Cuyahoga County Planning Commission recognized for Solon Connects plan


SOLON, Ohio – The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission received the Best Small Jurisdiction Plan award for the Solon Connects Plan from the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA Ohio).

Solon Connects was selected for its creativity and great merit for a jurisdiction in Ohio with a census population of less than 100,000, according to a press release from the County Planning Commission.

The intention of the Solon Connects plan is to build safer and stronger pedestrian and cycling connections between existing civic, commercial and open spaces assets in order to create safe and beneficial active transportation options.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone’s daily lives in one way or another, but there were signs of hope as residents of Northeast Ohio began to rediscover the active transportation options, or lack thereof, in their communities, the statement said.

The foundation of the Solon Connects plan is to maintain and strengthen this momentum by establishing a more inclusive network for all ages and abilities by creating facilities with equitable and safe access for all.

“I want to commend the entire Cuyahoga County Planning Commission team for all of their hard work in making this plan a reality,” Mayor Ed Kraus said in the press release.

“Solon Connects will prioritize walking and cycling throughout the city,” Kraus said. “It will provide healthy and safe exercise opportunities for our families and businesses.

“This is our city and our quality of life, and Solon Connects will play an important role in ensuring that our future is much brighter than our past. “

Solon received a County Planning Commission grant for planning services in 2019, so there was no cost for the commission’s services.

“It was a real pleasure working with Mayor Kraus and his team in Solon,” said Mary Cierebiej, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, in the statement.

“Collaboration with city leaders, stakeholders and residents is critical to the success of our work in communities. I am so proud of my team and the great work they have done on the Solon Connects plan; it is truly a proactive roadmap for the City of Solon and its inhabitants.

Cierebiej said the goal of all of the commission’s plans is for the community to be able to implement the recommendations.

“The City of Solon is already moving towards implementing some of the recommendations, so we see this as a huge success,” she said.

In an interview Thursday, October 28, Kraus said the county planning commission’s work on the Solon Connects plan was essentially complete, with the exception of the submission of a full master plan document, which he has said the city would incorporate into its own master plan. .

“They gave us a lot of recommendations and a lot of great feedback and advice,” Kraus said. “We are now at a point where we are looking at some of these recommendations for implementation – some in the range of one to three years and others in the three to five years, five to seven years and 10 years. year – and it’s part of our own planning process.

“So now it’s really our responsibility, but (the County Planning Commission) will continue to provide advice to the city. “

Some of the panel’s main recommendations included converting some sidewalks to multi-use paths, creating cycle boulevards on main residential streets, and adding multi-use trails on vacant lots.

Kraus said there was no deadline for the commission to deliver the completed master plan document and for the city to incorporate it into their master plan. But he expects this to be accomplished “within the next two months.”

The APA Ohio Rewards Program honors exceptional planning and leadership in Ohio, recognizing the best and the brightest plans, projects and people, the release said.

The Ohio Chapter collaborated with its Michigan colleagues, reviewing and rating each entry based on its innovativeness, transferability, overall quality, implementation, relevance, and community interaction.

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