Lake County communities get go-ahead to explore Vine Street corridor improvements

Several western Lake County communities have been given the go-ahead to start the Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative planning to study the Vine Street corridor.

“The grant we received from(Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency) is in partnership with Laketran, Willowick and Eastlake,” said Willoughby Mayor Robert Fiala. “The hold up was the modeling associated with the traffic because (the coronavirus) has reduced traffic so much. Any traffic counts were deemed to be inaccurate.”

NOACA has now developed an algorithm to model the study correctly, Fiala said. The next step will be starting stakeholder meetings, which are smaller groups and handpicked residents from each community to participate in some planning.

A larger community meeting will then follow.

“We don’t have the schedule for those yet, but once we do, we’ll post them for everybody,” Fiala said.

According to NOACA, the total project cost is an upward amount of $140,000. The Vine Street corridor begins at the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard in Willowick, continues along Vine Street through Eastlake and terminates at the intersection of Erie Street in Willoughby.

The study will examine connecting the Lake Erie lakefront to historic Downtown Willoughby through ensuring proper sidewalks and transit-stop locations along the corridor and establishing more robust bicycle-friendly roadways. The study will also explore lane reductions and traffic calming as well.

Enhancing the transportation system for a safer multimodal environment encourages travelers to consider the possibility of walking, biking and riding the transit system as travel the corridor to various destinations, according to NOACA. In turn, this enhances the quality of life for the 55,000 residents of the three cities and all those who work in and visit them.

Through this comprehensive planning study, eight study components will be explored to support various transportation modes, including pedestrian, bicycle and transit, along with vehicular traffic, according to NOACA.

With Laketran as a partner to the three cities in this planning study, transportation demand management is incorporated to maximize the choices on how people travel along the Vine Street corridor.

The study will review land use planning in the three cities along Vine Street, determining if there are conflicting land uses and identifying areas where potential changes for the land use would create a more harmonic development along with the corridor, according to NOACA.

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