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Fairport Harbor Bikeway making progress

Simon Husted | The News-Herald

Fairport Harbor’s first designated bike route is taking form as leaders expect to see a full completion of the route sometime this August. Installation of pavement markings indicating a shared car-bike lane began June 16 along the route, and crews are now moving onto the delivery and installation of special signage and equipment for the route, said Peter Zahirsky, who is coastal manager for the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority. 

The 3.3-mile route loops along the streets of East, Second, High and New in the village. It is a separate bicycle route project from the Blue Way, which is being collaborated on by several local government bodies to link five communities — Fairport Harbor included — along a bike route. Zahirsky, who is overseeing the project, said crews should have everything installed by “the middle of August,” which includes installing three bike racks built by Auburn Career Center students, and a 7.5-foot-long by 12-foot-wide bicycle shelter with a tire pump station in it.

The shared bicycle markings along the four streets don’t divide cyclists into their own narrow lane of traffic like marked bike lanes do. Zahirsky said the streets’ width didn’t match the standard allowable for dedicated bicycle lanes. As the authority’s coastal manager, Zahirsky is tasked with implementing the Lake County Coastal Development Plan, an ambitious county-wide waterfront plan that was drafted in 2005 and revived following the recession in 2013“One of the community amenities in the plan was a lakefront bike network connecting to the beach in Fairport Harbor, and this project is the first step in bringing those plans to a reality,” Zahirsky said in a news release July 12.

The Port Authority raised $25,500 in outside contributions to fund the project, and the figure doesn’t include in-kind donations the authority received, Zahirsky said. Those donors included the Lubrizol Foundation, the Lake County General Health District, Laketran, the Lake County Development Council, OurPets Co., the Painesville Area Chamber of Commerce, FirstMerit Bank, the Dominion Foundation, the Cleveland Touring Club, De Nora Tech, Northeastern Refrigeration, the Painesville Community Improvement Corp. and Avery Dennison. 

A ribbon-cutting and community bike ride dedicated to the new route is being planned for later in the summer, according to the news release.