Saturday, October 23, 2021

Active transportation projects near completion in Lorain – Morning Journal

Two of Lorain’s active transportation projects are finishing this fall.

Ohio Route 611 has some new sidewalks, Washington Avenue is getting new bike lane markings and a new path to make it easier to walk from Washington Avenue to Oberlin Avenue, between Washington Elementary, 1025 W. 23rd St., and General Johnnie Wilson Middle School, 2700 Washington Ave., is being crafted.

The work was in planning stages for the last few years through the Lorain Connected active transportation committee.

It is a group led by Lorain County Public Health and the city’s Engineering Department.

The Ohio Department of Transportation, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, Lorain City Schools, Lorain County Metro Parks and other community groups collaborate on projects that aim to make it easier to get around Lorain on foot, bicycle or generally without using a car.

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Safe Routes to School

Route 611 also is West 21st Street in Lorain.

Improving the sidewalks is the city’s first Safe Routes to School project, with ODOT granting $185,553 to replace the worst sections of sidewalks and curb ramps.

Contractor Terminal Ready-Mix Inc. edged the entire length of sidewalks on both sides of the street, so walkers can use the full width of the sidewalk between Leavitt Road east to Oakdale Avenue.

Organizers planned the project to create a safe and comfortable walking environment for students going to school, said Veronica Newsome, civil engineer in the city of Lorain’s Engineering Department.

Advisory bike lanes

The city is using a $179,500 grant to cover 80 percent of the cost of the Washington Avenue Bikeway from U.S. Route 6, which is West Erie Avenue, south to Highland Park Boulevard.

The money comes from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program administered by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.

The project was inspired by the Lorain Better Block programs of 2018, and especially 2019, when Washington Avenue received temporary bike lanes on two blocks to connect Veterans Memorial Park to West Sixth Street.

Washington Avenue will have standard bike lanes between West 11th and West 21st streets.

There will be advisory bike lanes from West Erie Avenue to West 11th Street and from West 21st Street to Highland Park Boulevard.

The advisory bike lane lines are dashed, so they look different from regular bike lane lines, Newsome said.

A contractor has removed the double yellow line in the middle of Washington Avenue and was scheduled put down the new bike lane lines starting as early as Oct. 13.

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New path

The bikeway project includes wider sidewalks and a new 10-foot-wide concrete trail running east-west to connect West 24th Street to Washington Avenue.

That area has a lot of students of all ages walking among the schools and houses of the central area of the city, Newsome said.


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