Cuyahoga County Executive candidates talk transportation and mobility during forum

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:40 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - One of the more crucial races on November’s ballot is for Cuyahoga County Executive.

A big crowd packed a local brewery Thursday night to hear from two candidates, and their thoughts on the important issues of transportation and mobility.

It’s estimated that at least 12% of the adult population in Cuyahoga County does not drive or have access to a car. In the city of Cleveland it’s estimated 24% to 27% of the population does not have a vehicle.

That’s why the issue of transportation and how to make paths, trails and routes more accessible is so important whether you use a car, the bus, bike or walk.

Phil Kidd lives in Cleveland and tells me the path forward when it comes to improving transportation and mobility is an important quality of life issue, “I think that the discussion that’s been had tonight is extremely important, because it’s going to lay the ground work for maybe 20 more years here in Cleveland, like what type of planning, how we’re thinking about transit in all forms, not only in Cleveland, but Cuyahoga County.”

The groups Bike Cleveland and Clevelander’s for Public Transit put two candidates for Cuyahoga County Executive on the hot seat, asking them how they plan to improve this critical area, whether it’s increasing a budget, creating a transportation department, or expanding routes.

Chris Ronayne a candidate for Cuyahoga County Executive and a Democrat bike 8 miles to to the brewery from his home, and believes making the city more mobile in other ways is important economically, “I’m also focused on our streets being more complete which is to say that we save room for sidewalks, we save room for bicycle lanes, and protect those bicycle lanes. I’m looking forward to a future with complete communities with complete streets.”

Lee Weingart who is also a candidate for Cuyahoga County Executive and a Republican who believes building more homes with increased job opportunities nearby, will enable people to not feel forced to drive a car, “Growing more jobs, more housing, more companies in the urban core, so, we need to have good pubic transportation in the urban core to do that, as well as having the ability for bike lanes and bicycling across Cuyahoga County.”

The groups feel now is the perfect time to plan for transportation’s future, “Between the new mayor we have in Cleveland and now a new county executive, those two working together to build a larger vision, and implementing a lot of the planning work. This is the time to do it, it’s now,” Kidd said.