Cleveland resident Carol Hoops, a pharmacist at Skyridge Medical Center, on Monday petitioned the Cleveland City Council to make the Greenway safer for runners and walkers by making bicyclists slow down.
She asked the council to put up signs similar to the ones at Chattanooga's riverwalk, which say that pedestrians have the right of way.
She said, "The Greenway is a tremendous resource for Cleveland...It's a free resource for all to get outside and get some exercise.
However, she said, "It's only eight miles long. It's heavily congested. It's not the place to ride fast and hard."
She described many bicyclists as riding "like they are competing in the Tour de France, and they are a danger."
Ms. Hoops said an employee of Stuart Elementary was struck by a bicyclist not long ago and had to go to the emergency room to receive stitches. She said she was afraid this would continue to happen, saying she is especially concerned about elderly walkers.
Councilman Bill Estes said putting up signs should not be a problem. He said this would also help increase public awareness about the issue and thereby put pressure on bicyclists to slow down.
Also discussed at the Monday afternoon meeting was the possibility of constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Ocoee Street and 8th Street.
Alan Childers gave a presentation detailing various options. Currently, he said the intersection has a crash rate 5.6 times higher than the statewide average.
Mr. Childers described several different types of roundabouts, including modern roundabouts and mini roundabouts. He said both types are very popular in European cities but are still more experimental in the United States. He also pointed out that Chattanooga has the most public roundabouts of any city in Tennessee, saying they are also successful there.
Councilman George Poe also had a potential solution to the traffic problem involving creating a turn lane. He made a motion to have TDOT review his plan. The motion passed.
In an update regarding the demolition of the old Cleveland High School gym, it was announced that the dome would come down within the next two weeks. However, the entire demolition will still take until the end of July or beginning of August to complete.
Councilman Richard Banks made a motion near the end of the meeting that the council decide on new ways to market living in the city of Cleveland within the next two months.
He said, "We need to do a strong marketing push about why it's good to live in Cleveland." He also suggested possibly working with marketing student interns from Lee University to put together information to give to realtors.
He said, "We have a first class airport and first class recreational facilities."
At the end of the meeting, a motion was passed to declare the service weapon of Officer Keven Felton as surplus property effective the date of his retirement. The gun was then presented to him as a token of Cleveland's appreciation for his years of service.
- Photo2 by Hollie Webb