The Cleveland Metroparks opened the much-anticipated Red Line Greenway last week, and a lot of my social media pals were understandably elated. The photos and videos they posted were tremendous, and I can’t wait to check it out for myself.
The Red Line Greenway is a two-mile paved all-purpose trail that provides a primary active transportation corridor from West 65th Street in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood through Ohio City to downtown Cleveland.
It is the latest project to be completed under the Re-Connecting Cleveland project, which received a nearly $8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant through the US Department of Transportation back in 2016. The project’s aim has been the construction of five trail projects totaling over four miles, including a new bridge, to fill critical gaps in the active transportation network in the city of Cleveland.
The Canal Basin Park Connector and Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway Connector have previously been completed. The Red Line Greenway, as well as the upcoming Whiskey Island Connector Trail and Wendy Park Bridge will round out the project, which will help connect more than 60,000 residents to city amenities without the use of a car.
“Cleveland’s been a car-rich culture for a lot of years, and you see the tide turning now,’’ said Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman.
Re-Connecting Cleveland isn’t the only active transportation project that has taken shape in northeast Ohio, either. The Towpath Trail, the full Lakefront Bikeway, the North Coast Inland Trail, and the Emerald Necklace Trail are among dozens of others. And this seems to be the case throughout the Rust Belt and Great Lakes region. It’s a trend I hope continues and expands.
We need more projects like the Red Line Greenway. We need more active transportation options. Connecting people to nature, recreation, and jobs can be done in much better ways than just asphalt and cars, and this is yet another reminder of that.