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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

First community meeting held to improve transportation in Berea

Israel Gole
The study conducted the bikeability of areas around campus, marking bike racks such as this one near Beech Street.

On Oct. 25, the “Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative for Downtown Berea Multimodal Transportation,” a study aimed at improving transportation in the Berea and Baldwin Wallace University area, was presented at its first community meeting at the Berea branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

The study was conducted over the past year with funding from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency aimed at finding places for improvement in transportation throughout downtown Berea, some parts of the BW campus and roads near Coe Lake and the Metroparks.

During the meeting, Matt Madzy, director of planning engineering and development of Berea, led a presentation and summarized the goals of the study.

“What [the study] means is to focus on how to improve safety and efficiency of all modes and means of traffic in and out of our study area. That’s cars, bicycles, pedestrians or students,” Madzy said.

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The research revealed transportation and traffic statistics such as pavement conditions, one-way streets, traffic volume, parking, sidewalks, crosswalks and bike facilities.

The report found that a section of Front Street closest to the intersection with Bagley Road was in poor condition along with East Bagley Road having scoring one of the highest in terms of Level of Traffic Stress for bicyclists.

Madzy said that they are looking to “increase efficiency and safety, and we’re looking for a final, finalized report in March of 2024.”

Throughout the meeting, the team stressed the importance of gaining community feedback.

Project manager Chuck Fawcett said: “The study team is combining data from the field with feedback from you guys [the community].”

The team also presented statistics from a poll of BW students conducted last year with the help of BW sustainability students that revealed that 64 percent of students said they would ride a bike on campus if they had one available. Only 58 percent of students said they feel safe riding a bike on campus, and 85 percent of students said they would ride a bike more often if local streets were more bike friendly, with 83 students reporting that they were involved in a bike-related accident.

Fawcett said the study aims to encourage other forms of transportation than just cars, and to make all forms safer and more available for everyone.

Fawcett said it would be great to hear even more specific feedback and suggestions from BW students.

“That’s really the point of this study is to kind of get feedback to find out what they think would make them feel safer,” Fawcett said.

The Oct. 25 meeting was the first of three, and Fawcett said he wants any students to come to the next meeting on Dec. 12 from 6-8 p.m. in the Berea Public Library to share their concerns and suggestions that will take place.

“The next meeting, we will talk about different alternatives that we’re thinking about recommending and getting people’s feedback on those,” Fawcett said. “And then the final meeting, we’ll talk about what we are going to be recommending as a result of the study.”

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    Diana FergusonNov 8, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    More police and traffic stops pinpointing aggressive drivers, speeding drivers, drivers blowing the red lights and finally drivers exceeding the speed limits in residential neighborhoods like polish village where the speed limit is 25 mph. Berea is not a pedestrian friendly town. Bagley Rd and Rocky River Drive are horrendous to cross. More enforcement by police of these areas during a.m. and p.m. rush hours. Also, Front and Prospect aren’t any cake walk either.