Tuesday, July 13, 2010
A bold prediction for Cleveland in 20Twenty: The urbanized core and inner ring of our region will fully facilitate car free travel, for everyone 8 to 88. In the next 5 years, we must provide dedicated road space in the central city for bicycle-only travel. In doing so, we revive small scale intra-city commerce and as a city we make a statement to our citizens and visitors alike that bicycle travel is a valued and even preferred mode. At minimum such actions will reduce the cost of maintaining road surfaces. But let's focus on higher aims.... (i) we will re-invigorate our city on the premise of valuing what was built by our city founders - a robust street car network connecting neighborhood business districts. (ii) an ultra flat city like Cleveland lowers the barriers to the movement of goods and services; thus bicycle travel and cargo carrying is more efficient than some more densely populated cities (iii) small scale entrepreneurial endeavors and networked cooperative style businesses can flourish when transportation costs are low. Currently Clevelanders spend nearly 25% of income on transport. What else could our citizens do with that 25% of their income? How could we improve ourselves and our communities if there was no need for a personal automobile? 2016 is the celebration year for SC2019 transportation. Cleveland leaders need realize that by building on the historical foundations of our city, we realize our future potential. The economy is rapidly changing, many of us no longer travel to a place of work. Therefore, we can and must begin to replace exclusive automobile infrastructure in the core city with protected bicycle infrastructure and invest in people!