Monday, September 15, 2008

Whatever the Lake to Lake Trail?

From today's The Plain Dealer....

Whatever happened to the plan to link up existing bike trails in Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights and Cleveland to form the 10-mile Lake to Lake Trail?

A lot of it remains in the planning stages. One portion of the trail, the 1.5 miles from Sulgrave Road to Warrensville Center Road in Shaker Heights, is complete, said Joyce Braverman, the city's planning director.

The trickiest portion, the part that will run through the congested Cedar-Carnegie intersection in the University Circle area, is still in the planning stage.

Hatched last year, the idea is to link up Cleveland's existing Harrison Dillard Bikeway, which runs from the lake along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive into University Circle, to bike trails in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.

Shaker Heights City Council approved $500,000 to complete its trail gap last year, Braverman said. Cyclists can now travel on Warrensville Center Road and South Park Boulevard to reach a Cleveland Heights trail that ends at Coventry Road.

There, the alignment of the Lake to Lake Trail, so named because it would connect the Shaker Lakes with Lake Erie, becomes a little hairy.

"The trickiness of this path is to get through the spaghetti infrastructure on Carnegie," said Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle, Inc. "The biggest challenge is getting through the tunnels at MLK and Stokes safely," he said, adding that the current plan may take cyclists around the area to avoid any costly grade changes.

Still, the project is not shaping up to be cheap. "It's more than a million-dollar project," Ronayne said. "You can suggest that this is a multimillion-dollar bike path."

Alignment planning should be complete this year, Ronayne said. After that, the search for funding begins.

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