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Provision in transportation budget that could have killed Cleveland bike project is dropped

Screenshot video Superior Midway project
Cleveland Transportation Initiatives website
A screenshot from a video presentation about the Superior Midway on the Cleveland Transportation Initiatives website. The design for the project hasn't been completed.

There were several changes unveiled this week for Ohio’s proposed $3.7 billion transportation budget. One would have prohibited a bicycle lane in the middle of a street or highway in a municipality with a population over 300,000 people.

That would have effectively killed a project in Cleveland that’s been years in the making. But the proposal has been dropped by its sponsor.

The Superior Midway is a 2.4 mile separate bike lane going down the middle of Superior Avenue from Public Square downtown to East 55th Street. The project was proposed as a concept in 2016 and was the subject of a feasibility study. Now it's in the design phase.

Grace Gallucci from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency told the Ohio House Finance Committee it has the support of Cleveland’s business community.

“If there are any opposition, there has been nothing substantial that has been brought to my attention," Gallucci said.

Cleveland City Council approved the project last month, and $19 million of its $25 million dollar cost would come from the federal government.

Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) proposed the ban, though the project isn’t in his district. He said he’d heard complaints from the trucking industry.

Late on Wednesday, he put out a statement saying he'd talked with Gallucci about some of the issues and that "we have been reassured that through the development of the plan, these concerns will be addressed."

He added in his statement: “As a result of our engagement of bringing these parties together, the amendment will not move forward as we continue to have productive conversations with stakeholders through our deliberate committee process."

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.