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Akron, Ohio

Mayor Horrigan Announces Partnership with Copenhagenize Design Co. to Plan a Connected Bicycle Grid for Akron

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Community-centered program funded by Knight Foundation

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of James Hardy
Published: 03-21-2018

 

Akron, Ohio, March 21, 2018 Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced $127,000 in funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support the development of a consistent and connected bicycle grid across the City of Akron. The City will engage Copenhagenize Design Co., a consulting firm that helps cities integrate simplicity, logic and human nature into transportation networks.

"To truly become a more bicycle-friendly community, Akron needs a core network of connected bike lanes that will link our neighborhoods to key destinations and business districts across the city," Mayor Dan Horrigan said of the motivation behind the initiative. "Most importantly, to be effective, these bike lanes need to be safe and welcoming for all users, and designed with input from the residents and stakeholders they serve."

"The goal of the Copenhagenize program is to develop a roadmap and standard design principles that will inform how, when, and where we implement bike lanes in Akron over the next several decades," Mayor Horrigan noted.

Akron has been incrementally building its bicycling infrastructure over the past 20 years. The city currently has 25 miles of bike lanes and an additional 16 miles are in the planning or construction phases. Akron is also home to a variety of dedicated walking/biking paths, most notably the Towpath Trail, which is being joined by the Freedom Trail and the Rubber City Heritage Trail, which is in the planning stage. The City has tested bike lanes through Better Block events, and is planning more bicycling engagement events later this year.

"We are consistently hearing from residents about the need for more and better cycling infrastructure," said James Hardy, Deputy Mayor for Integrated Development. "The Copenhagenize program, in conjunction with the Great Streets Akron initiative, will allow us to better serve and connect all our Akron neighborhoods by accommodating diverse forms of transportation and encouraging more equitable access to public space."

Copenhagenize’s mission is to catalyze bicycle culture by implementing strategies and designs informed by international best practice and people-centered planning. This spring, the Copenhagenize team, in partnership with 8 80 Cities, will kick off a year-long process of developing a new bicycle strategy for Akron beginning with a community engagement strategy

to reach a diverse group of residents and stakeholders across all Akron neighborhoods. "We are excited to talk to residents across Akron about cycling in their city and build a strategy that helps create long-standing improvements to bike safety, connectivity and citizen mobility" said Michael Wexler, partner and urban designer from Copenhagenize Design Co.

"Creating lively public spaces where residents can connect with their city and each other is important to the future of Akron," said Kyle Kutuchief, Knight Foundation program director for Akron. "Through this project we hope to advance a stronger culture of civic engagement, and create the kind of quality of life incentives that can draw new talent to Akron."

The grant will be managed by the City of Akron Office of Integrated Development in partnership with the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition.

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About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

For further information, contact:
James Hardy
Deputy Mayor for Integrated Development
Phone: 330-375-2345
E-mail: [email protected]

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