Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Segmentation analysis, willingness to bicycle/cycle | Cuyahoga Greenways Plan

This is from page 10 of the Cuyahoga Greenways Plan.  The concept of bicycle safety/level of stress as produced by infrastructure is based on research by Roger Geller of the Portland Department of Transportation.  Geller found that 12% of people are willing to cycle for transportation without much in the way of special accommodations, and 51% are willing to ride if there is safe, separated cycling infrastructure provided, while 37% are pretty much unwilling to cycle for transportation (also see "Portland's Bicycle Brilliance," The Tyee).

The Cuyahoga Greenways Plan came up in a discussion today, so I did a quick re-skim of it.  I'd mentioned it before because some of the planning presentations included slides on how improving trail access improved access to job centers and other civic assets.

The goals are quite good:

  • Developing transportation projects that • Provide more travel options. The Cuyahoga Greenways Plan proposes new non-motorized facilities and actionable projects.
  • Promoting reinvestment in underutilized or vacant/abandoned properties. The Cuyahoga Greenways Plan identifies locations where underutilized lands could accommodate greenways and urban trails.
  • Supporting economic development. The Cuyahoga Greenways Plan creates additional linkages between residents, jobs centers, and commercial districts.
  • Ensuring that the benefits of growth and change are available to all members of a community. The Cuyahoga Greenways Plan utilizes equity factors as a core part of the decision-making process and connects to all municipalities in the county.
  • Enhancing regional cohesion. The Cuyahoga Greenways Plan provides a framework for municipalities to coordinate and collaborate on greenway implementation.
  • Providing people with safe and reliable transportation choices. The Cuyahoga Greenways Plan adopts an all ages and all abilities approach to non-motorized facility planning.

Besides the focus on the way improving a trail system improves access to parks, civic assets, and job centers, it has some other good stuff.  It prioritizes focusing on prioritizing infrastructure projects that address "critical gaps," "regional connections," and "key supporting routes" within the development of a complete bikeways network.

It has nice schematics, cross-sections, for the different types of facilities, with cost estimates per mile for each type.

Unlike a number of plans, it discusses branding, security (it could be better on this element--trails need better identification systems to work with emergency calling systems, I recommend treating them as "roads" in the system, with mile markers as geographical identification points), maintenance, and wayfinding in interesting ways.

Omissions.  It doesn't mention facilities augmentation--pumps, stands, my idea for a regional secure bike parking system ("Another mention of the idea of creating a network of metropolitan scale secure bicycle parking facilities"), maps, brochures, and other information products, treating transit stations as trailheads, the creation of bicycle or stustainable mobility hubs, including at train stations and airports ("Why not a bicycle hub at National Airport?, focused on capturing worker trips but open to all"), nor systems for increasing cycling take up ("Revisiting assistance programs to get people biking: 18 programs").

I skimmed it quickly, I don't recall seeing a mention of bicycle sharing as a way to add bicycling as an amenity to parks.  Cleveland's Metropark System is a good one.

So the plan's not perfect.  But it still has a lot to offer.

And the Cleveland region already has an annual cycling planning conference, which allows for frequent consideration of how well the plan is working or not, and how it can be improved.

Also see "Bike to Work Day as an opportunity to assess the state of bicycle planning: Part 1, leveraging Bike Month" for elements that should be addressed in bike plans but too frequently are omitted.



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