Majority of Clevelanders Support Safe Streets and Alternatives to Driving


A new poll of Cleveland residents commissioned by Bike Cleveland and conducted by the Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute (BW CRI) found that 75% of residents support more public investment to improve safe access to bicycling, walking, and use of public transportation.

The survey sample included responses from 616 residents in the City of Cleveland representing responses from all City of Cleveland zip codes.

“These survey results demonstrate the significant will of Clevelanders to support infrastructure improvements that allow people to get around safely without a car,” said Jacob VanSickle, Executive Director at Bike Cleveland.

One of the key takeaways is that two-thirds of respondents want to ride a bicycle more often, and 62% of these residents would ride a bike for transportation if there was a separated bike lane to their destination.

The poll also indicates that 66% of Cleveland residents who ride a bike are concerned about getting hit by a car while biking, while 65% of residents agree that developing alternatives to driving is the best way to address these traffic issues.

“Clevelanders share a concern for safety and believe that creating safe transportation options, including bicycling and public transit improvements, is good for the city’s residents, businesses and workers,” said Jenna Thomas, Bike Cleveland’s Advocacy and Policy Manager.

Large majorities of residents agreed that encouraging bicycling, walking and use of public transit have significant benefits. 87% agreed that these transportation options promote healthy lifestyles, and 66% agreed that walking and bicycling improve social connections in their communities. Additionally, 77% agreed that pollution would be reduced, and 78% agreed that transportation costs would be reduced. These are all wins for people that call Cleveland home, and for those that are looking for Cleveland to join the ranks of cities that have adopted more people-friendly transportation policies.

“The findings from this representative poll reinforce anecdotal feedback we hear from residents,” said Calley Mersmann, Senior Strategist for Transit & Mobility at the City of Cleveland. “People want safer streets and more choice in how they travel. National research shows that adding bike lanes and increasing transit ridership makes streets safer for everyone, whether inside or outside a vehicle. Through ongoing projects like the Superior and Lorain Midways and the 2024 Citywide Mobility Plan, we are working to realize these benefits for all Clevelanders.”

Other key findings from the poll include:

  • 75% of respondents agree that the City of Cleveland should invest more resources in improving biking, walking, and public transit. 
  • 74% of respondents agree that people driving and people riding bikes share responsibility for safety. Bike infrastructure promotes safety by making the rules of the road clear for all. 

  • 65% of respondents agree that developing alternatives to driving is the best way to address our city’s traffic issues. 
  • 62% of respondents agree that if there was a separated bike lane (a bike lane separated from traffic with concrete curb, bollards, or something else) running between my home and my workplace, school, favorite restaurant, or store – I would sometimes ride a bicycle, instead of driving. 
  • 66% of respondents agree that they would like to ride a bicycle more often. 
  • 57% of respondents agree that they would bicycle more in Cleveland if there were more dedicated bicycle lanes. 

The report can be viewed in it’s entirety here:  Cleveland Resident Polling: Cycling Interest, Safety, Priorities

Survey data report and methodology:

The BW CRI survey of Cleveland residents involved data collection by SurveyUSA, which  interviewed 600 adults from the city of Cleveland in two separate windows of time: online 11/07/23 through 11/13/23, using sample provided by Lucid Holdings LLC of New Orleans, and then via SMS-to-web 12/15/23 through 12/19/23, where respondents were texted on their cell phones by live operators who secured the cooperation of each respondent before linking them to an online survey, using telephone sample of Cleveland adults purchased from Aristotle in Washington DC. The second round of data collection was conducted to replace respondents in 

the first round who were not residents of Cleveland. The full set of respondents is weighted to US Census targets for gender, age, ethnicity, education, and home ownership. The overall margin of error for the survey range is +/- 3.1% (yes/no/not sure responses) to +/- 5.1% (multiple answer option), dependent on the number of question answer choices and response distribution.