Feb 22, 2023 - News

Ohio lawmakers could jettison the Superior Midway

Architect's rendering of a center bike lane down Cleveland's Superior Avenue

This doesn't have to be a fantasy. Rendering courtesy of Bialosky Cleveland

Ohio's biennial transportation budget could kill the Superior Midway bike lane project.

Driving the news: Strongsville Republican Tom Patton proposed language, which is included in the latest version of the bill, that would prohibit a bicycle lane "in the middle of a street or highway in a municipality with a population over 300,000."

Details: The Superior Midway, which Cleveland City Council green-lighted last month, is a planned 2.4-mile curbed and landscaped center bike lane that would run from Public Square to East 55th.

What they're saying: Patton told Cleveland.com that he's "all for bicycle lanes" in general, but that he'd heard concerns from business owners on Superior and members of the Ohio Trucking Association, who fretted over challenging deliveries.

Of note: The Superior Midway would not go through Patton's district.

The other side: Bike Cleveland, the local bike advocacy nonprofit, is soliciting testimony urging the Ohio House Finance Committee to remove this language from the transportation budget bill.

  • "As our streets continue to be unsafe, specifically for people biking and walking, it is important that local governments have the ability to respond to local issues that contribute to unsafe roadways," Bike Cleveland executive director Jacob Van Sickle wrote in his testimony.

Flashback: This is not the first time state lawmakers have preempted local authority with transportation legislation. In 2015, the state passed a bill that prohibited municipalities from taxing or regulating ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

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