Cleveland Launches a Bike Share Study

Icon_MobilityOver the next 6 months, Cleveland’s Bike Share Task Force will be taking a look at the feasibility of bike sharing and reviewing recommended business models for operating a system in the city. Building off of recent momentum in cycling and complete and green streets, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability issued a Request for Proposals in autumn 2012 and has contracted with Toole Design Group (TDG) as the lead consultant for this project.

Bike Share Task Force: In anticipation of the feasibility study, the Bike Share Task Force formed to provide a platform to advise the project and to assist with stakeholder engagement. The Bike Share Task Force consists of representatives from many organizations who see the potential benefits of bike sharing in Cleveland:

  • Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
  • ClevelandCity Planning
  • GreenCityBlueLake Institute
  • Bike Cleveland
  • Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
  • Cleveland City Planning Commission
  • Positively Cleveland
  • Midtown Cleveland
  • Ohio City Inc.
  • Downtown Cleveland Alliance/Cleveland Bike Rack
  • Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
  • Cuyahoga County
  • University Circle Inc.

Consultants: The lead consultant, TDG is a leading engineering, planning, and landscape architecture firm specializing in multi-modal transportation.  TDG served as the author and principal investigator for Bike Sharing in The United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation (2012), an independent study of current bike sharing programs in the United States, on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The purpose of the guide is to assist communities contemplating bike share with answers to common questions, guidance on conducting feasibility studies, and information on how to successfully launch and manage a program. www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikeshare

BrownFlynn is a sub-consultant that will lead the community engagement portion of the feasibility study. BrownFlynn is a women-owned sustainability and corporate social responsibility consulting firm

bikesharemap

Current bike share systems operating in the United States. Click for an interactive map.

Why Now? Bicycling in Cleveland is on the rise. The most recent American Community Survey indicated an increase of 280% from 2000 to 2010 of people commuting to work by bicycle. Numerous bicycle-related businesses and services have opened in the City, including a commuter bike parking station, The Bike Rack. This past September cyclists and civic leaders created Bike Cleveland, a unified bicycle advocacy organization serving greater Cleveland.

Also, the City has recently adopted two pieces of legislation that will increase safety for the growing number of cyclists:

1. The first Complete and Green Streets ordinance in the state that requires road projects to incorporate best practices in Complete Streets and Green Infrastructure.

2. The Bicycle Transportation Safety ordinance that includes provisions to make streets safer for biking and walking, including a 3-ft passing requirement.

Benefits of Bike Sharing: Bike-sharing in urban areas can positively affect how residents, employees, and visitors experience a city.  Bike-transit systems allow for more people to access cycling for short trips, replace vehicle use, cycle for fitness and recreation, and for tourists and residents alike to explore a city.

Project Details: The Bike Share study is divided into two sections: a feasibility study and, dependent on the results of the feasibility study, an implementation plan for a flexible and automated on-demand bicycle sharing system. The feasibility study will include locations and sitings, integration with the existing transit system, technical discussions, and best practices. The feasibility study will incorporate public engagement in order to gather data about public interest and public feedback pertaining to bike sharing in the City. We anticipate the engagement process will address the particular needs of geographic areas of the City and the transportation network.

If determined feasible, the Implementation Plan portion of the project will provide a concise and comprehensive plan for the launch of the bike share network, including:

  • realistic projected costs of implementation;
  • recommended business model and business plan;
  • timeline for implementation;
  • performance standards/evaluation criteria; and
  • operations and maintenance plan.

We are looking forward to launching this project this month and determining if and how bike sharing can be a beneficial option for Cleveland’s citizens, commuters and visitors provide economic development opportunity and reduce our city’s carbon footprint.