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Shaker Council Approves Grant Applications for Lakes to Lakes Project

Shaker's portion of the regional trail would be a 0.6-mile path along Fairhill Road

Shaker Heights City Council on Monday gave the planning department permission to seek grants to pay for the city's role in a five-mile trail that would extend from Interstate 271 in Beachwood to Lake Erie in Cleveland.

Council granted the city's planning department blanket authorization to apply for grants to pay for its part of the Lakes to Lakes Trail — a 0.6-mile path along Fairhill Road. The city will seek matching funds to help design and construct the multipurpose Lakes to Lakes, which would stretch across Shaker, Cleveland Heights and Cleveland.

Shaker's path will connect to Cleveland's trail, near the city line on East 127th Street. On the Shaker path's east side, it will connect to the Cleveland Heights North Park trail near the city line on Coventry Road.

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Overall, the Lakes-to-Lakes Trail is five miles long and aimed at providing recreation and a car-free transportation alternative to its users. Completion of the trail will provide off-road bike access from Interstate 271 to Lake Erie.

Trail connections will include:

  • University Circle
  • The Euclid Corridor bike lanes
  • Downtown Cleveland
  • Bikeways near Horseshoe Lake Park and the Shaker Boulevard median in Shaker Heights, Beachwood and Pepper Pike

The origins of Shaker's involvement in Lakes to Lakes can be traced to a recommendation in the Recreation and Leisure Framework plan adopted by city council seven years ago. In May, the city's planning department submitted a joint application with Cleveland Heights to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency for $540,000 in grant funding.

While NOACA continues to review the application, the city must find a grant to cover a 20-percent local match of $135,000. According to a Planning Department briefing, the city has its eyes on The Cleveland Foundation, The St. Luke's Foundation, The Dominion Foundation and Bikes Belong as potential grant providers.

"I'm very confident we will find a donor," Councilman Brian Gleisser said.

Assuming the city finds a donor, it would not need any cash to participate in the project. Many portions of the trail are already complete, including a Cleveland stretch from the Shaker Heights border to University Circle.

"It's the final piece," Councilman James Brady said of council's blanket authorization for grant application.

Mark Mendes September 26, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Biking is a very wholesome activity, and the demographics of people who bike are very strong (healthy, wealthy, and wise). The more we can do to make biking more accessible and available the better.

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