Cuyahoga County - It would connect the entire county with one common constant, Lake Erie.
Thursday, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced a plan to create a Lakefront Public Access Plan. This plan, which will be rolled out in multiple phases, will create seamless, connected path, trails and boardwalks across the entire lakefront.
The Executive will join in partnership with the City of Cleveland and other lakefront municipalities, NOACA, Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland Port Authority, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and others on an advisory committee to develop plans.
The Cuyahoga County Lakefront Public Access Plan will provide a comprehensive, integrated and connected network of transportation systems, provide better access to important Lake Erie assets and will positively impact the lives of residents and create economic development opportunities for the greater region. This will come in the form of connected paths, trails and boardwalks along the lake with public access points interspersed from Bay Village to Euclid.
The goal of this study is to enhance the quality of life for this entire 30-mile stretch along the Lake Erie shoreline through an increase in accessibility to our Great Lake. And NOACA will be looking at exactly this network across Lake and Lorain Counties as well.
“Our best asset in the region is our lake,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “This plan will be transformative for all our residents as we significantly increase access to our beautiful lakeshore. This project is for everyone living in the county. I’m excited that it is also forward-looking—taking into account the impacts of erosion and climate change and for the economic development opportunities it will bring to our county.”
While the initial study will examine the entire lakefront, the below map highlights possible initial areas of interest. The Public Works Department and NOACA will hold an extensive public engagement period to seek public input to further develop the vision and plan. Property owners will have multiple opportunities to engage and give feedback. Residents living on the lakefront will not have their viewsheds changed or impacted by these plans, and many property owners who may be struggling with erosion issues understand the value of maintaining the lakefront.
Currently there are six municipalities all with their own Lakefront Plans and Cleveland Metroparks’ Master Plan. This study would solidify all of these plans and provide cohesiveness to our County. Neighboring counties such as Lake and Lorain County have either completed or are investigating development studies for the same concepts.
The Public Works Department will also be focusing on improving the county roads terminating at or near the lake to create better access from the south.
“So much of what the Public Works Department does is work to connect residents more easily to places in Cuyahoga County,” said Director of Public Works, Michael Dever. “Whether it be road, bridge, or water, accessibility is of crucial importance. The Lakefront Public Access Plan allows us to take advantage of a natural resource while also improving access up to it.”
The first step in advancing the plan is the submission of a TLCI grant application to NOACA. The County looks forward to working with both public and private partners to develop this transformative project over the coming years.
Photos by: Kyle Cornell / WTAM 1100
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