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Akron Gets $127,000 To Plan the Next Decade of Bike Lanes

Photo of a bike at the program's announcement

Akron is getting $127,000 to plan for a grid of bicycle lanes throughout the city.

The city says the Knight Foundation grant will help make Akron more bike-friendly with a plan for connecting neighborhoods, the downtown business district and the Towpath Trail with bike lanes. The funds will go toward hiring Copenhagenize Design Company and 8 80 Cities to consult on how, when, and where to implement the bike lanes. Mayor Dan Horrigan’s Chief of Staff James Hardy, says they’ll also be inviting public input.

“It’s not just about having great recreational opportunities – although that’s important. It’s about great livability. And what that means for our economy [and] our community over the next 10 years.”

Hardy adds that in early summer, they’re planning an Akron Mobility Summit to show people how important it is to add bike lanes.

“That’s really to galvanize everyone in the community around why it’s important to have equitable mobility options across the city. And why building a safe, protected infrastructure for all people is important. And more and more, people are looking for multiple modalities to get to and from where they want to go.”

Hardy adds that Akron has slowly built up about 25 miles of bike lanes over the past two decades, and there's another 16 miles currently in the planning or construction phases.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.