Akron and Cleveland Awarded Federal $ for Bike and Hike Trails
Northeast Ohio received some good news this week. Akron and Cleveland both were awarded federal grants to improve pedestrian and bicycle routes in their cities. Details from Ideastream’s Mark Urycki . .
Five million dollars from the U.S. Department of Transportation will help Akron turn its Main Street into a more walkable and bicycle-friendly promenade. Cleveland gets $7.95 million dollars so the MetroParks can link together a handful of bike and hike paths in the Flats area.
One project the elevated Redline trail will allow pedestrians to cross the Cuyahoga next to light rail tracks. Cleveland Metroparks strategic park planner Sara Byrns Maier says it was inspired New York’s famous Highline Park.
“There’s actually quite a few projects like this across the country and across the world. It’s repurposing some infrastructure and utilizing it in a new ways and this is going to be a huge draw and an asset for the community.”
Other uses of the money include the expanding the Towpath Trail to Lake Erie and building a pedestrian bridge so people in the flats can walk to Wendy Park on Whiskey Island. Byrns Maier says they want to “activate the waterfront.”
“Do what a lot of other cities have been successful with. This is something where a lot of people haven’t had access to the river or the lakefront in a long time and we’re really opening that up.”
The projects are expected to begin next year and be complete by 2020.