City and neighborhood leaders are looking to a new restriping and repaving project on Kenmore Boulevard to provide a safer experience for bicyclists and other travelers, along with a connection between the (Kenmore) business district and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail at Summit Lake.
Boulevard Bikes & Brew, Saturday, Sept. 22, will help celebrate this transition with a Boulevard bicycle tour, open house and an outdoor market featuring local craft beer and food. There also will be free bike rentals for residents of all ages, courtesy of Summit Bike Share.
The city of Akron recently conducted an 18-block project that added protected bicycle lanes. Better connection between Kenmore Boulevard and the Towpath Trail emerged as a top priority in the Kenmore Neighborhood Vision Plan. Saturday’s event is the culmination of the six-month planning process.
Bicyclists along Kenmore Boulevard are engaged in much more than recreation, said Tina Boyes, executive director of the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance. “We’re not a typical suburban bicyclist crowd,” she added. “These are people using bikes for transportation.”
Neighborhood and city leaders say the new bicycle lanes will benefit residents by providing a safer way to commute to local businesses, along with better accommodating pedestrians and other modes of travel. Recent funding from Akron Civic Commons ($20,000) and Knight Foundation ($20,000) will add protective lane delineators and improved visual markings at intersections along the repaved stretch, along with better connecting the Kenmore Boulevard bike lanes to Lakeshore Boulevard, for a safer connection with the Towpath Trail at Summit Lake.
The evening begins with an Akron2Akron Kenmore: LOOP bicycle tour, which leaves from the Kenmore Branch Library (969 Kenmore Blvd.) at 4 p.m. Boulevard Bikes and Brews kicks off at 5 p.m. and includes vendors and breweries like Wadsworth Brewing Company, R. Shea Brewing-Merriman Valley, Mucky Duck Brew Pub, Akron Pickle and Buckeye Clothing Company.
Also at 5 p.m. is the Kenmore Neighborhood Vision Plan Open House, which will enable residents to review and offer feedback on the neighborhood Vision Plan. The Open House will take place in the Live Music Now courtyard, 952 Kenmore Blvd. Representatives from MKSK will give a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m. Reservations, which are free, may be made at kenmorevision.eventbrite.com.
The Bikes and Brews event is sponsored by Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, Knight Foundation, City of Akron, Ohio – Mayor’s Office, Akron Civic Commons, Ohio & Erie Canalway and Summit County Public Health.
For info, visit www.facebook.com/knacares.
Editor’s note: Emily Miller contributed to this article.