kuhn says. "It will be the first real separated facility for cyclists to use heading east and west across the city."

The Superior Midway will serve as the City’s pilot midway project. The next one being targeted is the Lorain Midway, which is moving into the design phase and will be completed after the Superior Midway. 

The Lorain Midway will stretch 1.8 miles on Lorain Avenue from West 65th Street to West 20th Street. In addition to the bikeway, improvements to that section of road will include new pavement, curb, walk, and driveway aprons, ADA compliant ramps at all locations, new water lines, traffic signal improvements, and new pavement markings. The separated bikeway will be installed next to the sidewalk with a buffer from car traffic.  

The estimated construction cost is approximately $30.2 million. The city has raised nearly $15 million of the estimated cost for the construction so far, with additional fundraising to come. 

The preliminary design for the Lorain Midway is scheduled to last from June 2023 to December 2024. The city says final design and construction will be completed at a date to be determined.

Credit: City of Cleveland

Kuhn adds that the price tag for the two bikeways may seem high, but it will be worth it in the long run.

“The payoff will come in the decades beyond once its finished because it will forever change how people chose to move throughout the city of Cleveland and it’s also going to make a massive safety change for those that cannot choose how they move," he says. "Imagine a tree-lined bikeway going all the way down to East 55th Street. It’s tree-lined, buffered with grass, and people will be able to move freely with no back and forth. It’ll almost be like a linear park down the heart of the city."

Both ordinances were passed by the council's Development Planning and Sustainability Committee and were heard by its Finance, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee before being voted on by the entire City Council.

Updates on the Superior Midway are available by clicking here. 

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