Cuyahoga County Releases Lakefront Public Access Plan Report

Identification of Four Focus Areas Could Create Nearly Seven Miles of New Lakefront Access

The Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works, the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, and consultant the SmithGroup released today the Lakefront Public Access Plan Report.

This Plan covers three general topic areas:

  1. Improved public access to Lake Erie
  2. Erosion control and ecological enhancement
  3. Enhanced transportation networks along the shoreline

This plan outlines a multimodal network of connected paths, all-purpose trails, boardwalks, roads, bridges, and public access points across the Lake Erie shoreline. The Plan considers the entire 30-mile Lake Erie shoreline within Cuyahoga County and provides a continuous network from the east to west side of the County. The study also acknowledges the need to improve access to the lake for neighborhoods to the south of the shoreline through elements such as road improvements.

“I’ve had a vision of connected access for all to our lakefront for many years, and the release of this plan maintains positive momentum on the work we’ve been doing thus far,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “This plan can guide us, partnering municipalities and organizations, and private landowners as we determine opportunities and priorities for creating better public lakefront access for all Cuyahoga County residents.”

Also referenced in the report are four new focus areas that have been identified as initial sites where continued investment and attention by the County and its partners will occur in the near term. These focus areas could create nearly seven miles of new lakefront access. They include:

  1. Lake-Clifton Bridge
  2. Lakewood Gold Coast
  3. East 9th-East 55th Connector
  4. Beulah Park-Euclid Beach Connector

“The development of this study took nearly two years of work, after extensive public engagement of property owners, government officials and community members,” said County Director of Public Works, Michael Dever. “County residents have been a large and very important part of this process, and the County is excited to move forward with our lakefront plans knowing we have helpful feedback and support from the public.”

In tandem with the release of the Lakefront Public Access Plan Report, the County has created an interactive story map containing comprehensive maps of lakefront projects, their current status, and information on each point’s offerings. It also provides details on the four focus areas of the report and how much access will be created based on these segments.

The newest episode of the County’s “Let’s Talk Cuyahoga” podcast focuses on the release of the Lakefront Public Access Plan and collaborative efforts necessarily for such a large project. County Executive Armond Budish spoke with Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman, City of Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail, and County Director of Public Works Mike Dever.

“This project represents partnerships and collaboration on so many levels,” said Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Executive Director Mary Cierebiej. “There was an identified need to improve access to the lakefront for all residents of Cuyahoga County, while also stabilizing our shoreline. Access to key state/local funding is only possible with public/private partnerships, and this project allowed for those discussions. We are excited for the future of our lakefront.”