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To Preserve Ghettos, African American Councilman wants to remove part of Central Parkway bike lane



 
 
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Old December 24th 16, 04:23 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc,rec.bicycles.rides,soc.culture.african.american
Garrison Hilliard
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Default To Preserve Ghettos, African American Councilman wants to remove part of Central Parkway bike lane


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Chris Wetterich

Staff reporter and columnist

Cincinnati Business Courier









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The Central Parkway protected bike lane is the first of its kind in
Ohio.














Cincinnati Councilman Christopher Smitherman wants nearly a half mile
of the Central Parkway protected bikeway removed.

Smitherman filed a motion set to be introduced at Wednesday’s City
Council meeting directing the administration to remove a 0.4-mile
portion of the bikeway roughly between Central Avenue and Liberty
Street in Over-the-Rhine.

That portion of the bikeway passes in front of Findlay Market, and on
the weekends vehicles often are limited to two lanes because of cars
parked on the street near the market. That portion of the bike lane
also passes in front of the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge.

“I remain concerned about safety issues related to the bike lanes in
this designated area,” Smitherman wrote on his motion.


Smitherman also submitted a letter from Robert Schwartz, a CUF
resident, asking that the lanes be removed and listing 16 reasons why
they should go.

"The location of the Federal (sic) Order of Police building (1900
Central Parkway), and other areas along the parkway, suddenly restrict
traffic to one lane in each direction," Schwartz wrote. "That mile
long area is probably the most dangerous of the whole stretch of
Central Parkway. Many park in front of that building at any time with
impunity."

Motions are not binding by law, only ordinances are. Without a
majority of council signing Smitherman’s motion, it’s unlikely City
Manager Harry Black’s administration would act upon it.

A majority of members of the Cincinnati City Council are staunch
supporters of the city’s first bike lanes that are separated from cars
using bollards. The Clifton and Over-the-Rhine community councils also
wrote City Council members backing the idea of having a protected bike
lane on Central Parkway. In the case of OTR’s council, it asked for
the lanes' completion to Ludlow Avenue as was contemplated when the
first phase of the bike lane was implemented.

“Central Parkway is a perfect street for a protected bike lane because
it links so many neighborhoods with a high percentage of people who
ride bikes: Northside, Clifton, Clifton Heights, West End,
Over-the-Rhine and the Central Business District,” wrote OTR Community
Council president Ryan Messer. “There has not been an impact on
traffic and ridership numbers continue to rise. When the bike lane is
completed with a protected lane to and from Ludlow, we expect
ridership to grow even more.”




The bike lane has been a political football since it was installed in
2014, in part by using a $500,000 grant. It is now seen as another
front in the ongoing fight between progressive urbanists, who favor
rail transit and want to see the city’s streets made more friendly for
pedestrians and bicyclists, and Mayor John Cranley, who tried to kill
the streetcar in 2013 and opposes on-street bike lanes, features that
many cities are embracing as they try to attract businesses and
millennial workers who don’t want to have to drive a car everywhere.

Wetterich covers government and politics, transportation and downtown
development.

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