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Cleveland, Ohio

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Amber Scott
Amber Scott
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Cleveland City Council passes bike-friendly ordinance

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Last month, the Huffington Post shared 20 of Bicycling.com’s 50 most bike-friendly cities. Cleveland made neither the full nor the abbreviated list. But as we’re so fond of saying in reference to the Cleveland Browns, “Maybe next year.” Thanks to Cleveland city councilmen Joe Cimperman and Anthony Brancatelli, we’ve got a pretty good shot. Shortly before Bicycling.com’s list came out, the two proposed bicycle ordinances that passed this Monday. Those ordinances are modeled after cities that do appear on the list – frequently.

“This is just the beginning,” said Cimperman. “We’re seeing more and more people starting to bicycle in the city of Cleveland. We just want motorists to know it’s not OK to push a bicyclist or to tap them or throw stuff at them.”

Some things should go without saying. Thanks to the Bicycle Safe Street Ordinances, it is also (officially) not ok for cars to park in bike lanes or on a bicycle-designated path. Cars also have to stay at least 3 feet away from a bike, and trucks have to give a bicyclist 6 feet of room. And if there are two lanes heading one direction, the driver of a car or truck has to move into the lane the bicyclist isn’t riding in. The ordinance also gives a bicyclist the right of way when a car or truck is making a left turn. Drivers who violate the new legislation will have to pay a $150 fine.

Organizations like Bike Cleveland feel that there is more than enough room on the streets for everybody, according to the Great Lakes Courier.

It’s great to see that the city of Cleveland continues to pass laws and ordinances to help lower the number of reported car and pedestrian accidents. In January, the city passed a Complete and Green streets ordinance, which aims at ensuring increased safety for both motorists and cyclists on the roads. Another ordinance, “Don’t Block the Box,” penalizes drivers who block intersections, something the Plain Dealer says is becoming an increasing issue downtown.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, 700 people die in bicycle accidents, and more than 500,000 Americans are sent to the emergency room for bicycle-related injuries.

Be careful out there!