The Greenway has already proven to be an effective venue for students to walk or bike to Cleveland High School. While there are no hard stats about how many students use it as their route to school, I can personally testify to the numbers of students I have passed with backpacks while on a morning run on the Greenway. The Greenway is directly connected with Northwoods and Sequoia Hills subdivisions and every home on the east side of Keith Street to Inman Street.
Because of the Greenway’s connectivity to Cleveland High, Arnold School, E.L. Ross Elementary and Yates Primary, it opens opportunities for funding that might not happen otherwise such as Safe Routes to Schools grants. City leaders have pursued these types of grants in the past.
A recent post on the Greenway’s Facebook page asked, “I would like to see more access to local businesses. A spur leading to the mall area or to shops along the Greenway. I'm sure some of them would like the possible business …” This question is best answered with a simple, “Absolutely!” Many businesses are already connected including all the shops in Northway Plaza, and every business or service located along the east side of Keith Street between Raider Drive and 17th Street.
A relatively unknown connection is an independent “spur” of the Greenway that begins at 20th Street and heads north toward the Spring Creek Retreat townhomes. There is passage under 25th Street (APD 40) from the Retreat side, allowing residents to safely access the shops at Spring Creek which will soon include a new location of Jenkin’s Deli and a Hardee’s. What is also on the horizon is a connection to the Sullivan Addition neighborhood. A recent agreement with Spring Creek grants an easement for the Greenway spur to continue from under 25th Street near the future Hardee’s and connect at Elm Drive.
The challenge with business and neighborhood connections comes with safe passage once pedestrians leave the Greenway. A primary goal of the Greenway is to provide a venue safe enough that families with strollers can navigate to their destinations without crossing major streets.
One example is Home Depot and all the shops and restaurants in that plaza. They are accessible from the Greenway through a short westward jaunt down Mohawk Drive, but Mohawk has no sidewalk or shoulder. Another example is all the businesses located on the western side of Keith Street from Raider Drive southward. There is an access sidewalk at the Monterrey restaurant just before the Greenway passes under Keith Street, but another passage under Keith is needed after the intersection with 25th Street.
Another piece of good news is a recent grant for which the city has applied is for a spur off of the Greenway at Tinsley Park. If awarded, the Greenway would circle the ballfields toward the main entrance of the park, pass under Keith Street and emerge on the eastern side near Logan’s restaurant. The Greenway spur would meander beside Ocoee Crossing and end at the corner of Ocoee Crossing and North Ocoee Street. This would give easy access to the many retailers in the BI-LO plaza.
Connecting the Greenway with neighborhoods and businesses will be an ongoing challenge as time goes on. If you have an idea for a spur or connector, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.