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Clean Ohio Trail Funding In 2009

"The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), which administers the Clean Ohio Trails Fund, recently approved grant proposals for trail projects across the state that will help develop and revitalize communities.

"The Clean Ohio Trails Fund is one of four components of the Clean Ohio Fund, which restores, protects and connects Ohio's natural and urban places. Ohioans approved the establishment of the $400 million bond program in 2000 and it was a critical component of the 2008 Ohio Bipartisan Job Stimulus Plan. An extension of the Clean Ohio Fund was overwhelmingly accepted at the ballot last year.

"ODNR awarded 25 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grants for community projects that will complete regional trail systems and links to the statewide trail plans, link population centers with outdoor recreation areas and facilities, preserve natural corridors and link urban areas to support commuter access and provide economic benefits." Read more...

Here's a list of the trail projects that were awarded grants in 2009.

Reward Offered In Trail Murder Case

12/30/09

"Members of a community group hope money talks in solving the murder of a Jonesboro man who was gunned down on a popular bike trail in northwest Atlanta [Georgia].

“We’re pledging $5,000 for information that will assist the police in apprehending the person or persons responsible,” said Michael Langford, president of the United Youth-Adult Conference II.

"Thad Rand, 46, was killed Sunday night. He had just walked his girlfriend’s 17-year-old niece to a MARTA train station and had almost made it back to a family gathering at his girlfriend’s mother’s home on Stafford Drive. A witness heard some people arguing on the path and then heard gunshots. Rand died after being shot in the back." Read more...

Read a previous post on this tragedy.

Pataskala Proposes 2 Rec Trails

12/30/09

"The city's revitalization efforts are picking up steam, thanks to a new plan to construct two recreational trails.

"City Planning Director Diane Harris plans to seek grant funding for the two proposed trails. One would stand in the eastern portion of the city, while the other would stand in west. "It would provide an easily accessible form of passive recreation," said Harris, touting the proposal.

"Harris plans on seeking $250,000 in funding from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund and another $250,000 from the Ohio Department of National Resources Recreational Trails Program.

"The application deadline is Feb. 1, and Harris is optimistic the city can capture at least some of the grant money. Earlier this year, it acquired stimulus funding to repair downtown sidewalks, and it currently is awaiting word on whether it will receive Safe Routes to Schools funding for improving the sidewalks and crosswalks around Pataskala Elementary School." Read more and view maps of the proposed trails.

Wayne County Trail Concerns Landowners

12/30/09

"According to landowners in Baughman and Chippewa townships, aspects normally drawing the public to Rails to Trails will hinder their ability to conduct business.

"John Douglass, Baughman Township dairy farmer, said Norfolk and Southern railroad neglected to offer land owners a chance to buy abandoned rail beds in Baughman and Chippewa townships before selling them to Rails to Trails. "We (local land owners) have been trying to buy rail bed right of way for 10 years," he said.

"Ann Obrecht, Wayne County commissioner, said Rails to Trails folks should work hard to resolve issues between themselves and landowners.

"Don Noble II, president of Wayne County Rails to Trails said the recorded purchase price of the trail was $345,000 and its development will cost $70,000 to $100,000 per mile. Extending from Orrville to Clinton and through Marshallville, it will be funded using private and public grants, which raises many concerns among farmers and landowners." Read more...

Granville Trail Seeks Funding

12/29/09

"With freeways bisecting the Granville community, pedestrians and bicyclists have a tough time getting between the village and key destinations to the southwest: a new nature preserve and the Kendal retirement community.

"But a group connected with Kendal is committed to changing that. They are hoping to receive an Ohio Department of Transportation grant as a springboard to build a mile-long path linking the village and Spring Valley Nature Preserve. A short extension south from the southern end of that path would connect it to Kendal.

"The group is hoping to receive 80 percent state funding of the $2 million construction cost of the pathway, said Randall Howard, a consultant hired by Kendal to assist with the project. They plan to file a preliminary application by the end of January that would pave the way for a formal application later this spring. The Granville Township Trustees on Monday agreed to sponsor the project." Read more...

Cleveland Flats Greenway Secured

12/28/09

"The long-held civic dream of linking neighborhoods along Cleveland's Flats to the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie with hike-and-bike trails just took a big step forward.

"The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land-conservation organization based in San Francisco, announced Monday it closed a $3.2 million deal to preserve 1.3 miles of abandoned rail bed on the west bank of the Flats for a future trail network. The transaction, completed Wednesday, transferred ownership from Earl Walker, a Cleveland investor and former Cuyahoga Community College professor, to Parkworks, a nonprofit organization that aims to turn a chunk of urban archaeology into a major public amenity.

"We just feel terrific about having this vision last year and realizing it over the past 12 months," Parkworks director Ann Zoller said Monday.

"Parkworks, which plans public spaces in Cleveland, unveiled its concept for the west bank of the Flats in January, along with Cleveland Public Art and Building Cleveland by Design. The Link to the Lake Trail, as the project is called, will one day connect Wendy Park on Whiskey Island to the Ohio City and Tremont neighborhoods." Read more and view a map of the proposed greenway.

See another article and audio file on this acquisition. And yet another audio file here.

Another article, posted on 12/29, here.

T.J. Evans Trail Closing

12/28/09

"Due to weather and crew related issues, the closure of the T.J. Evans Trail in Granville at the West Broadway St. entrance has been delayed. It is now scheduled to be CLOSED on Monday, January 4, 2010 through Thursday, January 7, 2010 due to electric pole removal and replacement. The trail should reopen on Friday, January 8, 2010. For more information, please call the Licking Park District headquarters at (5740) 587-2535."

This is work that has been rescheduled from an earlier date.

Source: Licking County Park District

Miami & Erie Canal Towpath Progress

12/28/09

"The Heritage Trails Park District Board recently met for its end-of-the-year meeting. The group discussed what the district accomplished in 2009 and plans for the future. Director Allison Brady said the meeting went well and a plan has been constructed to move forward with expanding the Heritage Trails Park District.

“The park district has been in existence for 14 years, but this is kind of a new beginning,” Brady said. “What we did at the meeting was review the year.”

"...She pointed out the extensive work on the towpath that was completed in 2009, using more than 300 dump loads of fill. “We had a grant and the towpath trail needed a lot of work and manpower,” Brady said. “It was a big project.”

"The towpath area that was revamped included expanding it to 10 feet wide through a 2 mile span. The area begins at the Noble Township Trustee House and heads north. “Getting it fixed was important for the canal and the trail,” Brady said. “The river was starting to encroach on the path and narrowed it to about 2 feet.”

"During 2009, the park district also helped purchase a bulldozer in cooperation with the Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) to use on the towpath." Read more...

Man Killed On Atlanta Bike Path

12/28/09

"Atlanta police said someone shot and killed a man as he walked a bike trail that runs through Washington Park. The victim was on his way home after walking his girlfriend to the train station.

"We don't know what happened. Somebody tried to rob him I guess," said family friend Debra Parks. Parks and her family said they can't understand why someone would shoot and kill the man she considers a son." Read more or view the video report.

Newark Trail Connector Study

"The City of Newark and Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) completed a study in 2009 to connect the existing bike trails on the east and west sides of the City. The study examined possible bike trail connections via northern, central, downtown & southern routes in addition to identifying ideal trailhead locations."

Read the report.

View a map of the recommended connecting routes.

Source: City of Newark

Stimulus Aids Reynoldsburg Trail Project

12/26/09

"Reynoldsburg received two grants in April as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for infrastructure improvements and crime prevention efforts.

"The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission cleared Reynoldsburg for $425,000 in federal stimulus funds so it could construct a multi-purpose trail around Civic Park. The project requires that the city contribute about $60,000 for construction and inspection costs. Plans for the project presented in October to Reynoldsburg City Council call for a 10-foot wide trail with 2-foot shoulders.

"The trail will start at the entrance of Daugherty Drive. It will loop next to the playground area, restroom building and parking lot; continue south; then east along the property line; then split at Blackoak Drive and go north to connect back at Daugherty Drive.

"Plans were to be completed and submitted by Dec. 1, with the hope that construction could start in spring 2010."

Source: Columbus Local News

Middletown Trails

"...Middletown has recently opened [an] additional length to the Great Connection bike/hike trail which will eventually connect to other trails being built to the north and south. Several points of access are available, the easiest at Bicentennial Commons near the corner of Central Avenue and Carmody Blvd. Bici Commons is an 11 acre passive use park on the Great Miami River where guests can also read the 3,000 plus engraved pavers, sit on a bench to enjoy the wetlands wildlife on the river bank or enjoy the occasional special event held there.

"Another access to the bike trail is via a 1.5 mile connector from Smith Park to Bicentennial Commons. Smith Park, with its own walking loop is in downtown Middletown and is one of the largest and certainly the most heavily used park[s] in the system. It is a 94 acre mass of athletic playing fields, a fishing pond, skate park, playground, splash pad and several choices for exercise. The trails are paved and have periodic exercise options for those who want more than just a stroll in the park." Read more...

Orange Township Park & Trails Plan

12/22/09

"...Big parks expenditures include two phases of the Glen Oak Park project, totaling $859,000; north and south segments of the Lewis Center Rail Trail, $769,000; two sections of Orange Road Trail, totaling $645,000; and $82,000 for grant-dependent playground equipment for Glen Oak Park.

"These are not projects that we simply hope to begin," said Trustee Nelson Katz, board liaison to the township's Parks Department. "They're projects that we expect to complete in 2010, or they're not on here."

"Glen Oak Park will be a new park on developed-donated land. It will include leisure spaces, a gazebo, shelters, leisure spaces and a playground.

"The rail trail project will result in two new leisure trails in the township -- 1.4 miles from the existing bikeway near Glen Oak Elementary School to Weatherby Drive in the Alum Creek development, and 0.7 miles from Northpoint Meadows Boulevard to the Loveland parcel." Read more...

Will City Side With ODOT On Disputed Bridge Design?

12/21/09

"Transportation cyclists, walking club members, business owners, religious leaders, congressional aides and Cleveland residents packed the room at the region’s transportation agency board meeting on December 11 with many voicing their desire for a bike and pedestrian space on the new Innerbelt Bridge. The outpouring of support provided a shot in the arm for some NOACA trustees to join existing board members who have expressed support for complete streets. They questioned ODOT staffers, who were present, why they are unwilling to consider bike and pedestrian accommodations on the bridge.

“$20 million (ODOT’s estimated cost for a bike/ped path on the bridge) doesn’t sound like much in the total ($450 million) for the project,” said Board member and Lafayette Township Trustee Linda Bowers.

"Cleveland Heights City Manager and board member Robert Downey asked if ODOT had produced a price tag yet for the bike/ped lane (as an aside, the cost may be less than $20 million, which is ODOT’s figure to build enough infrastructure to support cars and trucks). And Daniel P. Troy, board member and Lake County Commissioner also expressed support, noting he would like to see more Complete Streets produced by NOACA.

"Perhaps the biggest disappointment is how little faith the city of Cleveland has in backing its past convictions. Cleveland Planning Director Bob Brown noted that the City Planning Commission voted to support a bike and pedestrian lane on the bridge in 2006, but Brown’s comments suggested the city isn’t convinced of the groundswell of support for the bike/ped accommodation in the project’s RFP, even though it could easily be amended (especially notable is how the Innerbelt Bridge is still an official link on the city’s master bike plan)." Read more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

Building The Moonville Trail

12/21/09

"...Aside from the pleasant scenery and the sounds of twittering birds and mountain bike wheels crunching over gravel, there's a good lesson here.

"Those earnest volunteers who are trying to create trails out of abandoned railway rights-of-way might be interested to know that the Moonville Rail Trail Association avoided the use of any county money to build the trail that connects the small towns of Zaleski and Mineral.

"Founder Neil Shaw says the whole effort was accomplished with volunteers, donations and grant money.

"In southern Ohio with our poor economic conditions, we don't want to burden the counties with supporting this trail or building this trail." Read more and view the video.

Historic Howe House Opens Along Towpath

"The Ohio and Erie Canal Coalition restored one of Akron's historical landmarks and to show what the history of the city is all about.

"The Funders Open House to celebrate the opening of the Richard Howe House celebrated Akron's industrial roots in fitting fashion. The house was the home of Akron native and Resident Engineer of the Ohio and Erie Canal Richard Howe, whose innovative ideas helped shape Akron as an industrial city.

"The building will house an information center, meeting space and office facilities for the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition.

"President and CEO of the Ohio and Erie Canal Coalition Dan Rice was excited to open up the site to Akronites to showcase their history as well as provide an attractive building for hikers and byciclists along the Towpath.

"It's great to see this much support for this because just as the Ohio and Erie Canal brought industry and development many years ago, the renovation and revitalization of the Howe House will bring new visitors to the Towpath Trail and folks can see a regional landmark that helped shape the city." Read more and view the accompanying video.

Chardon Trail Plans On Hold

"Chardon City Council held up approval of plans last week for pedestrian-bicycle paths through the city over concerns that private lands would be taken for them.

"Council voted to table plans for the "Chardon Bikeway and Pedestrian Trail Paths" to allow for parts of the plan that show paths through residential properties to be eliminated. "It's a simple concern. It's the back lots," Councilman Philip King said.

"Council took the action despite an attempt to insert language that would state that no residents' land would be taken without their support, as well as a consensus from neighboring properties.

"Councilwoman Leslie Bednar said the two main objectives of the plan will be to connect the north and south ends of the Geauga Park District's Maple Highlands Trail and close the gaps in the city's sidewalk network. She said there would be additional language included stating that, after the Maple Highlands connection is completed, the plan would be further evaluated, and private properties would be pursued only with the landowners' support and the consensus of neighbors, if at all. She said the plan already included similar language, but there was some concern that it had been "buried" on page 6.

"Mr. King said he had received calls from concerned residents whose properties were shown in the plan to be included in areas with paths. He said they believed that, if it's in the plan, they could lose their property to the public path. He said council sought a "strong commitment" not to seek those private properties." Read more...

Read a previous story on this issue.

Group Offers Land For Trailhead

"The Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT) wants to donate trail-related land to the City of London.

"The city’s service committee, which met Dec. 10, is recommending that city council accept the donation and dedicate the land to public use. The land in question includes a parcel at 203 E. Center St. where FMCPT plans to develop a 10-space trailhead parking area with access to the paved Roberts Pass bike path that runs past the back of the lot.

"FMCPT President Wayne Roberts said the estimated cost to develop the trailhead is $110,000. Grant money from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and money set aside in the state’s capital appropriations bill will cover the cost. However, the grant stipulates that the land belong to a public entity with long-term ability to maintain the property." Read more...

Miami Valley Trail Users Spend Millions

12/20/09

"The typical bike trail user is a middle-aged, male cyclist who rides the trail one to two hours three to five times a week for health and exercise, according to a report on last summer’s trail count and survey.

"The first-of-its-kind survey, conducted on seven trails by about 200 volunteers and eight regional governments and agencies on three days in June and July, also counted more than 15,000 users leading to a conservative estimate that more than a million people use the 200 miles of paved trails in the [Miami Valley] region.

"But the numbers in the report issued earlier this month by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission that caught everyone’s eye had to do with the money spent by trail users.

"Using an estimation method developed by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the report estimates that users spend between $13.5 million and $16 million every year on related equipment, food and beverages and overnight accommodations.

“We were shocked at the economic impact,” said Amy Forsthofel, marketing research manager for Five Rivers MetroParks. “I mean that’s huge. We knew that they had a strong economic impact, but I don’t think we were aware how large it would be.” Read more...

RTC Launches TrailBlog

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy added a RTC TrailBlog section to their web site. It's a great mix of what's happening with trails around the country and beyond.

We've added a permanent link to the blog in the left-hand margin menu under 'National News.'

Coaliton Pushes For Innovative Bikeway Design Guidelines

"An exciting new coalition of America’s largest cities has joined together to push for more innovative bikeway design guidelines. Cities for Cycling, which [formally launched] in Washington D.C. on December 8th, will look to break the shackles of rigid federal roadway design guidelines that have long had a stifling impact on bikeway innovation in the United States.

"The new coalition was the brainchild of two Portlanders — former city bike coordinator and now planning consultant Mia Birk and current City of Portland Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield. The impetus comes from a realization that current federal design guidelines for bikeway development are outdated and incomplete.

"The goal of Cities for Cycling is to provide support for urban transportation planners looking for guidance in building the next generation of bikeway networks — guidance that the highway-oriented federal government is not willing to provide. The coalition will also create a new manual of bikeway designs that includes technical information and best practices gleaned from what has proven to work in the world’s most bike friendly cities.

"Currently in America, street design guidelines are the domain of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Guide to the Development of Bicycle Facilities and the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). These companion manuals are considered to be the bible for traffic engineers, offering persuasive guidance on what types of facilities and designs can and can’t be installed.

"Unfortunately, the AASHTO/MUTCD guidelines are painfully slow to innovate and their lack of official recognition of new bikeway designs is a significant barrier to a more bike-friendly America." Read more...

Old Carriage Trail Bridges Closed

12/18/09

"Rust and rot eating away at the steel structure of a trio of popular trail bridges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park have forced officials to close the overpasses after only 20 years of use.

"The three spans across deep ravines on Old Carriage Trail -- a 3.5-mile loop near the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail on the east side of the Cuyahoga River -- first showed excessive rust in 2003, but were cleaned, found to be structurally sound and kept open. They were closed to park maintenance vehicles in 2008 after annual inspections showed continuing decay.

"Then, officials from the Federal Highway Administration last month recommended to park officials that the bridges be closed entirely after the steel structures were found to be too weak for use even by pedestrians.

"Now, we've got to look at whether repairs are possible or whether we have to do something more drastic like replacing all three," said Rob Bobel, a project manager for the national park. "In any case, it will be months and months before we'd have a bridge open again." Read more...

Medina Considers Trail Extension

12/18/09

"Medina City Council discussed Monday night the possibility of a two-mile addition to the Roscoe Ewing bicycle trail that would connect the trail to downtown Medina via a paved route, an option that could reduce automobile traffic near the square and offer a pollution-free, alternative-transportation route to the city.

"Under Phase 1 of the proposed project, the new portion of the walking and biking trail would stretch from the current 1.3-mile trail in Roscoe Ewing Park across Guilford Blvd. and into Nichols Park, later linking to a sidewalk on Sprinbook Drive and then connecting to a paved path leading into downtown Medina and ending at S. Broadway Street and E. Smith Road.

“This would be a good mechanism to bring people up to the square on weekends without having to jump in the car,” Mayor-elect Dennis Hanwell said in speaking to Council on Monday. “I think this one’s a little unique in that regard.” Read more...

Opposition To ODOT Bridge Plan Continues

"Ohio Department of Transportation bureaucrats have a ready answer whenever some pesky citizens suggest changes in ODOT plans for the [Cleveland] Inner Belt -- or pretty much any other project:

"Nope. Can't do it.

"So it's no surprise that ODOT appears to have given little consideration to calls to add a secure lane for bikes and pedestrians to its plans for a new $450 million Interstate 90 bridge across the Cuyahoga River. Thankfully, that has not stopped local bicycle enthusiasts, neighborhood activists and environmentalists from trying to keep the idea alive -- or Rep. Dennis Kucinich from asking Gov. Ted Strickland to make the unresponsive department listen. Even before Kucinich spoke up, the loosely knit coalition had persuaded Kent State University's Urban Design Collaborative to sketch out how a bike lane on the bridge might look. That will help inform a conversation about what will be a signature artery in this community for decades to come." Read more...

Read more about this ongoing opposition to ODOT's plan.

Gahanna Bike Plan Moves Forward

"Gahanna's parks and recreation board has recommended approval of an updated bikeway master plan. The board is forwarding the plan to the city's planning commission.

"The bicycle advisory committee, which is part of the parks and recreation board, created the bikeway plan. Tony Collins, director of the city's parks and recreation department, said the existing bikeway plan was adopted in 1999.

"Part of their original goal was to provide connectivity to schools, parks and the community," Collins said. The draft, reviewed Dec. 3, includes a whole new bicycle route, with priority connections identified. Collins said the advisory group reviewed the bikeway system piece by piece. The draft plan details the need for signage to help people reach particular destinations. The city expects to list the segments and connections required in the draft plan and pair them with estimated costs.

"Because this is a planning document, it will go straight to the planning commission for its review and recommendation before it goes to city council, Collins said. The planning commission will determine if the plan falls in line with other planning documents, such as the city's thoroughfare plan, prior to making a recommendation to council on adoption.

"Collins estimated the planning commission could begin reviewing the plan as early as January. The commission will hold public hearings, requesting the public's formal review of the draft plans."

Source: This Week News.com

News Flash! - T.J. Evans Closing

12/17/09

"The T.J. Evans Trail in Granville at the West Broad St. entrance will be CLOSED on Monday, December 28, 2009 through Thursday, December 31, 2009 due to Electric Pole removal and replacement.

"The trail should reopen on Friday, January 1, 2010. For more information, please call the Licking Park District headquarters at (5740) 587-2535 or call the program hotline at (740) 349-4823 and don’t forget to check us out on the web at www.lickingparkdistrict.com."

Source: WCLT.com

Business Seeks To Relocate Piece Of Heart Of Ohio Trail

12/15/09

"Pacemakers Dragstrip has been in operation just outside of Mount Vernon since the mid-1950s. Back then, the race track was bordered by a railroad track, now long abandoned. Over the years, the dragstrip’s configuration has changed so that part of the railroad track area began to be utilized as space for drag racer trailers, once the metal tracks and wooden cross-ties were removed.

"When Larry Nelson purchased the property in 1991, he leased from Conrail the strip of railroad land stretching from Kenny Road to Thayer Road. To make use of part of that land as pit area for racing teams, Nelson bulldozed the raised railroad bed to bring the railroad right of way down to the same level as the dragstrip. This allowed racing trailers to back into the pit area, extending into the old railroad bed.

"Meeting with the [Knox County] board of commissioners Monday morning, Nelson submitted a written proposal asking for permission to move, at his own expense, the bike trail to the southern side of the county’s right of way, which varies from 65 feet on the northeast side of Nelson’s property, to about 100 feet on the southwest.

"Nelson would then lease the northern portion of the right of way, consisting of about 75 percent to 80 percent of the strip of land adjacent to the dragstrip, for use as part of his pit area. He would fence off the rerouted path from his pit area with barbed wire and T-bars. The section of the railroad bed between Pacemakers and Kinney Road would also be flattened, Nelson said. The flattening of the bed, combined with parked vehicles, should make it impossible for spectators to watch races for free from the trail.

"Nelson said he was eager to work with the commissioners and that he was in no way opposed to the bike trail.

“We’re not here to be a pain,” Nelson said, adding that he just hoped to find a way to slightly reroute the trail to preserve the current operation of his business, which he described as more a labor of love than a money-making proposition.

"The commissioners said they would read Nelson’s proposal and discuss it among themselves, after which time they would call a followup meeting."

Source: Mt. Vernon News

Trail Helps Rehab Cleveland Neighborhood

"Slavic Village Development (SVD) is a community development corporation in Cleveland, Ohio, that serves the Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood. SVD's primary focus has been housing and business development, but the organization is also engaged in property management, green space development and community organizing.

"In 2006 Slavic Village Development took its green space development to the next level when it spearheaded the public-private development of the Morgana Run Trail, a three-mile urban rail-trail. While promoting the trail as an alternative form of transportation for residents, the SVD has found that it is a great tool to market the neighborhood." Read more...

Huron River Greenway Dispute Continues

"The Ohio Supreme Court became the latest venue for the ongoing legal fight between Erie MetroParks and property owners who oppose the Huron River Greenway.

"The Huron River Greenway, a proposed trail running about seven miles roughly parallel to the Huron River, has sparked years of legal fighting between the park district and adjacent property owners. Each claim ownership or right to use the former railroad right-of-way that could become a trail.

"Attorneys for both sides argued their cases [Dec. 1] before the High Court.

"The property dispute has spawned thousands of pages of court records examining historical ownership dating back to the 1800s.

"...an Ohio Supreme Court decision of November 2007 was cited as a main factor for neighbors' claims. In that earlier decision, the court ruled Erie MetroParks had taken private property to build the path and the court ordered the park district to begin court actions to appropriate the land." Read more...

Columbus Mulls Bike Lockers

12/14/09

"Bicycle shelters. Bicycle parking. Bicycle lockers.

"The drive to make Columbus more bicycle-friendly is shifting into gear as enthusiasts and officials decide how to use a $490,000 federal grant from a program aimed at improving energy efficiency and conservation.

"A proposal by the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District calls for four shelters and three "secure parking" areas for bicycles Downtown. Bike lockers and parking areas in five Downtown garages also are under consideration.

"I wouldn't say that any of these are set in stone," said Cleve Ricksecker, the district's executive director.

"The federal stimulus dollars will come from the Department of Energy for use in the Capital Crossroads district, which stretches roughly from I-70 to Nationwide Boulevard. Property owners in the district chip in money to provide extra services Downtown.

"Construction is not expected to start until 2011. Anything built will belong to the city but be maintained by the district, which will use $147,000 of the grant for administrative costs and upkeep." Read more...

Corridor Acquired For Orrville To Clinton Trail

12/12/09

"Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County Friday announced the land acquisition for the long-contemplated trail that will run from Orrville to Clinton. The abandoned railroad corridor, which was acquired from Norfolk Southern Railroad, starts at the north end of the Orrville Industrial Park, continues through the Village of Marshallville and ends in Clinton for a distance of about 8 miles.

"Don Noble II, president of Rails-To-Trails of Wayne County, said Friday, "We are extremely pleased to have been able to work with Norfolk Southern Railroad in securing this property for a future rail-trail. I would personally like to thank NS for their cooperation in the purchase process."

"Characterizing the right-of-way as "a beautiful corridor that will make a wonderful trail for all to enjoy for generations to come," Noble said he is "very excited" about the coming development that he expects to take between two and five years, at a cost of between $70,000 and $100,000 per mile.

"One of the best things about the corridor, Noble said, is that the three bridges along it all remain intact and appear structurally sound. While he said work would have to be done on the decks to make them suitable for riders, he said no preliminary cost projections have yet been made.

"Noble said the trail to be developed will have some unique features, including farmland near Orrville, a stone cut just north of Marshallville, an elevated portion through a wooded area, and wetlands just to the west of Clinton." Read more...

Black River Bike Way

12/12/09

"Within the next five to six years, Lorain County Metro Parks will connect a hiking/biking trail from Lorain, winding through Elyria [to connect with the existing North Coast Inland Trail that extends through Oberlin to Kipton, Ohio.]

"The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency approved plans yesterday for the 2.07 mile Lorain segment and 4.28 mile Elyria segments. Once these two segments are added in 2010 and 2011, the trail will be complete.

"Dan Martin, park district executive director, said the first trail segment was built 17 years ago. He estimated more than 500,000 people use the trails annually. He is excited all the approvals for the trail segments have been accepted.

"We'll do it in phases," he said. "We'll probably do one section each year."

"To build the Lorain and Elyria segments will cost about $7.7 million." Read more and view a map of the route.

Land Exchange Proposed For Trail Route

12/11/09

"Old railroad properties have been much in the news lately, as [Knox] county officials have tangled with historical, sketchily documented railroad property issues. Another one was brought to the board of commissioners by Gary Gray, owner of the property at 500 S. Main St., [Mt. Vernon, Ohio] currently home of a pizza shop, an auto-restoration shop, a landscape business and storage units.

"Last year, Gray almost completed a deal to sell the property to a retail operation which was going to build a drug store on the site. In the process of having surveys completed, the retailer noticed that part of one of Gray’s buildings currently lies on the right of way from a long abandoned railroad track later purchased by the county for potential use as part of a bicycle trail. The drug store construction would have removed the building on the right of way, but the store’s parking lot would still have covered the spot, so the retailer proposed swopping another piece of land with the county in 2008, to which the county agreed.

"The retailer later in 2008 put its plans on hold due to the recession, but as a courtesy to Gray, and to streamline future discussions if they or some other retailer purchases the property, they recommended he go ahead and settle the right-of-way issue with the county. Read more...

More Construction Along GMRT

"The trail under Interstate 70 is closed for a bridge replacement project. The trail remains open to the construction limits of the project from both the north and south. Please use the recreation trail while avoiding the construction areas.

"Construction on I-75, the Monument Street Bridge and the Stewart Street Bridge have closed more than half of the 8-mile loop on the Great Miami River Recreation Trail in downtown Dayton." Read more...

Marietta Trail Route Concerns

12/10/09

"...Debbie and Brian Streight, South Sixth Street residents, concerned about a proposed route for the next phase of River Trail solicited Council’s help in protecting their property.

"In a prepared statement, Mrs. Streight said there are two alleys which could be used for the extended pathway, Chestnut Alley or Pine Alley. “Chestnut Alley is traveled and Pine Alley isn’t. My garage faces that (Chestnut) alley which means you are going to deny me access to my property.

“Not only are you closing off access to my property but you’re putting the bike path within inches of my front door. I’ve lived in this area for 30 plus years and it’s a safe place but how can it be safe when the city will give the right for anyone to just walk by your windows?”

"She stated that, “Old Ohio Street runs from Front Street all along the river to behind the sewer plant. And the city has a right of way along the river for sewer lines. Why would you not want to run it (the bike path) along the river?" Read more...

Chardon Considering Bikeways Plan

12/10/09

"Property rights issues might need to be addressed further before a bicycle and pedestrian trail proposed throughout Chardon is approved.

"One alternative in the plan — up for a vote by city council tonight — calls for traversing residential rights of way. However, the plan states that it would require homeowners' consent. Still, some potentially affected property owners remain skeptical.

"...The proposal, as originally designed by consultant D.B. Hartt of Cleveland, involves a comprehensive system of nonvehicular trails and walkways connecting most residents to most destinations in Chardon. It is intended to improve quality of life and stimulate economic growth in the city." Read more...

Stewart Street Bridge Reopens Along GMRT

"After 17 months, $16.5 million and a number of workers and planners, Stewart Street Bridge [in Dayton] opened Monday afternoon with Rudy Flyer leading a procession of cars across the way.

"City officials, residents, students and other members of the UD community gathered on the bridge Monday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Former mayor Rhine McLin, UD President Dan Curran and president and CEO of Miami Valley Hospital, Mary Boosalis, were in attendance.

"Dayton's assistant director of public works, Steven Finke helped design the bridge along with Richard Perales, UD's campus planning director. Finke's grandfather was the resident engineer for the original bridge built in 1912 and Finke had the opportunity to work on the new and improved bridge his grandfather constructed.

"Reconstruction of the bridge cost $15.2 million, but add in the design and the total project cost $16.5 million, Finke said. Funding was provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Public Works Commission, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and the city of Dayton. Ahern and Associates Inc. was the contractor who took charge of the construction, according to Finke. The project was finished a few weeks before schedule.

"...The modern design is fully equipped with 10 foot sidewalks, a recreation trail and pedestrian plazas at both ends. Additional LED lighting underneath the bridge provides an aesthetic view of the Great Miami River and can even change colors, such as red and blue to support the UD Flyers, Bucaro said." Read more...

Grove City Council Approves Trail Plan

12/9/09

"Council members approved an ordinance that moves the city a step closer to a trail system that officials say will improve connectivity and allow residents to move around town in a healthier way.

"The $47,975 appropriation was approved 5-0 at the Monday, Dec. 7 council meeting. The money will pay for engineering expenses for the Town Center Regional Trail project.

"The trail system will connect the historic downtown area to both Windsor Park and Fryer Park, giving residents in a number of neighborhoods direct bike access to the Town Center.

"Officials applied for state and federal grants to complete the project, and got all the money they requested: $90,000 from the federal government and $275,000 from the state of Ohio.

"That's fairly rare, to receive all of the funding you request," City Administrator Phil Honsey said."

Read a previous post on this subject.

Source: Columbus Local News

Heath Extending Trail

12/8/09

"The city plans to extend its bike path from the Heath City Waterpark to the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center, the former Newark Air Force Base.

"The project, which could begin in 2010, would cost $640,000, but the city's share of the cost would be $155,000, Zoning Chief John Groff told council's Community Development Committee on Monday. The city could use $117,000 left over from the Irving Wick Drive bike tunnel project, leaving $38,000 for the city to cover.

"About 40 percent of the cost is for a bridge near the Waterpark. Much of the path would run along Irving Wick Drive, connecting at the new COATC bridge over Ramp Creek to Irving Wick Drive."

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Canal Waters Lowered For Maintenance

12/8/09

Water in the Ohio & Erie Canal is being removed for annual maintenance, according to county park officials.

"Dan Kunz, operations manager for the Stark County Park District, said park staff and the city of Canal Fulton will be removing large logs, rocks and other debris from the canal this winter as weather permits. The work will be done between St. Helena Park in Canal Fulton and the Lock 4 Park in Lawrence Township.

"The Towpath Trail remains open.

"Repairs to the canal banks and culverts will be made as needed, and the canal’s water levels will be restored in March — in time for canal boat rides and the Jack Cullen Towpath Trail Trout Derby.

"Water was last removed from the canal in March 2009. At that time park and city officials decided that lowering the water annually would facilitate repairs and help maintain the water level."

Source: CantonRep.com

Scheduled Trail Projects In SW Ohio

Here's an interactive map showing scheduled trail projects for Clark, Greene, Miami and Montgomery Counties for 2009 - 2010.

Volunteers Clean Up Gahanna Trail

12/8/09

"It’s been awhile now, but I wanted to tell you what our AmeriCorps members did in celebration of Make A Difference Day in October. All of our Red Cross AmeriCorps members gathered from chapters across Ohio to help the City of Gahanna clean-up the area along Big Walnut Creek, for their new bikeway.

"We arrived to find a beautifully paved, new bike path spiraling through the woods. A park representative explained what to look for, and then we were let loose. At first we were hesitant, only walking along paths and grabbing occasional pieces of paper. But after delving deeper into the brush, amongst thorns and other dangerous-looking plants, Lindsey found a plastic gun. Others found old blankets into which trees had grown and pop cans older than any member there. Sarah (who deserves the “most enthusiastic award), started demanding a shovel to dig out a tire claiming she, “wanted it” and the search for better finds became competitive!" Read more...

Intersection Plan May Include Greenway

12/8/09

"[Washingtonvilee] Village Council will seek further options for the proposed alteration of the State Route 14 and East Street intersection.

"Council agreed Monday night to request the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) attempt to include the first two blocks of East Street south of 14 in the project that would align Washingtonville Road and East Street and install a traffic signal and left turn lanes on 14.

"The request was at the urging of a group of stakeholders, including the Mill Creek MetroParks, the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway and the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments (transportation planning agency for Mahoning and Trumbull counties), who would like to see the Greenway bike trail incorporated into the project." Read more...

Innerbelt Bridge Rally

12/7/09

"More than 100 advocates rallied for a bike and pedestrian path on the new Innerbelt Bridge yesterday, signing letters of support and calling on decision makers to adopt the design for a multi-modal bridge that serves all Clevelanders.

"U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich addressed the crowd, promising to take their fight to Washington and Columbus. Rep. Kucinich presented a letter he wrote to Governor Strickland. In it, he insists: "...There is no reason not to provide a separate roadway for pedestrians and cyclists within the architecture of the bridge…Providing access for non-motorized traffic would enhance the Innerbelt Bridge by making it multi-modal and enabling more people to have access to neighborhoods the bridge connects." Read more...

Read another story on the rally.

Read a previous post on this subject.

Linking Geauga & Cuyahoga Counties By Trail

12/7/09

"Southwestern Geauga County and eastern Cuyahoga County are on the short list for a possible $68,000 study grant to see what it would take to link the two areas into a multipurpose trail as a walkway for hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers and even students.

"The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, which recommends federal and state funding for environmental and transportation projects, will consider the idea at its 10 a.m. Friday meeting in Cleveland." Read more...

River Trail Fencing Blocks View

12/4/09

"Concerns that sections of board fencing are blocking views of the Ohio River along the newly-constructed River Trail extension on Ohio Street [in Marietta] were addressed by Mayor Michael Mullen during Thursday's Marietta City Council meeting.

"We've received several phone calls, and the fences meet the criteria set by the state for bicycle safety, although they do not meet our aesthetic criteria," Mullen said. "We'll be working on providing a better vista as the project is completed."

"The sections of 4-foot-high board fence were installed along areas of the trail that run close to the river to help prevent bikers from riding off the trail and over the river bank. But at least one stretch of fencing entirely blocks the view of the river from a bench installed along the trail.

"Mullen explained that the second phase of the River Trail is a project being overseen by the Ohio Department of Transportation that has provided funding through transportation enhancement monies. He said ODOT would be working with the city to address any issues resulting from the construction." Read more...

Middletown Trail Dedication


By John Beagle

Goto John's flickr site to view a ride on the new section.

News Flash! - Towpath Section Closed

12/3/09

"The National Park Service is closing the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in the northern part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park due to bridge work.

"The trail will be closed from today through Dec. 24 near the Fitzwater Road Bridge over the Cuyahoga River and the canal spillway. The park service is replacing the Fitzwater Road bridges and the closure is needed to protect the public from construction activities.

"No detour is possible and violators may be be cited by park rangers."

Source: Ohio.com

More Fallout From ODOT Bridge Plan

"One in four Cleveland households will see no benefit from the proposed new Innerbelt bridge because they don’t have cars. And, as research from some transportation advocates has found, the situation is even worse in the neighborhoods on either side of the proposed span.

"On the Tremont side, according to NEO CANDO (a census database maintained by Case Western Reserve University), nearly 30 percent of households don’t have cars, as Green City Blue Lake’s Brad Chase discovered. And on the other side — the Central neighborhood, one of Cleveland’s poorest — nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of households lack access to a car, and therefore will see no benefit from the half-billion dollar bridge for which ODOT currently seeks approval.

"Advocates are hoping to get equitable treatment for those residents as the state transportation agency presents its proposals to NOACA, the regional planning agency which must approve ODOT’s plans. What they want is a lane for pedestrians and cyclists alongside the vehicular lanes, creating a safe, straight line that brings Tremont much closer to downtown." Read more...

Read another story on how public input can make a difference.

Read more posts on this subject.

Ped Component Proposed For Rt. 16 Interchange

12/3/09

"Imagine riding your bicycle on Cherry Valley Road over Ohio 16, connecting existing bike paths in Newark and Granville.

"The pedestrian component will be another part of Licking County's pitch to the state for the proposed Ohio 16 interchange just east of Cherry Valley Road [in Newark].

"Sandra Mapel, the Licking County Area Transportation Study director, said the bike-path possibilities of the interchange project will be sent to the Transportation Review Advisory Council as an addition to November's presentation.

"TRAC will announce in late January which transportation projects in Ohio move forward and which do not qualify for funding." Read more...

National Park System Trail Improvements

12/1/09

"Trails across the country will receive funding for infrastructure needs, promotions, interpretation and other needs under the National Park Service's just-announced Connect Trails to Park grants for 2010.

"The grant program, established last year to mark the 40th anniversary of the National Trails System, will provide $873,000 for projects, according to a Park Service release.

“The infrastructure improvements these grants provide translate into better experiences for trail and park visitors,” said Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. “It’s a wonderful way to commemorate this anniversary decade of the National Trails System.” Read more...

Proposed Bikeway Projects In SW Ohio

"A new list of 41 proposed transportation projects totaling more than $45 million was unveiled [in November] for public review by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.

"...Among those are:

  • The Southeast Bikeway Corridor in both Dayton and Kettering that would extend the Iron Horse Trail from Centerville to Irving Avenue, just south of the University of Dayton. The two projects come to a little more than $2 million.
  • A “neighborhood connector project” that would create bikeways in Piqua along Garnsey and Commercial streets for about $625,000.
  • A downtown Xenia streetscape project that would cost about $480,000.

Read more...

Dec. 6 Rally Against ODOT Bridge Plan

11/29/09

"Despite public support and an obligation to evaluate cycling and pedestrian access to the proposed Interstate 90/71 Bridge from tremont to downtown [Cleveland], the Ohio Department of Transportation refused to do so. In response, a bunch of cycling and community groups took on the responsibilities ODOT dropped. Come out next Sunday, December 6th, and learn about an exciting vision for a cycling and pedestrian lane on the bridge and why an exciting, beautiful path (along with a place to enjoy the view) to connect the towpath and downtown makes sense for Northeast Ohio.

"ClevelandBikes has been working with the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op, Green City Blue Lake Institute, the Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and others, to develop a cycling and pedestrian lane for the proposed Interstate 90/71 bridge, from Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood to downtown Cleveland. Because ODOT refused to consider the option, despite strong public support and legal requirements, a lawsuit was filed and designers developed an option for the public to consider." Read more...

Read an earlier report on this subject.

Westerville Road-Rt 3 Corridor Study Continues

11/25/09

"Approximately 50 residents and community leaders gathered Nov. 17 at the Blendon Township Senior Center, 6330 S. Hempstead Road, to listen to results from a transportation study of the Westerville Road/state Route 3 corridor, and to put their two-cents worth in. The open house was sponsored by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

"We're at about the mid-way point of the planning study for this process," said Nick Gill, MORPC's assistant director of transportation. "We've been able to identify some of the purposes for making improvements to the corridor."

"The study is reviewing current travel conditions in the Westerville Road corridor roughly between Morse Road and Interstate 270 and will identify improvements that are needed by 2030.

"The study came about due to community concerns regarding traffic congestion, traffic safety, economic development, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, transit access, and other issues, according to information from MORPC." Read more...

Read a previous post on this subject.

Fremont Trail Gets New Shelter

11/24/09

"There's a new picnic shelter at the Walter Avenue entrance to the North Coast Inland Trail in Fremont. The Mosser Group of Fremont provided materials and labor as a community service project. The area will be known as Mosser Group Park.

"Mosser volunteers completed the 24-by-36-foot shelter house to celebrate their Employee Stock Ownership Program heritage during National ESOP month. The Mosser Group ESOP Trustees and ESOP Advisory Committee coordinated the effort to construct the project.

"We're pleased that Mosser contacted us about this project," said Steve Gruner, Sandusky County Park District director. "The shelter is an excellent addition to this popular facility."

"The North Coast Inland Trail is one of 10 facilities managed by the park district. Access points are in Clyde, Fremont, Lindsey and Elmore. The 10-foot wide paved trail is designed for bicycling, in-line skating, walking and jogging. Through Sandusky County, the trail is paved from downtown Clyde through Elmore. The entire corridor begins in Lorain County, continues through Huron County, Sandusky County and part of Ottawa County, ending in Millbury. The bike trail is on the former Toledo, Norwalk and Cleveland Railroad corridor." Read more...

Iron Horse Trail Construction

11/22/09

"An important leg of the Iron Horse bike trail that will conveniently connect residents to a U.S. Post Office facility, a Meijer, numerous eateries and a Dayton Metro Library branch is under construction and should be finished by February.

"The 10-foot-wide multi-use trail is being built on right of way on the western side of Hempstead Station Drive and travels from David Road north to Stroop Road and then turns east to finish at Stroop and Wilmington Pike.

"The concrete pathway segment will be 3,000 feet long and offer more ways for people to get around than climbing into a motor vehicle, said Joe Roller, landscape architect for the city of Kettering." Read more...

Middletown Trail Grand Opening

11/21/09

"Retired Middletown resident Don Thompson wouldn’t go so far as to call himself an avid bike rider, but said he enjoys the associated physical benefits. “It’s good for my waistline,” he said.

"Thompson turned out Friday, Nov. 20, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently completed portion of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail. Due in part to the beautiful weather, Thompson said he decided to be one of the first to break in the latest 1.9-mile addition to the bike path.

“I’ve used the trails occasionally in the past and really enjoyed them,” he said. “I know there’s been some talk about the state of repairs on parts of it, but they’re a good thing and it’s a good regional cooperation project.”

"The city of Middletown formally opened the $433,000 addition Friday, bringing the trail system closer to connecting with other area bike paths." Read more...

Franklin Metro Parks To Oversee Columbus Trails

11/21/09

A park levy that passed last May has allowed the Franklin County Metro Parks to make big plans for the coming year. Their proposed $41.6 million-dollar budget for 2010 allows for a number of projects, including overseeing Columbus bikeways. Read the complete article.

Multi-Modal Innerbelt Bridge In Cleveland?

"...How do we do ‘get’ green urbanism in Northeast Ohio? Can we change the culture of ‘no’ at NOACA and ODOT and convince them to be equal partners? We can. By gathering forces with advocates as GreenCityBlueLake is doing with ClevelandBikes and a cadre of urban designers with the goal of getting ODOT to partner with us on a serious consideration of bike/pedestrian accommodations on the Innerbelt Bridge.

"We’re preparing a number of items that will help ODOT adopt the recommendations of its task force on Transportation Options for the 21st century. The task force outlined a number of areas where ODOT should “work(s) smarter and get(s) better results” by providing “a world class multi-modal transportation system…that improve quality of life…coordinates transportation systems with senior citizens and citizens with lower incomes.” Those goals are exactly why we’re advocating that ODOT design a bike/pedestrian path on the bridge as seen in 30 other examples around the country." Read more...

Read a previous post on the controversy of ODOT's Innerbelt Bridge Design.

Troy Trail Gets $250k

11/20/09

"The Paul G. Duke Foundation presented the Miami County Park District with a $250,000 check to fund the remaining 1.5-mile section of the Troy bike trail Wednesday, Nov. 18 at the Miami County Park District’s Central Office, 2645 E. Ohio 41, east of Troy.

"The newest section of the trail is to be named the Paul G. Duke Memorial Bikeway. It will extend from Lytle Road south to Eldean Road.

"...The trail will be on property owned by the Miami County Commissioners, most of which runs along Route 25A.

"Jerry Eldred, executive director of the park district experessed his gratitude to the foundation for the funding. “This is a vital link as we continue toward connecting Troy and Piqua,” he said.

"Construction is expected to start in 2010 and be completed by the end of the year." Read more...

Sheffield Road Project To Include Trail

11/20/09

"The village has a $3.1 million plan to widen Abbe Road from four to six lanes north of Hoag Drive around the Cobblestone Square shopping center to just north of Detroit Road.

"... An 8- to 10-foot-wide bike path will be built on the east side of Abbe from the northern LCCC entrance to Hoag Drive, where it will follow Hoag Drive into the commercial and residential development including the Village Meadows development for seniors, Superior Medical Center and the Ohio Institute of Health Careers." Read more...

Grove City Looks To Connect Trails

11/18/09

"Members of Grove City Council want people to get up and get moving, and they're considering dedicating $47,975 to draw up plans to increase connectivity of bike paths in the city.

"Monday, Nov. 16, council members heard the first reading of an ordinance that would allocate money for engineering costs for the trails. The trails are connected to a plan for Windsor Park improvements.

"City officials recently completed phase one of the Windsor Park improvements, and are now embarking on the next phase -- implementation of the Town Center Regional Trail system. The trail system will connect existing path systems all over the city with the Town Center, allowing people to travel more easily on foot, or by bike, scooter or rollerblade." Read more...

Gateway Bridge Dedicated

11/18/09

"Granville's new "Gateway Bridge," as Mayor Melissa Hartfield dubbed it, got its official christening Saturday morning with about 60 in attendance.

"In cutting the ribbon to officially open the span, which parallels South Main Street as it crosses Raccoon Creek, Hartfield called it "only a first step" in a loop that community pathway enthusiasts hope continues south into the River Road business district.

"From there, plans are for it to continue east along River Road to Raccoon Valley Park, crossing the creek there and reaching northward to the T.J. Evans Bike Path. The latter stage will happen if a bridge proposed by the Granville Rotary Club is built there.

"It is a crucial step and makes the continuation of pathways through this corridor a reality to be had sooner rather than later," Hartfield said, flanked by Village Councilmen Steve Mershon and Lon Herman." Read more...

Read an earlier report on the new bridge.

Hamilton RiversEdge Project

11/18/09

"Build the amphitheater, bike path and park, and investors will come. That’s the dream behind the RiversEdge Project, a plan to redevelop the former Mercy Hospital site, a roughly 5-acre grassy lot that sits about two blocks north of High Street in downtown [Hamilton, OH].

"The city recently was awarded additional funding — a total of $199,000 from the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources — to build the amphitheater and to extend the bike path along the Great Miami River. The two features will be part of a future park." Read more...

Cincy Agrees To LPA Arrangement

11/18/09

"The City of Cincinnati has pledged its cooperation through a local public agency (LPA) agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for a segment of the Ohio River Trail, making the City eligible for $2.2 million in SAFETEA-LU federal funding through the Federal Highway Administration.

"Work on the $2.75 million, nearly half-mile long hike-bike trail between Wilmer Avenue/Lunken Airport and the Magrish Preserve on Salem Road, scheduled to begin in 2012, will include restriping of the Kellogg Avenue bridge, realignment of the ramp from westbound Salem Road to Kellogg Avenue, and sidewalk improvements." Read more...

Read a previous post on this subject.

Piketon Cyclist Killed

11/16/09

"A Piketon man riding his bicycle was struck and killed by a Toyota van on Rt. 23 near George Hollow Road at 3:17 p.m. yesterday.

"Frank R. Smith, 54, was pronounced dead at the scene by a representative of the Ross County coroner's office, the State Highway Patrol said.

"Smith was riding north when he was hit by a northbound van driven by Samuel K. Taylor, 52, of Grove City. Taylor was not hurt. The crash remained under investigation."

Source: The Columbus Dispatch.com

5 Trails Nomimated For Google'Street Views'

11/13/09

"We can vote early and often for our favorite bike trails in this election.

"A few weeks ago Google Maps sought nominations for off-road photographic visits by its Street Views trike.

"After receiving 25,000 ideas, the Google Maps staff came up with 24 finalists. They're asking us to vote for our favorites; multiple times if we feel like it. Go to the Google Maps Street View website to vote.

"Five bike trails have been nominated for a visit by the Google Maps Street Views trike. They are the Centennial Trail in Washington, Capital Crescent Trail in the DC area, Schuylkill River Trail in Pennsylvania, Boulder Creek Trail in Colorado, and the Stevens Creek Trail in California." Read more...

ZCA Offers To Manage Zoar Village

"Jon Elsasser, president of the Zoar Community Association, has asked the Ohio Historical Society to allow the association to manage the historic buildings of Zoar Village.

“Our vision is to restore tourism to the village and to link Zoar to the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail,” Elsasser told Jim Strider, executive director of the state historical society. “It is only natural the ZCA would become the managers of the site and bring people in.” Read more...

Findlay Flood Plan Includes Trails

11/13/09

"...As part of their work over the last year, the National Park Service collaborated with the park district on its long-term plan to extend the Blanchard River Greenway Trail, a hiking-biking trail in Findlay, from Bright Road to the Riverbend Recreation Area east of the city near the Findlay reservoirs.

"The trail extension potentially would run along or near Marion Township Road 208, a narrow scenic route that runs beside the Blanchard River. Just four homes are located along the approximately three-mile stretch.

"Andrea Irland, outdoor recreation planner with the National Park Service, said the project can be part of the flooding solution because as Findlay continues to grow to the east, the area is ripe for development.

"By keeping it a trail and maintaining it as a trail, you're maintaining a green corridor," she said. "The flood loss will be less if it's a trail rather than businesses and homes. And if we can create a riparian corridor, we can create natural wetlands so the water can go where it wants to go." Read more...

Toledo Passes '3-Feet' Law

11/11/09

" If you're driving down the road and you see someone on a bike you now have to make sure you're 3 feet away.

"Texting while driving was on the agenda for [Toledo] city council [Tuesday] night, but it was a different transportation proposal that became law. The new law on the books is aimed at keeping Toledo roads safe. It's for those in cars and those on bikes.

"If you're driving down the road and you see someone on a bike you now have to make sure you're three feet, one full yard, away.

"Stacy Jurich rides her bike on a regular basis. "It's efficient. You don't have to pay for gas. You get a good work out." Read more or watch the video report.

Backlash On ODOT's Cleveland Bridge Design

"Advocates who want the Ohio Department of Transportation to include a bike lane on a new $450 million Inner Belt Bridge appear stymied after the latest round of public meetings on the design of the span.

"So here's a suggestion: If ODOT's engineers and consultants won't consider the idea, find an independent engineer to come up with drawings that would show how the lane could be added, what it would look like and how much it might cost.

"...The history of city planning -- in Cleveland and other cities -- is full of examples of "parallel planning" or "competitive planning," in which diverse groups hire professionals to create alternative visions for the future.

"The debate over including a bike lane on the bridge would seem to be a prime candidate for such a process, especially now." Read more...

Read a previous post on this subject.

Open House On Westerville Road-Route 3 Study

11/11/09

"The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission will host an open house to present results from a transportation study of the Westerville Road/state Route 3 corridor.

"The open house will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Blendon Township Senior Center, 6330 S. Hempstead Road. A short presentation will be held at 6 p.m.

"This study reviews current travel conditions in the Westerville Road corridor from north of Morse Road to south of Interstate 270 and will identify improvements that are needed by 2030.

"Improvements that may be recommended include additional travel lanes, intersection improvements, access management, and improved bicycle and pedestrian access, according to an announcement from MORPC.

"The study will provide the citizens with a plan to upgrade the corridor to better accommodate all users including motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians," said Nick Gill, MORPC's assistant director of transportation in the public meeting announcement.

"...The public is encouraged to attend and share their comments. Public comments on the study will be accepted through Dec. 1, 2009, and completion of the study is planned for late winter, February or March of 2010, MORPC officials said. Read more...

Heart Of Ohio Trail Open

11/11/09

Dave Beck, with the Knox County Park District, sends word on the trail construction from Centerburg to Mt. Vernon:

"The Heart of Ohio Trail is now open between Centerburg and Mount Vernon as the last two bridges west of Mount Vernon were recently replaced. The trail is currently gravel but will be partially paved in the next couple of years with grant monies that have been secured by the Knox County Park District."

To learn more about this leg of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, visit the Knox County Park District web site.

Naked Man On Bike Trail

11/9/09

"Police said a woman riding her bike saw a naked man near Eastwood Lake [in Dayton] Monday afternoon and called 911. She told officers that he was not only naked, but that he was inappropriately touching himself.

"The woman told dispatchers, "He came out of the bushes as we passed and kept whistling until we turned around." When she turned around, she said the man was naked, touching himself, and whistling. The incident happened at a time when many people are using the bike path.

"Don Croy of Dayton said, "It's kind of weird." Another bike path user from Oakwood said, "You see some interesting stuff on this bike path."

"Police searched the area, but they didn't find the naked man. Sgt. Dean Vorhees, of Five River Metroparks said, "He was described as white male in his 40's with no clothes on." Five River Metroparks officers are stepping up patrol of the bike path.

"F.M. Achor of Oakwood said, "It's a fairly captive audience. There's no where you are able to get off the path and run away from him."

Source: whiotv.com

Chillicothe Bike Bridge Dedication Nov 13

11/9/09

"The moment avid cyclists and walkers in the area have waited for much of the year to celebrate comes Friday.

"At 1 p.m. that day, Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene Molitoris, ODOT District 9 Deputy Director James Brushart and Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer will oversee a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the bike path bridge passing over Ohio 104.

"The ceremony will take place at the approach of the bridge alongside the southbound side of Ohio 104. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Camp Sherman Memorial Park.

"The ceremony will bring closure to work that has connected the 2.5-mile bike path through Yoctangee Park with the bike trail that runs to Frankfort. The bridge eliminates the previous need of cyclists and pedestrians to have to cross four lanes of traffic near the U.S. 35 on and off ramps to resume traveling the trail." Read more...

North Coast Harbor Ped Bridge Design

11/7/09

"The Cleveland City Planning Commission considered proposals for two bridges on Friday, heaping praise on one and expressing frustration with the other.

"Commission members approved with commendation a preferred concept for an innovative, $5 million pedestrian bridge at North Coast Harbor, designed by nationally recognized architect Miguel Rosales of Boston.

"Then they spent more than 90 minutes criticizing aspects of the Ohio Department of Transportation's proposal for a new I-90 bridge over the Cuyahoga River.

"I know cruelty isn't part of the agenda," said Councilman Joe Cimperman, a commission member. But he said that the smaller project, designed by Rosales in less than 10 months, was far more inspiring than the ODOT proposals, nearly 10 years in the making." Read more and view photos of the proposed ped bridge design.

Cyclists Pushed Out Of Cleveland Bridge Project

11/6/09

"City cyclists feel they're getting the metaphorical middle-finger when it comes to asking for fair, safe access to Cleveland roads. That sentiment surfaced Friday at Cleveland City Hall, where about a dozen cycling advocates expressed disappointment with the Ohio Department of Transportation's plan to nix a bicycle/pedestrian lane for the upcoming Inner Belt project.

"ODOT officials, at a city planning commission meeting, presented final plans for the project, which will take two decades to complete and cost an estimated $3.5 billion. ODOT Project Manager Craig Hebebrand says highway bike lanes — at a price of at least $20 million — are not financially feasible in the eyes of the state and the Federal Highway Administration. Instead, Hebebrand unveiled an alternate route that caters to Tremont bikers who want to get to Gateway and beyond: an improved Abbey Avenue to West 20th Street to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.

"Improvements would include creating 5-foot bike lanes and sidewalks on the Abbey Avenue bridge, Hebebrand says. These upgrades would cost about $800,000.

"Cyclists with ClevelandBikes, a local advocacy group, say this alternative route still has significant safety issues, such as on-street vehicle parking. Advocates say similar bridges, including one in Charleston, South Carolina, were built with bike lanes, so why not here?

"Cyclist Alex Nosse says the planning process disrespects cyclists and pedestrians, turning them into second-class citizens by forcing them to go out of their way. Advocates merely want a dedicated bike lane, they say, and have no interest in disrupting high-speed highway traffic." Read more...

New Pedestrian Bridge In Granville

11/4/09

"Some say the new pedestrian bridge on South Main Street [in Granville] is a bridge to nowhere. That's missing the point, says Denison environmental studies professor Abram Kaplan, who headed a citizens advisory group that recommended a series of new and extended pathway improvements.

"Kaplan said the bridge -- whose construction was completed about three weeks ago -- is a crucial step toward creating a proposed pathway loop that connects the South Main business district, businesses on River Road and Raccoon Valley Park. "To say it is bridge to nowhere is looking at it backwards," he said. "To get the infrastructure for the loop we have to start somewhere."

"A plan created by the advisory group envisions a loop using River Road and the T. J. Evans Bike Trail to connect South Main Street with Raccoon Valley Park. The bridge creates a safe way for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the creek, Kaplan said." Read more...

Ohio River Trail Progress Report

11/4/09

"Cincinnati City Council is considering an ordinance that would authorize it to enter into a local public agency (LPA) agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the portion of Ohio River Trail between Wilmer Avenue/Lunken Airport and the Magrish Preserve on Salem Road.

The LPA would make the City eligible for $2.2 million in SAFETEA-LU funding through the Federal Highway Administration to build the nearly half-mile long section of hike-bike trail, a $2.75 million project that would also include the restriping of the Kellogg Avenue Bridge, realignment of the ramp from westbound Salem Road to Kellogg Avenue, and sidewalk improvements.

"The balance of the project's funding will come from existing Department of Transportation and Engineering capital improvement program project accounts. Currently in the environmental impact phase, construction is scheduled to begin in 2012.

"Another half-mile segment between Wilmer Avenue and Carrel Street received $1.75 million in federal economic stimulus funding and could begin construction early next year.

"As envisioned, the Ohio River Trail would connect Downtown with the Little Miami Scenic Trail, and eventually to Lake Erie."

Source: Building Cincinnati

Clean Ohio Funds For NE Ohio Trails

11/4/09

"The city of Akron is getting $500,000 in Clean Ohio Trail Funds for a trail project in the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. redevelopment in East Akron.

"The grant will be used to improve 3,500 feet of trail on the north side of the Little Cuyahoga River between Kelly Avenue and Seiberling Street, said Michelle DiFiore, an Akron senior engineer.

"The trail project will follow improvements scheduled to get under way next spring to improve the stream.

"...The improved trail also will be the first leg of what's called the Rubber City Heritage Trail, a proposed trail that would run from Goodyear west to the popular Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and south to the former Firestone complex, now owned by Bridgestone America.

"Three other local trail projects won state funds..." Read more...

Mead Township Trail

11/3/09

"Funding has come through for what planners hope will become a long trail, stretching eventually from Powhatan to Steubenville.

"Ohio lawmakers say it's great news for walkers, runners, cylists, skaters and nature lovers.

"The first portion will be in Shadyside.

"The $106,000 grant is coming from the Clean Ohio Trail Fund. Its mission is to improve the quality of life, health and fitness in Ohio.

"They'll call this one-mile section the Mead Township Marina Park Trail. It will be built next spring and they are hopeful that it will open in May." Read more...

Gahanna Approves Trail Bridge

11/3/09

"Gahanna City Council members approved legislation to pave the way for segment seven of the city's Big Walnut Trail, but not without comments from the one city council member opposed to the way the project is being funded.

"...The city recently received Clean Ohio Trail and Recreational Trail Grants from the state of Ohio for about $400,000 to complete section seven of the trail.

"City Council members approved Gahanna Parks & Recreation's request to appropriate $30,000 from the grant for construction drawings, surveying and environmental permitting for section seven, which is a bridge that will span Big Walnut Creek from the Price Road Reserve to the Galloway Reserve on the east side of the creek. The section includes a path connecting to Cliffview Drive, Parks & Rec officials said." Read more...

Heart Of Ohio Trail Receives Grant

11/2/09

"The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently awarded a Clean Ohio Trails grant in the amount of $383,500 to the Knox County Board of Commissioners to continue development of the Heart of Ohio Trail near Mount Liberty.

"The project involves installation of asphalt pavement, traffic control, erosion and drainage control and associated design. Knox County Park District staff, with assistance from ADR & Associates, drafted the grant application on behalf of the county commissioners. No county general revenue funds are necessary for the project, since Knox County Park District levy proceeds will be used for the 25 percent local match requirement for the grant.

"Contact the park district at 392-PARK or info@knoxcountyparks.org for more information concerning the project."

Source: Mt. Vernon News

Miami County Trails Report

11/1/09

Here's a link to an audio file with highlights of an interview with the Deputy Director of the Miami County Park District. It covers the current progress on the Great Miami River Trail construction, as well as future development.

Dangerous Towpath Section

10/31/09

"A section of the [Towpath] trail and sidewalks come up the hill from Steelyard Commons and joins the West 14th Street Round-About. In view of the number of accidents, specifically the number of semis along with their monsterous loads that keep flipping over and onto the sidewalks, should pedestrians or cyclists feel safe in traveling these paths.

"Since there are no warning signs before a big truck flips, these haulers of such heavy loads put pedestrians and cyclists in the vicinity of this circle at a much greater risk.

"As depicted in this photo [click source link below], the semi is laying right across the bicycle trail. This accident occurred on the evening of October 30, 2009.

"Being smashed under the enermous weight of one of these rigs would no doubt mean certain death.

"Can the Ohio Department of Transportation or the City of Cleveland be put on notice that there needs to be a re-design for this confiruration where tragedy lies in wait?"

Source: RealNeo

Coe Lake Nature Trail Receives Designation

10/30/09

"The Berea City School District had reason to celebrate when the district’s Coe Lake Nature Trail was designated as the 100th Wild School Site in the State of Ohio. This is a significant event for the school district and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The Coe Lake area and the district’s outdoor education programs are now ranked as among the finest in the state." Read more...

Allegheny Trail Usage Up

10/30/09

"Bicycling advocates in Cumberland say hiker and biker use of the Great Allegheny Passage through western Maryland is growing.

"Adventure cycling guide Larry Brock says more than 60,000 people have been counted along the 20.5-mile Maryland section through September of this year. That's up at least 20 percent from 2008.

"The Great Allegheny Passage runs from near Pittsburgh to downtown Cumberland. From there, travelers can continue on the Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park towpath along the Potomac River into Washington."

Source: philly.com

Paul Duke Memorial Trail

10/29/09

"A $250,000 gift from the Paul G. Duke Foundation will pay for the final section of the Great Miami River Recreational Trail between Troy and Piqua.

"Announcements of the gift and the final route for the trail section between Lytle and Eldean roads were made Thursday, Oct. 29 during dedication of the two-mile trail section north from Eldean Road to the area of the Interstate 75 bridge over County Road 25A.

"The late Paul Duke started a lawn business that would grow into ChemLawn Corporation along County Road 25A in the late 1960s. His daughter, Pat Robinson, and two foundation board members, Mark Hess and Ron Scott, attended Thursday’s trail section dedication and donation announcement.

"The Paul Duke Memorial Trail will extend from the trail’s current end at Lytle Road and extend north across mostly county-owned property west of County Road 25A between Lytle and Eldean roads. The trail will cross 25A at the Eldean Road traffic light and tie into the trail section dedicated Thursday.

"The route for that section of trail has been one of biggest challenges of the decade-long effort to build the recreational trail north-south along the Great Miami River through Miami County." Read more...

Highland Park Trail

10/29/09

"A new trail will cement the link between Lakemore Village and Springfield Township. Using a $5,000 grant from the Summit County Trail & Greenway Grants Committee, which will be administered by the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, the two communities will collaborate on the development and enhancement of an existing walkway along an old trolley track.

"The walkway, referred to as the Highland Park Trail, runs off the end of Canfield Road in Springfield, along FirstEnergy towers and around the southeast corner of Springfield Lake, and emerges in Lakemore at Springfield Lake Road and Main Street.

"The new trail is designed to complement the Summit County Trail & Greenway Plan." Read more...

Park Acquisitions Will Expand Trail

10/26/09

"The Geauga Park District is pocketing two large voter-approved Clean Ohio Fund grants worth a total of $884,000. Among them is a $575,000 grant for the acquisition of the 250-acre Grandview Golf Course in Claridon Township, across Route 608 from Headwaters Park and adjacent to Akron Watershed property.

"The other grant is valued at $309,000 and will go toward the purchase of 114-acre Welton’s Gorge in Burton Township.

...“The Grandview acquisition will enable us to complete the Maple Highlands Trail, which extends from the Lake County line to Headwaters Park,” said Tom Curtin, the park district’s executive director." Read more...

Trailhead Construction In Marion Co.

10/22/09

"Work began Wednesday at the entry to what will be the Marion Tallgrass Prairie Trail.

"Marion County Parks Director Karen Kelley said the Mansfield firm Shelly and Sands paved the parking area at the entrance to the proposed 12-mile paved multi-purpose trail.

"The trail starts along the Little Scioto River and Holland Road and will stretch a 182.6-acre abandoned railroad corridor bought from CSX Transportation.

"We saved our money up," said Kelley, who said the paving money comes from three year's worth of Ohio Department of Transportation Metro Park funds. License plate sales provide the money, which usually totals about $32,000 a year." Read more...

Rail Cars Serve As Trail Bridges

10/21/09

"Bridges are a costly need for rail-trails, many of which cross streams, roadways and even other rail corridors. After engineering and installation quotes were obtained from a precast bridge supplier for bridges along Ohio’s Moonville Rail-Trail, the reality of the extremely costly challenge became clear. So when members of the trail’s nonprofit group heard that old flatbed rail cars might be available from the federal government’s Gaseous Diffusion Plant near Piketon, Ohio, a light bulb went on and calls were made. The rumor was true: some rail cars were available to eligible entities, including nonprofits.

"Over the next few months the trail group expressed its interest, then waited, worried and wondered what needed to be done to get the cars to their corridor. Moonville Rail-Trail President Neil Shaw finally got the call in August and was informed that three cars were ready for pick-up." Read more...

Read an earlier report on this subject.

Huron River Greenway Sections Still Closed

10/21/09

"Will $11,650 appease five Huron River Greenway property owners who have been fighting a 14-year legal battle with Erie MetroParks? The park system thinks so.

"Attorneys for the property owners, meanwhile, have another take on the offer. "A day late and a dollar short," said Bruce Ingram, an attorney representing land owners Edwin and Lisa Coles, Daniel Coles, Robert Bickley, Warren Jones and Buffalo Prairie Ltd., the Coles' company. "It's too little, too late."

"Erie MetroParks board members decided last week to follow through on a November 2007 decision from the Ohio Supreme Court ordering the park system to compensate five Huron River Greenway property owners for land the MetroParks took in 1995." Read more...

Transportation Funds Recission Not Applied Equally

10/20/09

"Earlier this month, Streetsblog Capitol Hill reported on the fallout from Congress' failure to prevent an $8.7 billion "rescission" -- fancy legislative talk for the cancellation of funds -- from taking effect on September 30. Though media coverage focused largely on the rescission's impact on road projects, the lost money has hit clean transportation hard.

"Existing law required the rescission to affect all funding categories proportionally, meaning that state DOTs would have to take back a share of highway money equivalent to the share of canceled funds for bicycle and pedestrian paths (a.k.a. "transportation enhancements" or TE) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), which allows road money to be used for transit.

"But some states had already obligated all of their available funding in certain transport programs, and so DOTs were given flexibility to cancel more than a proportional share of money for TE, CMAQ, and Recreational Trails, another federal outdoors program." Read more...

Lake-To-Lake Trail Feature

10/19/09

"“The Lake to Lake trail hits all of our issues – conservation of important natural areas, recreation and outdoor education,” explains Cleveland Metroparks Senior Planner, Jim Kastellic, who helped usher the 2.4 mile all-purpose trail in to the Big Creek Reservation this year.

"The woodland trail is bookended by duck-and-heron-filled Lake Isaac and the panoramic but marshy Lake Abram, a tributary of the Rocky River, to the north. Linking the two is a ten-foot wide asphalt trail that winds through woodlands, behind residential areas, tunnels under a CSX freight line, and connects to businesses such as the Polaris Vocational Center, where a trail spur connects the students to a covered boardwalk with a view of a huge wetland area." Read more and view trail photos.

High Meadows Trail Opens

"Someday recreational athletes will be able to hop a trail at the mouth of the Black River in Lorain and run, walk, bike or rollerblade all the way to Kipton in southern Lorain County.

"That vision is one step closer to reality with the opening [earlier this month] of the Black River Trail Extension, a mile of trail that connects to the Lorain County Metro Parks’ Bridgeway Trail at Bur Oak Picnic Area in Elyria.

"The extension puts the Metro Parks a mile closer to its goal, but, more significantly, its construction helped the Metro Parks climb a major mountain — literally — in trail logistics. “We had to go 80 vertical feet to get out of that valley,” Metro Parks director Dan Martin said." Read more of this article which features a map and trail photos.

Trailhead Park Construction Bid Accepted

10/16/09

"The contract for construction of the Gateway Nature Facility was secured by a Mansfield company, according to a press release from the Marion County Park District.

"This facility will be built at the trailhead of the new Marion Tallgrass Trail on Holland Road by G. P. Weigand Construction, Inc. The company turned in the second lowest bid at $92,790. Page Excavating Inc. of Lucas was the lowest bidder, but upon review of their submitted bid it was withdrawn due to mathematical errors.

"We are very happy to see continued progress on the Marion Tallgrass Trail,” states Park Director Karen Kelley. “I want those who see the potential for this new park to call me. We need visionaries who can help us make Marion County an exciting place to live, invite new growth and make it a place where people want to come to not move away from.” Read more...

Ohio River Trail Update

10/14/09

"The goal of connecting the Ohio River with the Great lakes with a 453-mile bike/hike trail in the next decade is making steady progress in communities throughout Ohio. To date 262 miles are completed and 54 under construction. The most difficult section to complete of course is in Cincinnati, from Lunken to downtown.

"Taking the leadership on the Little Miami Trail, Jack Sutton, Director of the Hamilton County Park District is in the planning/engineering phase on the extension of the Little Miami Trail from Newtown to Beechmont and will start construction within the year. Jack is currently working on securing the balance of the funds for the Beechmont to Salem section and a State Capital Grant of $1 million has jumped started the effort." Read more...

Improving Grove City Parks & Trails

10/14/09

"Grove City's parks will be getting some upgrades in the next several years. Kim Conrad, director of the parks and recreation department, recently presented council members with a plan for improving several area parks through public/private partnerships.

"...The final two projects on the list involve a longstanding request of residents -- improve bike path accessibility to get people off their couches and out of their cars, and into downtown Grove City.

"Officials are planning to complete a trail from the Westgrove subdivision to the Town Center.

"We're looking at procuring right-of-way and easements," Conrad said. A more accessible path to the Town Center from Windsor Park, Fryer Park and the Hoover Park subdivision is also planned, using existing alleys and low-traffic areas to provide a safe passage to the downtown with minimal expense to taxpayers. The route could also include bike racks, drinking stations and air filling stations, Conrad said." Read more...

Hilliard Public Meetings On Rail Corridor

10/13/09

"Hilliard and Norfolk & Southern officials will hold a pair of public meetings next week to gather input about how the city can best use land the railroad will apparently vacate. Early ideas focus on extending Heritage Rails to Trails.

"Norfolk & Southern owns a railroad corridor through Hilliard that includes about 150 acres of undeveloped land.

"Earlier this year, the railroad lifted rails and closed the grade crossing at Leap Road and Scioto Darby Road, adjacent to the entrance to the Darby Glen subdivision. The closure left a stretch of rails severed on both ends, between the closed grade crossing at Leap and Scioto Darby roads and a point near a former grade crossing at Main and Center streets in Old Hilliard.

"Hilliard and Norfolk & Southern officials, along with regional planning and development professionals, will meet Oct. 20-22 to create a possible plan for developing the property, City Planner John Talentino said. The public is invited to participate in a pair of meetings, each from 7 to 9 p.m. on either Tuesday, Oct. 20, or Oct. 22 at the Joint Safety Services Building, 5181 Northwest Parkway.

"Public input is crucial in a project like this," said Letty Schamp, a transportation engineer for the City of Hilliard." Read more...

Meadowbrook Park Adding Trails

10/13/09

"Meadowbrook Park's [in Danbury Township] transition from an untouched woods and wetlands to a quaint municipal park is going smoothly, said Danbury Township trustee Dave Hirt.

"We've got a paved trail there now and we've recently authorized bids on a second paved trail," Hirt said.

"Hirt said the second trail and a new parking area with handicapped access is under way and will be paid for with about $59,000 in grant money. Additional funds will be sought." Read more...

Mill Creek Project Lands More Funding

10/9/09

"A planned trail along the Mill Creek [in Cincinnati] landed another $500,000 this week, a reassuring step forward for what officials are calling "no ordinary bike path."

"The trail, once finished, will be more of an expressway - running 13.5 miles through the heart of the county's west side into Cincinnati's downtown, according to officials with the Mill Creek Restoration Project, which got the grant.

"From those looking for a cheaper commute to the health-conscious walking to the grocery store, the trail is envisioned to be a lush back-route for the fast-expanding biker and green-friendly community. It's a $24 million endeavor that will not only turn the Mill Creek corridor into an attraction but prove to be a good business investment for the city and county, says Robin Corathers, executive director of the project." Read more...

Cincinnati Begins Bike Plan

10/8/09

"Cyclists in Cincinnati are now longer just spinning their wheels when it comes to getting more bike paths. Thursday night, Cincinnati began working with neighbors on a multimillion dollar master plan. It's the first such plan in more than 30 years.

"The city is spending around $5 million to overhaul bicycle routes citywide. Almost $4.5 million will go to expanding the Ohio bike trial. And $300,000 is expected to be spent on bike trails along the banks Downtown. Another $270,000 will be spend on enhancements like bike racks, news signs and "sharrows," the markings on roads that remind drivers to share the road with bicyclists." Read more...

How Trails Affect Neighborhoods

10/8/09

"Not-in-my-backyard naysayers often allege that proposed bicycle trails will ruin the quality of life in their neighborhoods and destroy property values. But it seems that the opposite is the case in follow-up studies or polls of neighbors.

"For instance, the Ithaca (NY) Journal reports that 81% of residents who live next to that city's three main trails say the bike and hike trails improved or greatly improved their neighborhoods. Only 7% of the survey's respondents believe the trails made their neighborhoods worse." Read more...

Reynoldsburg Trail Plan Taking Shape

10/7/09

"Plans to construct a trail around a Reynoldsburg park have changed since Reynoldsburg City Council gave initial approval of the concept earlier this year.

"During City Council's Community Development Committee meeting Monday, Oct. 5, Parks and Recreation Director Jason Shamblin presented revised plans for the construction of a multi-use trail around Civic Park.

"Funding for the project, up to $425,000, was allocated to Reynoldsburg in April by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission as part of a $28 million federal stimulus package granted to Franklin and Delaware counties and parts of Fairfield and Licking counties." Read more...

Pickaway Trails Receive Funds

10/7/09

Among those projects awarded funding through ODNR programs, $155k goes to Pickaway Trails. Read more...

Dayton Gets Bike Lanes

10/7/09

"Dayton’s first on-street bike lanes were installed Monday, Oct. 5, and Tuesday along a seven-block stretch of Jefferson Street in the downtown. The bike lanes are part of the city’s project to convert several one-way streets to two-way, and to install bike routes going north-south and east-west through downtown.

"Most of the conversion project won’t be done until next spring, said Joe Weinel, a senior engineer with the city’s public works department. “We won’t be far enough along on the project to repave this year,” Weinel said." Read more...

Also, the Stewart Street Bridge reconstruction project in Dayton is entering a new phase. Read more...

Trail Dispute Reaches Appeals Court

10/7/09

"The Thomas J. Evans Foundation's plans for a bike path and Licking Township residents' efforts to prevent the paved trail now rest in the hands of a three-judge appeals court panel.

"Judges William B. Hoffman, John W. Wise and Patricia A. Delaney, from Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals, listened to arguments Tuesday from attorneys representing the foundation and the residents in the west courtroom of the Licking County Courthouse.

"The residents, who oppose creation of a bike path across land they claim to own, appealed Licking County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Marcelain's April 29 ruling that the foundation is sole owner of property proposed for a 6-mile bike path from Heath to Hebron.

"The property ownership dispute came to a boiling point in July 2008 when Licking Township residents staged a sit-in on the bike path as Shelly Co. paving equipment moved within a quarter-mile of the protesters, crossing East Irving Wick Drive." Read more...

Read a previous story on this ongoing dispute.

Kent Bridge Conversion

10/7/09

"The new Fairchild Bridge [in Kent] will replace the existing Crain Avenue Bridge, but will be in a new location, extending from Fairchild Avenue. The Crain Avenue Bridge will be converted into a pedestrian walkway, which will connect to the Portage County Hike and Bike Trail.

"The new bridge will cross the Cuyahoga River and connect Fairchild Avenue to North Water Street for automotive traffic.

"Kent City Engineer James Bowling said some of the Phase 1A construction has already started, such as changing and relocating phone and power lines." Read more...

2010 Towpath Tags

10/5/09

"The Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail’s 2010 Towpath Tag is available for a donation of $5. Sponsored by Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, 100 percent of every dollar raised directly supports the on-going maintenance, safety and operation of the Towpath Trail.

"It costs Cuyahoga Valley National Park an average of about $10,000 per mile or $200,000 per year to maintain the 20 miles of Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, said park officials." Read more...

Parma Pulls Plug On Trail Project

10/5/09

"A proposed multipurpose trail, which would run west-to-east through the southern part of town, is apparently headed nowhere. On Monday, city officials said the project has been scrapped — although they left open the possibility that some type of trail might someday be constructed.

"Mayor Dean DePiero said the decision to drop the plan was made after an Aug. 19 meeting where more than 100 residents objected to the trail. The residents — in Wards 5, 6 and 7 — said the trail would have cut through their back yards and passed too close to their homes. Residents also said the trail would have invited criminals into their neighborhoods.

"We want the public on board with any project like this," DePiero said Monday.

"Ward 5 Councilman Tom Regas said the city will soon send a letter to residents announcing its decision." Read more...

See a previous post on this topic.

CVNP Trail Assessment

10/5/09

"Many of the most avid users of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are clamoring for more trails, especially for mountain bikes. It's possible that the National Park Service will grant those wishes, too -- but not for a few years, and only if its experts see no harm in expanding trails and uses.

"The Park Service just kicked off a two to three-year study of the 22,000-acre park's trails, their condition and whether more are needed. It's the first time in 24 years that park officials have undertaken such a review, which is a prerequisite for any trail changes beyond minor ones.

"The initial step in a long process: an informal survey of about 90 outdoor-activities clubs, local governments and other "stakeholders." Trail-study leader Kevin Skerl, a Parks Service ecologist, sent them out in August and asked for responses by Sept. 15." Read more...

Don Pease Bike Path

"Several people shared memories Saturday as the bike path that stretches from Kipton to Elyria [Lorain County NCIT] was dedicated in honor of longtime politician Don Pease at the Oberlin Depot.

"...Oberlin City Councilwoman Sharon Soucy spearheaded the effort to honor Pease, a politician for nearly three decades, who was also a lifelong cyclist. “Don loved to ride the bike trail, and that’s why we thought it would be appropriate to memorialize him in this way,” Soucy said.

"Several dozen people watched the ceremony and many shared memories of Pease, who served on Oberlin City Council, served 10 years in Ohio government and served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pease was respected and beloved - especially in the town he and his family called home." Read more...

Linking Lorain County Trails

"The goal is that someday recreational athletes will be able to hop on a trail at the mouth of the Black River in Lorain and run, walk, bike or rollerblade all the way to Kipton in southern Lorain County.

"That vision came one step closer to reality with the opening this week of the Black River Trail Extension, a mile of trail that connects Lorain County Metro Parks’ High Meadows to the Bridgeway Trail at Bur Oak Picnic Area in Elyria. The extension puts the Metro Parks a mile closer to its goal, but, more significantly, its construction helped the Metro Parks climb a major mountain - literally - in trail logistics.

“We had to go 80 vertical feet to get out of that valley,” Metro Parks director Dan Martin said." Read more...

New Pathways Bridge In Loudonville

10/2/09

"During a respite Thursday morning in an otherwise rainy week, the sun shown on dedication ceremonies for Loudonville's new Pathways Bridge.

"The bridge project, the product of more than a half-century of dreaming, nearly a decade of planning, two years of fundraising and a total of $320,000 in costs covered through grants and donations, culminated on a beautiful fall morning with about 60 people watching.

"Mayor Stewart Zody, recreation director Judy Webster and recreation board President Tracey Cooper cut the ribbon for the bridge, which spans the Black Fork and connects the east and west side of Riverside Park in Loudonville." Read more...

Ohio Bicycle Rights Bill

Here's an audio file with the latest news on this pending legislation.

See a previous post on this topic.

Towpath To Be Completed In Akron

10/2/09

"Akron is getting $2.5 million in federal stimulus funding to complete its final half-mile portion of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

"The project also calls for replacing a West Bartges Street bridge over the canal near Canal Place. The new bridge will be twin precast concrete modular bridges that will cross the canal and allow the trail to proceed underneath the span.

"Bids are expected to be sought in January with construction to begin in March or April, said Michael Teodecki, project manager for the city. Completion is expected by mid-2011, he said, at a total price tag of $7.4 million." Read more...

Simon Kenton Trail To Extend

10/1/09

"The Simon Kenton Pathfinders were successful in their bid for a $444,500 grant from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund, according to a Wednesday news release from state Sen. Keith Faber's office.

"While the Pathfinders' goal is to extend the Simon Kenton Trail into Bellefontaine, this grant is for Phase 1, which is to extend the existing trail to the north end of Urbana. The new 1.25-mile path will be on a former elevated rail line and will start behind the Urbana Depot."

Source: The Urbana Daily Citizen

Connecting Newark Trails

10/1/09

"A plan to connect the two Newark bike paths between the Licking County Family YMCA and the east side of Newark could mean greater accessibility for cyclists.

"Although the idea has been talked about for some time, Newark Planner Kim Burton said current coordination with the Neighborhood Design Center, a nonprofit organization in which students help generate ideas, could help the city access grants to make the discussion a reality.

"In presentations to the city and local residents, the Neighborhood Design Center has identified several paths around the city as possibilities, but Burton said the most likely choice will be through Newark's downtown.

"A path through the city not only will direct tourists using the path past some of the city's features, such as the Licking County Courthouse Square and The Works, but also will allow residents a safer way to get into the city." Read more...

Trail Vision For Bazetta Township

9/30/09

"The front page to the Bazetta Township Bikeway Committee's report is a bit of an understatement, calling itself "an idea."

"And as he stood overlooking Mosquito Creek Reservoir, committee member Michael Swiatkwich, 57, a mail carrier for Cortland, understated himself. He's not a regional planner, he's not a college graduate and he doesn't even consider himself a "hardcore" cyclist.

"But he believes there's something to his idea about putting a 20-mile bicycle lane around the lake and eventually linking it to a network of bike trails throughout the county. He's looking for people to back him up on a dream he has to see bike trails running around the lake and linking to nearby population centers." Read more...

Mahoning Valley Trail

9/29/09

From an article on ODNR funding for park improvements:

"...the Controlling Board approved $500,000 for the Mahoning Valley Trail in northeastern Stark County and $71,050 for trail improvements in Craig Beach. At Lake Milton, funding will go toward the construction of an Ohio trails information center, restrooms and signs along the Ohio -Cross State bike route."

Tallgrass Trail Report

9/27/09

"...On Aug. 20, the Marion County Park District purchased 12 miles of abandoned rail corridor from CSX for $332,800. This land will become the Marion Tallgrass Trail. 75 percent of the cost came from grants, with the remaining 25 percent provided by local donations.

"The purchase capped 10 years of negotiations between the park district and the railroad. During this time, the railroad changed ownership several times and adopted tough environmental restrictions on land sales. Speaking of the Marion County park district, Eric Oberg of the Rails to Trails Conservancy said, "This small park district has done an outstanding job in working with CSX, and is a model we intend to use to help others."

"Construction has begun on a parking lot at the four-acre trailhead park on Holland Road, 1.7 miles west of Marion. Contractors have laid a gravel base and will soon add asphalt pavement. Construction should begin on a trailhead building in late 2009, using a grant from the Ohio Department of Administrative Services." Read more...

Stavich Trail To Reopen Soon

9/27/09

"...The Stavich Bike Trail, a 10.5-mile ribbon of pavement that begins in Struthers off state Route 289 and ends on Covert Road near New Castle, Pa., should be open again by the end of the year.

"Major hazards have been fixed since the Pennsylvania part of the trail was closed in December, said Doniele Andrus, a shared greenways and environmental planner who works for Lawrence and Beaver counties of Pennsylvania.

"There were no dangerous spots along the three miles of the trail in Ohio.

"Lawrence County used $267,200 in federal funds distributed through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to repair three bridges along the trail and a major washout just outside Lowellville, Andrus said last week. She said 32 culverts were replaced and banks were stabilized in drainage improvements.

"Now, the county is awaiting $224,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to repave the trail and put up new signs, she said. It should arrive any day — it was expected Sept. 15, she said." Read more...

Schekelhoff Trail Dedication

9/27/09

"A new handicapped-accessible trail at Schekelhoff Nature Preserve is to be dedicated and opened to the public during a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

"The park, along the Sandusky River, originally was dedicated as a tribute to conservationist Edward Schekelhoff during a ceremony Sept. 23, 1995, after the property was donated to the city by his family. Since then, the area has remained an undeveloped city park with a view of the river from a natural trail.

"Now, the park features a half-mile stretch of asphalt with an area overlooking the river. A 16-by-16-foot shelter with a picnic table at the far end also overlooks the water." Read more...

'3-Foot Bill' Proposed

9/25/09

Taken from a recent blog: "Columbus, Ohio — Senators Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Mark Wagoner (R-Ottawa Hills) will announce the introduction of a bicycle safety bill September 28, 2009 at 10:30 on the west lawn of the Statehouse. The legislation will define a safe lateral passing distance of three feet when a motor vehicle passes a bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle. The Ohio Bicycle Federation President, Chuck Smith, will be in attendance to speak in support of the legislation. Local riders and those injured by the failure of drivers to observe a safe passing distance will also be in attendance." Read more...

Read the proposed bill.

Marietta Trail Receives Grant

9/24/09

"As construction continues downtown on the second phase of Marietta's River Trail, city officials recently received word that a $150,000 grant has been awarded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the third phase of the project.

"In a flat economy, we have to look at every opportunity and this money, when combined with others we've received, gives us more than $1 million in grant funding toward this project," said Mayor Michael Mullen.

"And this grant will support the local match required to complete the project which, when completed, will provide over four miles of continuous paved trail for walkers, joggers, bikers and skaters, and will provide a great link from the downtown district to the Acme/Pike streets and Norwood area," he added." Read more...

Williamsburg Trail Pics

Some photos of the new Williamsburg Trail.

2009 Recreational Trails Grants Awarded

"ODNR Division of Parks and Recreational Services administers grants including the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Non-Motorized Grants, which funds projects that will encourage public use of recreational trails by improving access for people with disabilities, creating and maintaining trails and facilities and educating the public about the environment and trail safety.

"The agency has recommended that $1,562,086.41 be awarded for the 2009 grants to develop more than 5.6 miles of new trail, seal coat 13.92 miles of existing trails, construct two bridges and two ADA compliant trailheads and acquire 10.99 acres of abandoned railroad and greenway corridors. All of the recommended projects are associated with a regional or statewide trail system, including the Ohio to Erie Trail, Great Miami River Bikeway and Kokosing Gap Trail." Read more...

Here's a report on the funding for the Great Miami River Trail.

Another report on the forest trails in Pike County that will receive funding as well.

Beavercreek Jogger Hit In 'No Driving Zone'

9/18/09

"An accident report released this week by Beavercreek police says the jogger who was struck by an SUV and killed last month was in a marked no driving zone when she was hit.

"Michelle Hale, 44, of 4213 Aley Drive, was hit early Aug. 24 while crossing Dayton-Xenia Road from the bike trail to Stedman Lane. She was struck in an “area of the roadway that was striped off for a no driving zone,” according to the accident report stamped “incomplete” by Beavercreek police." Read more...

Read an earlier report on this tragedy.

Michelle Hale was training for the USAF Marathon at Wright Patterson AFB. Read more about her personal story.

Ohio-To-Erie Trail Ride

9/17/09

Here's a podcast from a ride along the Ohio-to-Erie Trail. "This four-day journey was completed by Bill Williams and Stephen Carter-Novotni on Labor Day weekend 2009."

Work Continues On Heart Of Ohio Trail

9/15/09

"Trail enthusiasts looking forward to the eventual completion of the Heart of Ohio Trail between Centerburg and Mount Vernon have cause for appreciating the slow movement of government, for once. If work on the trail were left up to the current economy, work would have ground to a halt due to the county’s recent budget crises. But the grants funding the bridge restoration projects on the trail were completed prior to the recent shortfalls. That the money is only now coming through the pipeline is typical of the lag time related to grants, but in this scenario, it allows for work to continue on the trail." Read more...

News Alert! - T.J. Evans Trail Closing

9/14/09

"The Newark Parks & Recreation Department would like to inform the public that the T.J. Evans Bike Trail between Country Club Drive and Cherry Valley Road is currently closed to all pedestrian and bike traffic to allow for repairs of the trail, and should reopen no later than Saturday, September 19th.

"For information or updates, contact the Newark Parks & Recreation Department at 670-7788."

Source: WCLT.com

Ped / Bike Bridge Construction

9/12/09

"South Main Street (Ohio 661) in Granville will be restricted Tuesday and Wednesday as part of a project to install a bike/pedestrian bridge, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced Friday.

"From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, crews will be setting the bridge structures. Traffic will be maintained by flaggers. The work is less than a tenth of a mile north of Ohio 16/37. It is being performed for about $473,000 by Shaw & Holter of Lancaster."

Source: Granville Sentinel.com

Trail Construction Will Reduce Parking Spaces

9/12/09

"Construction on the second phase of Marietta's River Trail is expected to result in the loss of some parking spaces overlooking the Ohio River in the 300 block of Ohio Street.

"...Kevin Crock, project manager with the city engineer's office, said the diagonal parking that previously existed in that lot will be changed to parallel parking when the trail construction is completed." Read more...

Read a previous report on this project.

News Alert! - Little Miami Section To Close

9/11/09

"The Little Miami Scenic Trail will be closed for repairs just south of Corwin for up to a month beginning Monday, Sept. 14.

"Barricades will be placed in the area of mile markers 15 and 16 just south of the village, said Alan Ferguson, state park manager for the Cowan Lakes Region, in a release.

"Ferguson advises trail users to head north from the Corwin staging area and south from the Caesar Creek staging area. Riders, however, can bypass the trail work on Corwin Road, which runs next to the trail for several miles in that section. But users will need to watch out for construction activity." Read more...

Floating Trail Open

9/10/09

Here's a recap on the recent ribbon cutting for the newest section of towpath trail at Summit Lake in Akron.

Read a previous post on this subject.

Mill Creek Trail Economic Impact

9/8/09

"A fully-completed Mill Creek Greenway Trail could create at least 445 jobs and create a more than $52 million economic impact, according to a new report by the Applied Economics Research Institute (AERI) at the University of Cincinnati.

"The trail also would provide at least an additional $1.86 million in local tax revenue, said AERI director Dr. Benjamin Passty." Read more...

CVNP Launches Trail Fund

9/7/09

"The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is kicking off a new program to fix, restore and expand trails. The National Park Service and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, a friends-of-the-park group, are starting Trails Forever.

"The goal is to raise a $10 million endowment by 2016, and the interest income on that money would fund the park's trail work, said Paul Stoehr, acting superintendent for the 33,000-acre federal park between Akron and Cleveland." Read more...

On a related note, here's an article on the CVNP Association.

Trail Accident Results In Broken Neck

9/6/09

Until the deteriorating bridge surfaces were replaced along the Little Miami Trail in '08 & '09, a number of riders literally fell victim to them. Here's one man's story of severe injury on the trail.

Floating Trail Dedication Sept.4

8/30/09

"Users of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail won't need a miracle to walk on water. The newest segment of the Towpath Trail in South Akron includes a floating section that runs nearly a third of a mile along Summit Lake's southern shoreline and passes under the Kenmore Boulevard bridge.

"Akron will dedicate the addition to the trail, which runs south from the Summit Lake Community Center to Waterloo Road, at ceremonies at 11 a.m. Friday." Read more...

Towpath Trail Closure Sept. 8-25

8/27/09

"The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail will be closed from Boston Store Visitor Center south to the railroad tunnel (approximately 1.4 miles) Sept. 8 through Sept. 25 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The tunnel is approximately 1 mile north of Lock 29 Trailhead in Peninsula.

"The closure is necessary for the safety of staff and visitors, as sections of the Stumpy Basin boardwalk will be rebuilt as part of normal maintenance of the Towpath Trail, according to CVNP officials. During the repair, this area will be unsafe for trail use."

Source: Akron.com

South Parma Trail Proposed & Opposed

8/27/09

"A proposed multipurpose trail -- which would run about six miles west-to-east through the southern part of town -- might pass under high-tension electrical towers. Or the trail might cut through commercial land, woods and parks and along sidewalks and streets, as well as under electrical towers in some areas.

"URS Corp. -- hired by the city to study the feasibility of a multipurpose trail -- identified several trail possibilities during an Aug. 19 meeting in City Hall." Read more...

Here's a report on the opposition voiced by the 100 or so residents that attended the meeting.

Marietta River Trail Construction Report

8/27/09

"The riverfront will be dark for a few days along Ohio Street between Third and Fourth streets in Marietta while crews install some new street lighting and work on the second phase of the city's River Trail pedestrian and bicycle path." Read more...

Southern Towpath Ride

8/26/09

Here's a blog about a trip south from Bolivar along the O & E Towpath.

Trail Speed Checked By Radar

8/25/09

"The numbers on the radar sign barely drop as the bicycle zips past Tuesday on a trail in Beachwood City Park. Though the speed falls, it's almost always faster than 10 mph, the speed limit the city imposed last fall for bikes in the park." Read more...

Here's another article on the subject with video.

Jogger Killed Leaving Trail

8/24/09

" Police are investigating the death of a local woman who was hit by an SUV while out for a morning run. The accident happened just after 6 a.m. Monday on Dayton-Xenia Road at Stedman Lane.

"The Coroner's Office identified the victim as Michelle Hale, 44, from Beavercreek.

"The section of Dayton-Xenia Rd. where the accident happened was shut down for several hours Monday morning as officers investigated how this tragedy occurred.

"Police said Hale was crossing Dayton-Xenia Road from the [Creekside Trail] bike path to head to her home nearby. That's when a man driving a silver SUV struck Hale, throwing her more than fifty feet on impact." Read more...

Here's a related piece on the reaction to the tragedy.

Columbus Trail Connector

8/24/09

"Ohio Department of Transportation officials have announced plans for a connector between the Olentangy bikeway and the future Harrison West Trail.

"The proposed bikeway would cross state Route 315 at the Goodale Boulevard exit. Three options currently are being considered, including constructing the bike path as part of the existing bridge on either the north or south side or building a separate bike bridge just south of the current roadway, said Brian Tatman, ODOT environmental specialist.

"Tatman said the project is part of the city of Columbus' Parks and Recreation master plan." Read more...

Flat Bed Cars To Serve As Trail Bridge Spans

8/24/09

"Under its Environmental Management program, the U.S. Department of Energy is removing excess materials from the 3,777-acre Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant -- and some of those materials will benefit area cyclists.

"...Through a cooperative effort, SODI, LATA/Parallax and DOE's infrastructure contractor, Theta Pro2Serve Management Company (TPMC), arranged on Aug. 13 to donate four excess flatbed rail cars to the Moonville Rail Trail Association, a nonprofit organization that will use the rail cars as bridge spans in its Vinton County public rail trail." Read more...

Trail Construction Affects Sternwheel Festival

8/22/09

"Construction on the second phase of Marietta's River Trail hiking and biking pathway will make getting in and out of the Lafayette Hotel parking lot a little different for this year's guests during the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival, Sept. 11 to 13." Read more...

Cuyahoga Valley Bike Aboard Rides

8/20/09

Here's a short feature with video on trail riding the towpath in Peninsula, Ohio and using the Bike Aboard program offered by the Cuyahoga Valley scenic Railway.

Bike Bridge Progress

8/17/09

This construction report mentions that the Chillocothe Bike Bridge has been set over Rt. 104. Scheduled completion for the project is Oct. 17.

Canal Winchester Ribbon-Cutting Aug. 21

8/14/09

"Canal Winchester's new bike path grand opening will be at 2 p.m. Aug. 21 at Roger Hanners Park, 590 Groveport Road.

"The event will include remarks from Mayor Michael Ebert and Ohio Department of Transportation District 6 Deputy Director Tom Wester. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be conducted, then a celebratory walk, run or ride on the path will follow.

"The path connects the Gender Road and Winchester Boulevard bike paths, providing the village with 4.5 miles of contiguous paved path for public use. The path runs through most of the village, giving residents access to many places without having to use a vehicle." Read more...

Piqua Trails

8/14/09

Here's a feature story on the Piqua Trail system.

Marietta River Trail Phase 2

8/11/09

"Construction began in earnest on the second phase of Marietta's River Trail Monday as a crew put jackhammers to concrete along Post Street, which is now a permanent one-way thoroughfare running north between Ohio and Butler streets." Read more...

Little Miami Section Closes

8/10/09

"Part of the Little Miami Scenic Trail at the Pleasant Street bridge near downtown Springfield will be closed for the next two to three months beginning today, Aug. 10, due to construction, according to the Springfield City Engineer’s Office. Detour signs are posted giving directions to use city streets to get around the construction area."

Source: Springfield News-Sun

Clues To Bird Kill Found

8/10/09

" Regional sewer investigators are linking an oil-processing company near Steelyard Commons to several oil spills on the Cuyahoga River -- at least one of which led to the deaths of several hundred gulls in late June, a sewer official said Monday.

"A report from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District names Sanimax Inc., 1002 Beltline Ave., as "the likely source" for the spills, including one first noticed June 26 when members of a rowing club found dead birds floating downstream." Read more...

Goodale Street Bikeway Public Meeting Aug. 13

"The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and the Ohio Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, to discuss Goodale Street bikeway improvements.

"The meeting will be held at the Harrison Park building on the southwest corner of West First Avenue and Perry Street. The meeting will be conducted in an open house format and will continue until 7 p.m. There will be no formal presentations. Representatives of Columbus Recreation and Parks, ODOT and URS Inc., will be at the meeting to answer questions and receive public input on the proposed project." Read more...

Hudson Turnpike Trail Gets Final Approval

8/9/09

"A bike and hike trail along the turnpike could be installed this year after Council approved the project 5-2 Aug. 5.

"The approved legislation calls for a half-mile trail, known as the Stow Aurora Trail, to be built along the south side of the Ohio turnpike in northwest Hudson, connecting Hudson Springs Park on Stow Road to Hudson-Aurora Road.

"Once the city has written up specifications for the work, it will go out for bid, Roberts said. The project is estimated to cost the city $130,000 and officials would like to get it done this year, she said." Read more...

Read a previous report on this subject.

Chillicothe Bike Bridge Construction

8/7/09

"High Street (Ohio 104) near U.S. 35 will close at 10 p.m. tonight as part of the construction of the bike path bridge.

"The District 9 office of the Ohio Department of Transportation announced the closure this morning. It was postponed earlier this week." Read more...

Grove City Looks To Extend Bike Path

8/6/09

"Grove City officials say they want to keep Grove City moving, but safely.

"Officials are working toward extending a bike path along Holton Road to provide safer access for cyclists, pedestrians and school children in the area." Read more...

Big Walnut Creek Trail Bridge

8/6/09

Included in this piece is a report on funding for a trail bridge over Big Walnut Creek in Galena: "...The Village received a $148,000 trail grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to build a multi-purpose trail bridge over Big Walnut Creek. Homewood Corporation is contributing an additional $24,000. The Village is contributing $18,000 and managing the project. Delaware County Friends of the Trail, the organization that wrote the grant application, will also add $8,000." Read more...

GOLTRG Construction Plans

8/5/09

Toward the end of this feature article on the Western Reserve Greenway is information regarding future trail construction along the GOLTRG route: "... Mark Hess, engineer in Niles, said the Niles section of the trail will be completed for 2010. That section will have the trail connected at the Austintown-Weathersfield county line through Niles. The trail through Mahoning County includes a section of Mill Creek Park."

"Plans are also to pave a section of the trail through Warren by North River Road to the southern city limits by DeForest Road. Ambrose said the bikeway from North River Road would connect in Champion by the Kent campus. Hess said the Niles trail project is going out for bids this summer with work to begin in August and be completed in 2010." Read more...

Middletown Uses Stimulus For Bike Trail

8/5/09

"The city of Middletown will use federal stimulus dollars to fund its last portion of the Great Miami Recreation Trail.

"Middletown City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance Tuesday, Aug. 4, for engineering services to complete the final 1.1-mile segment of the trail using stimulus energy conservation funding from the U.S. Department of Energy." Read more...

See a related story below.

Middletown Considers Trail Grant

8/2/09

"A request to apply for a $1.6 million brownfield clean-up grant from the state and an engineering services contract for the final section of the Great Miami Recreation Trail bike path are among the issues Middletown City Council is set to address Tuesday night.

"Council will consider an emergency ordinance to allow the city to apply for a Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant of $1.6 million to remediate various issues at the STM Property at the former Sutphin Wrenn Union Paper Mill, 810 First Ave." Read more...

Toledo Cyclist Assaulted

8/2/09

From a blog post of the incident... "A friend of mine lives on East Side. He is over fifty like me. He likes to cycle over the high level bridge to the Mud Hens games, he stays in good shape . Last week he came over the bridge . On Clayton st. 4 teenagers were riding opposite of him. As they passed , one of them swung his fist at him. He moved his head , but the fist caught him on the side of his head, stunning him and drawing blood from his ear." Read more...

Charges Stem From Trail Assault

8/1/09

"A 16-year-old Mansfield boy already charged with assaulting an elderly man recently on the Richland B & O Trail now faces a charge of robbery, according to a Richland County Juvenile Court official.

"Sheriff's deputies brought the teen to the county's Juvenile Detention Facility on Thursday night. He will remain there until his trial date." Read more...

Here's another article that says the victim only had $1.

Read a previous report on this assault.

Piqua Trail Addition

7/30/09

"In case you haven’t heard, the latest addition to Linear Park is completed and open for use. This 3-mile segment of trail starts at Lock Nine Park and heads south to Peterson Road. The path follows the riverbank on the west side of the river behind the Power Plant. Path users will then cross the river and come out near the Wastewater Plant. The path continues south through a wooded setting on the east side of the river and ends just short of Peterson Road." Read more in this 2009 'Piqua Spirit' PDF by scrolling to the final page.

Brunswick Cyclists Providing Input

7/30/09

"Taking simple steps to make cycling safer for residents while they await the construction of a proposed bike path network.

"This was the recommendation to the city from approximately 40 residents -- most of them cyclists -- who turned out at city hall last week for a preliminary discussion regarding the proposed trails." Read more...

See a previous story on this subject.

West Chester Working On Bikeways

7/30/09

"...We have slowly but surely been forging a system of sidewalks and bikeways in our community," said trustee Catherine Stoker during a presentation this week. “It’s not as fast as we’d like, but slowly but surely neighborhoods are becoming more walkable and bikeable.” Read more...

Towpath Section Closes

7/28/09

"The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail under state Route 21 in Massillon and Perry Township is closed today through Friday." Read more...

B & O Trail Assault

7/27/09

"A 76-year-old man who was assaulted on the Richland B & O Trail on July 8 was in critical condition at MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital on Monday, suffering from a massive head bleed, according to a Richland County Sheriff’s Office report.

"Robert Reimsnyder, who turned 76 today, of Millsboro Road, was reportedly assaulted earlier this month on the bike trail, north of Marion Avenue Road. One suspect, a 16-year-old Mansfield boy, was later issued a summons for assault and released to his mother." Read more...

Little Beaver Creek Trail Feature

7/26/09

Here's a feature story on the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail, which is part of the Great-Ohio-to-Lake-Greenway.

Summit County Trail News

7/23/09

Buried in this piece about disc golf is a report on extending the Freedom Secondary Trail 8.5-miles from Akron to the Tallmadge-Kent border. Also mentioned, an agreement is close at hand with the Barberton & Lake Erie Railway Co. for a 1.25-mile Towpath section from Snyder Avenue to Eastern Road in Barberton. Read more...

Child Porn Found On Dayton Trail

7/22/09

"Two adults walking on an unmarked bike path in Dayton found child pornography, that now has police in another city working overtime to find the suspect.

"Police described the porn as a nude photograph of a young boy. However, what was written on the back of the picture has authorities searching an area of Riverside.

"The photo was found on the bike path but the note on the back, which was clearly written for a young boy to find, gives directions for the child to go to a Riverside business." Read more...

Brunswick Bikeways Public Meeting July 23

7/21/09

"The city is hoping residents will have some ideas for a system of bikeways that would connect popular destinations throughout the city and lead cyclists into surrounding communities.

"Brunswick officials will seek residents’ input on the city’s cycling offerings during an open house 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 4095 Center Road. The ideas offered ultimately could be part of a bicycle master plan funded by a Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency grant. NOACA handles transportation and environmental planning for Medina, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain and Geauga counties." Read more...

Western Reserve Greenway Funding Crunch

7/21/09

"Groups working to complete the Western Reserve Greenway may be forced to come up with some extra cash in order to finish sections of the bicycle and walking trail.

"That's because the temporary guideline requiring communities to contribute nothing in exchange for the federal dollars being used locally on bicycle trail development expires Oct. 1. It's being replaced with a condition that requires communities to put up 20 percent in order to get 80 percent funding." Read more...

Tall Grass Controversy In Worthington

7/21/09

"Tall grass at a Worthington park has some residents of a nearby neighborhood fearing disease and environmental disaster, but city leaders say the fears are unfounded.

"Worthington city officials planned to meet with residents this week to discuss concern over changes in maintenance at Olentangy Parklands. The skinny piece of public land runs alongside Masefield Street and the Olentangy bike trail between Dublin-Granville Road and Interstate 270." Read more...

Helmet Supply Runs Out

7/20/09

"Twelve [Columbus] fire stations that were distributing free bicycle helmets ran out of their supply on Monday afternoon, a short time after their safety promotion started.

"The city distributed 2,200 helmets on the eve of a new helmet law taking effect, requiring children under 18 to wear helmets or risk a $25 fine.

"...There were no immediate plans to get more helmets." Read more...

See related story below.

New Helmet Law Starts Tuesday

7/17/09

"[Columbus] firefighters plan to give away 3,000 bicycle helmets next week to help children ride safe and avoid running afoul of a new city law.

"Starting Tuesday, police will begin reminding children that city law requires a bicyclist younger than 18 to wear a helmet. The law allows officers to give $25 tickets, but Sgt. Rich Weiner said officers aren't keen on fining kids.

"We're not out to ticket children, we're out to promote safety," Weiner said." Read more...

Public Input Sought On Tinkers Creek Aqueduct

7/17/09

"President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package will affect changes along the Towpath Trail. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is in line to receive $7.768 million in federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The National Park Service is in the process of preparing an environmental assessment for the replacement of the Tinkers Creek Aqueduct, where the remnants of the historic Ohio & Erie Canal crosses Tinkers Creek. The public is invited to provide input regarding alternatives, environmental impact topics and the scope of this project.

"In 2000, due to the advanced state of deterioration of the existing metal aqueduct, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail was re-routed onto an adjacent roadway and temporary PVC pipes were installed to allow water to pass through in order to maintain water in the canal." Read more...

Tallgrass Trail Land Purchase

7/14/09

"The [Marion County] recreation trail project 10 years in the planning stage broke ground.

"Purchase of the land for the 12-mile trail should be finalized by the end of the month, said Marion County Parks Director Karen Kelley.

"The agreement with CSX railroad company is ready to go and Kelley was submitting a request to the Ohio Public Works Commission to move forward with the funding it has approved for purchasing the trail land." Read more...

Kyle Park Trail Grant

The following info was gleaned from the Tipp City Parks Advisory Board January 12, 2009 meeting minutes:

"Scott Vagedes stated that Bradley C. Vath was able to obtain a $150,000 ODNR grant to be matched with 20% local funds for the completion of the Great Miami River Recreational Bike Trail through Kyle Park.

"The City is currently in the design stage and is hopeful that the project will be bid in February for spring construction (see drawing) including connections to the main parking lot and the Timmer Pavilion parking area. This should be completed by July 31, 2009. Mr. Vagedes added that the existing bike path around the soccer fields will be widened and resurfaced."

Canton Trail Plans

7/12/09

"On June 29, a Repository editorial asked “ ‘City Bikes’ in Canton? Why Not?” It was followed by the July 3 guest column “Want more bike traffic? Then increase safety.” They challenged the city to become more bike-friendly.

"The truth is, the city recognizes the importance of achieving the goal of becoming more bike-friendly, and we have been aggressively working toward creating a safe, accessible bike-trail system." Read more of this editorial which includes a map of the proposed trail.

River Dig To Lay Trail Foundation

7/10/09

"Heavy construction equipment has been moving dirt along the west bank of the Great Miami River across from Carillon Park [in Dayton].

"Soon, gravel will disappear and the beginnings of a new section of bikeway will emerge on the levy’s top." Read more...

Road Closure For Trail Bridge Construction

7/9/09

"As the completion of the pedestrian bridge spanning Ohio 104 in Chillicothe nears an end, workers from the Ohio Department of Transportation are preparing to shut down the four-lane road at the end of the month.

"Kathleen Fuller, a spokesperson for District 9 of the Ohio Department of Transportation, said Double Z Construction, which is completing the work for ODOT, has a contract to close the road at 9 p.m. Friday, July 31, and reopen it by 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3." Read more...

Cyclist's Kit Causes Concerns

7/8/09

"A recent News article reported that several users of the Kokosing Gap Trail are concerned about the unusual dress of a cyclist often encountered on the bike path. When cycling, the man wears a hooded, long-sleeved sweatshirt, sunglasses and a gray mask, even in warm weather.

"That man, “John,” said the story has caused him great anxiety, and he wants to tell his side of the story. The News is not releasing his name because he has not been charged with anything." Read more...

Lake-To-Lake Trail Dedication July 9

7/5/09

"The many nature reservations of the Cleveland Metroparks are sometimes referred to as the Emerald Necklace because of the way they encircle the city of Cleveland. The latest addition to the system, the Lake-to-Lake Trail, located in Middleburg Heights, will be officially dedicated on July 9." Read more...

Read another story on the ribbon-cutting.

On a related note, here's an article on the new Dinosaur Pit at the northern end of the trail. Here's another take on the pit.

Alum Creek Trail Construction Moves Forward

"Using funds from the $1.66-billion bond package passed by Columbus voters in November, the city planned to construct a 2.2-mile trail connecting two pieces of the Alum Creek Trail.

"When city leaders decided not to issue bonds early this year because of budget shortfalls, that project, along with many others, lost its funding.

"But with help from the federal government's stimulus package and an Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant, the bike trail project will move forward this summer, said Brad Westall, greenways planner for the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks." Read more...

Men Damage Trail With Bulldozer

6/22/09

"Police in Ohio are accusing two men of using a bulldozer to destroy a recently created trail along the Cuyahoga River.

"Briton Woolf, 20, and Bryan Gaugh, 23, allegedly knocked over trees and damaged a covered bridge at the Portage Hike and Bike Trail behind the Kent Water Reclamation Facility at about 2:45 a.m. Monday, WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported." Read more...

Here's another report on the vandalism with video. And another video clip here.

New Campsites For Towpath Travelers

6/22/09

"There's something new in the Cuyahoga Valley: primitive camping for users of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

"The National Park Service has opened five campsites behind the Stanford House at 6093 Stanford Road in Boston Township. The new accommodations got a big boost from an Akron Boy Scout's Eagle project.

"The sites are the first established campsites in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and are only for long-distance hikers and bicyclists on the Towpath and Buckeye trails. Drive-up users are not permitted." Read more...

Extending The Little Beaver Creek Trail

6/21/09

" Federal funding is being sought to extend the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail from Lisbon to East Liverpool.

"Dottie Betz, president of the Columbiana County Park District board, met Wednesday with county commissioners to obtain a letter in support of efforts to obtain the money.

"This is part of an effort by the Greater Ohio Lake-To-River Greenway Coalition to lobby area congressmen to secure enough federal funding to complete the proposed 115-mile bicycling/walking trail that would connect Ashtabula to East Liverpool by linking with existing trails.

"Of the 115 miles, 64 miles have been completed, including the 10-mile Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail that runs from Leetonia to Lisbon, with plans under way to get it extended north the final 1.5 miles to the Mahoning County line. Betz said they would like to extend it another 25 miles to the Point of Beginning in East Liverpool on the Pennsylvania line, following a patchwork of back roads and other means to get there." Read more...

London Trail Routes

6/19/09

"London City Council is seeking public input on a plan to reroute the Prairie Grass Trail through the city in order to steer bicyclists closer to downtown restaurants, retail shops and other points of interests.

"Wayne Roberts and Casey Elliott, representing the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails, told council on Thursday evening the current bike route, which channels cyclists mostly along Center Street between the West High Street and Maple Street trailheads, bypasses most downtown retailers and is disliked by users.

"Elliott said the trails group polled users and studied alternate bike paths for 18 months before suggesting both a “business route” and a “scenic route” through the city." Read more...

East Fork Trail Opens

6/18/09

" For nearly a decade, Mayor Mary Ann Lefker has been beating the bushes to garner support for a 2.5-mile nature trail so hikers and bicyclists can travel between this Clermont County village [Williamsburg] and East Fork State Park.

"Phase I of the Williamsburg-Batavia Hike/Bike Trail, which cost about $250,000, will officially open to the public Friday. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the trailhead on Broadway.

“It’s a beautiful, unique trail,” Lefker said. “There are some hills, twists and turns … and two scenic overlooks.” Read more...

Geneva Park Trail Cost Increase

"Ashtabula County commissioners Thursday approved a $20,097 change order for the construction of a bike trail at Geneva State Park.

"...The change order became necessary because original specifications for the bridge over Cowles Creek did not call for replacement of the substructure framework. However, as the design of the new bridge developed, it became evident the existing framework would not provide the correct elevation and would have to be replaced." Read more...

Tipp City Extends Trail

Tipp City has announced it has extended its trail. Vist their web site to learn more and view a small map.

Trail Robber Charged

"A Franklin man, already residing in the Butler County Jail for an unrelated charge, will be charged today, May 28, by the Franklin Police Department for aggravated robbery in connection with an April 29 incident that occurred on the bike trail." Read more...

See a previous report on this subject.

Columbus Budget Cuts Affect Trails

6/15/09

"The City of Columbus is faced with more tough financial decisions as low tax revenues continue to trickle into the city.

"Columbus leaders are being forced to scale back infrastructure projects. From road repair to building maintenance, many projects that were expected to be completed have been scratched off the list.

"The city hoped to fund $239.1 million in capital improvements this year. But instead, just 10 percent of that will be done." Read more...

Here's another news brief on the subject.

Lebanon Trail Rape Leads

6/14/09

"Lebanon police said they are still following leads on a rape that occurred on the city’s bike path nearly a month ago." Read more...

Read an earlier report on this case.

CVNP Trails Study

6/14/09

"The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is taking a fresh look at its trails.

"Issues to be studied include possible new trails in the park, connections from surrounding communities to the popular Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the need to rebuild the bridle trails in northern Summit County and the possibility of allowing mountain biking." Read more...

Here's a story on the Trailblazer patrol program at the CVNP.

Hudson Turnpike Trail Moving Forward

6/14/09

"After three years of looking at alternatives, work on a main trail to connect the city's east side to the west may begin later this year.

"Park Superintendent Eric Hutchinson asked Council June 9 to accept bids for the Turnpike Trail, which would be the main east to west connector in the trail system.

"The trail will run from Hudson Springs Park to the future location of the Brandywine Trail in the northwest quadrant of the city." Read more...

Read a previous report on this subject.

GOLTRG Funding Request

6/11/09

There's a brief mention of potential federal funding for unfinished portions of the Great Ohio Lake-To-River Greenway at the end of this article.

Towpath Ribbon-Cutting

6/8/09

"Those who enjoy biking, running, walking and being in the great outdoors gathered Saturday at the Noble Township Hall. In correlation with National Trails Day, a new portion of the towpath was dedicated and became part of the Heritage [Trails] Park District. The section begins at the hall and continues north.

"What a great trail to have, linking St. Marys to Delphos and eventually Cincinnati to Toledo, one day it will be like it was 150 years ago,” Miami and Erie Canal Corridor Association Director Neal Brady said." Read more...

Bike & Hike Trail Soil Erosion

6/6/09

"Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, on Friday hired an Akron engineering company to prepare plans to deal with two areas of potential landslides along the Bike and Hike Trail.

"URS Corp. will be paid $40,369 for plans to deal with unstable soil along the trail south of Boston Mills Road in Boston Heights and north of Barlow Road in Hudson."

The news brief also mentions that Summit County Commissioners have agreed to work on a new trail plan with the CVNP. "The effort is being directed by the National Park Service and will involve Cleveland Metroparks. The federal park completed its last trail plan for the Cuyahoga Valley in 1983." Read more...

Van Wert Ribbon-Cutting

6/5/09

"One trail idea has come to fruition and another is just getting underway in Van Wert County.

"At 11 a.m. Saturday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held for the first section of the Van Wert West Recreation Trail for hiking and biking. The 1.25-mile section of the paved trail runs from Richey Road east to U.S. 224, south of Lincoln Highway. A second phase is planned to run under 224 east to Smiley Park in Van Wert." Read more...

Piqua Trail Extension

6/5/09

"The city of Piqua opened another section of the city’s bicycle path on Friday, which is part of the Great Miami River Recreational Trail.

"A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the three-mile section of the [trail] that extends from Piqua south to Peterson Road." Read more of this news brief which includes video.

Preble County Trail Disputes

6/5/09

Here's piece on a recent ruling against Preble County Commissioners who have been trying to establish bike trails in the area. Landowners have challenged the legality of the county using an abandoned rail corridor for trail use and have won 3 cases thus far in that regard.

Read an earlier report on this subject.

We can find no other news reports on this subject, particularly from the press in the Preble County area, which is most peculiar.

New Kent Trail Section Opens

6/5/09

"Outdoor enthusiasts will help cut the ribbon Saturday on the biggest project ever completed by the Kent Parks and Recreation Department.

"The second of two long stretches of The Portage Hike and Bike Trail following the Cuyahoga River through Kent will open this weekend. Workers are expected to lay down the final layers of pavement today [June 5th] on the approximately 2-mile trail section leading from Middlebury Road near S.R. 261 along the river to Fred Fuller Park near S.R. 59." Read more...

Here's another story on the grand opening.

Old Railway Depot To Become Park

6/4/09

"A piece of village history is becoming the centerpiece of Huron County's portion of the North Coast Inland Trail.

"In a ceremony Saturday, Firelands Rails to Trails took possession of the 1850s railroad depot on Ohio 99 at Monroeville's southern edge, where four railroads once intersected. Over the next year or two, the depot will be transformed into the Donald E. Morrow Park." Read more...

Holmes County Trail Gets Final Link

6/4/09

"The Holmes County Park District signed an easement agreement that will open four miles of former railway to development of the Holmes County Trail.

"The perpetual easement, purchased from the Helen Taylor family, gives the Holmes County Park District access to the entire 29-mile trail, from Fredericksburg south to Brinkhaven.

"This is the last piece of the puzzle, so to speak," Park District Director Jen Halverson said. "We now have the entire railbed, either through ownership or by easement." Read more...

MoMBA Trail Maintenance Days

Here's the summer schedule for trail maintenance work days on the mountain bike trail at Huffman MetroPark in Fairborn, Ohio.

Newark Park Features Downhill Riding

6/1/09

"When officials set out to restore Horns Hill Park to its former glory as the gem of the city's parks system, it was with the hope that it would again become a place where Licking County residents come to relax and spend time with their families.

"In doing so, they also created an outdoor sports destination that has drawn hundreds from across Ohio and even neighboring states. Officials now say the park might never have reopened after closing for the 2008 season had it not been for the volunteers who spent countless hours reshaping the park at their own expense.

"The former parks director literally walked into a local bike shop looking for someone to build mountain bike trails," said Bob Bevard, a downhill mountain-bike enthusiast from Heath who used to drive out of state to get his fix of the adrenaline-fueled sport.

"Now, Bevard and a growing number of riders head to Horns Hill two or more times a week to bike the four downhill courses they helped build there. The twisting trails require heavy, high-end bicycles and full-face helmets and can launch a rider more than 10 feet into the air on the many jumps and obstacles." Read more...

News Alert! - Little Miami To Close For Repairs

5/29/09

"With the help and prodding of a new citizen’s group, Ohio State Parks has found money to pave 11 dangerous wooden bridges along the Little Miami Scenic Trail.

"Construction will begin Monday, June 1, closing 25 miles of the trail between Xenia and Morrow, said Alan Ferguson, assistant park manager state’s Cowan Lake Region. The project is expected to be completed by Friday, June 5." Read more...

Trail Robbery Suspect In Custody

5/28/09

"A Franklin man is under arrest Thursday, accused of robbing someone at knifepoint on a bike trail." Read more...

Piqua Trail Extends

5/28/09

This blog covers the recent 2-mile extension of the Piqua Trail.

Western Reserve Greenway Celebration

5/28/09

"Rail-trail users from across the lake-to-river corridor gathered Thursday morning to celebrate completion of the 27-mile-Ashtabula County section of the Western Reserve Greenway Trail.

"Phase III of the trail was wrapped up last fall, with the opening of the tunnel under Route 84 and paving of several miles of trail in southern Ashtabula County. Phase I was completed in 2002, Phase II two years later."

The piece also mentions the multiple bridge constructions that will be necessary to connect the bikeway to Lake Erie. Read more...

Cincy Onboard With Ohio River Trail

5/28/09

"Cincinnati City Council voted unanimously to accept any federal funding, to create a capital grant project account, and to enter into a local public agency agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the $2.3 million [Ohio River] trail segment linking Wilmer Avenue and Carrel Street in the East End, which could now begin as soon as fall 2009.

"...In addition to the trail surface, construction would also include a controlled trail crossing at Wilmer Avenue and Airport Road, the remodeling and remediation of an abandoned freight transfer terminal and railroad tracks, landscaping, and trail parking." Read more...

Club Donates To Tallgrass Trail

5/27/09

"The Heart of Ohio Tailwinds Bicycle Club recently announced a donation of $1,000 to the Marion Tallgrass Trail. The Marion County Park District has grants to purchase the trail property from CSX and to begin paving the trail, but needs local matching funds for these grants.

"Club members presented the check to park director Karen Kelley at the future Gateway to Health Park on Holland Road, which will serve as the trailhead for the park. The trail, which will be built in stages, will eventually travel 12 miles west to the Hardin County line." Read more...

The bike club sponsors the Hot Tamale Tour which is coming up on June 6th.

Cycling Advocate Detests Bike Lanes / Paths

5/26/09

"The road to the nation's future, as the League of American Bicyclists sees it, will be bracketed by bike lanes and happily pedaling cyclists who feel safe and secure in their communal comfort zone.

"It's enough to make Middleburg Heights resident Fred Oswald retch.

"That's not because Oswald hates bikes or bikers. On the contrary: He is one. He rides some 5,000 miles a year, including almost daily commutes to and from his job as an engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He lobbies for bike-friendly state and local code reform. He writes bike-safety curricula for cyclists and police.

"But he detests bike lanes and bike paths, and the aggressive agenda pushed by the league's leadership and its pro-bike and pro-environment allies. Their shared goal: to get billions of government dollars for thousands of more miles of bike-isolating pavement for millions more Americans on bikes.

"Those organizations might as well funnel cyclists into stockyard chutes, Oswald says, because they're herding ill-equipped novices to a traffic slaughterhouse." Read more...

ATV & Bike Collide On Trail

5/24/09

"Three people, including a father and daughter, were flown to a Dayton hospital after a bicycle collided with an ATV on the Little Miami Bike Trail.

"The crash happened just before 10 p.m. Saturday, May 23, on the bike trail near the intersection with New Burlington Road in the Corwin area of Warren County just south of Waynesville, WKRC-TV Local12 reported." Read more...

Here's a 5/25 update on the story that reveals more details on the accident.

Valley Parkway Trail Project

5/24/09

"The first of four community meetings for the Valley Parkway Trail Alignment Project is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Broadview Heights City Council Chambers, 9543 Broadview Road.

"The purpose of the meeting is to identify existing conditions in the study area, which extends from Ridge Road east to Brecksville Road along Valley Parkway. The plan also takes in the areas 1 mile north and south of Valley Parkway along that stretch." Read more...

Ohio-to-Erie Trail Progress

Here are some updates on the progress of the OTE from their spring newsletter:

  • The purchase of an easement along the old Camp Chase Railroad has been finalized. This added 12 miles to the Ohio-to-Erie Trail.
  • Approximately 2 miles of trail right-of-way has been purchased in Delaware County for $128,000. The property transferred in December '08.
  • A $600,000 grant was awarded to Knox County for paving and drainage improvements to the Heart of Ohio Trail. This will allow paving from North Clayton Street in Centerburg to Updike Road east of town. The work is slated for 2011.
  • Mt. Vernon received an ODOT grant for trail construction in Foundation Park and a bridge across the Kokosing River. This project serves as a key link between the Heart Of Ohio Trail and the Kokosing Gap.
  • Development of the Panhandle Route may have been resurrected with the sale of the Ohio Central Railroad to the Genesse & Wyoming Inc. The new owners have been receptive to trail development. Portions of the route require a rail-with-trail configuration like the Panhandle Trail.

The slow economy has affected everyone, including the Ohio-to-Erie Trail Fund which has seen a marked decrease in contributions this year, especially from corporate and foundation contriubutors.

Consider donating to the Ohio-to-Erie Trail Fund to help close the remaining gaps in the trail. The fund spends less than 3% annually on fundraising and is a tax deductible non-profit corporation. Visit their web site or email jrampelt@columbus.rr.com.

Or mail your donation to:
The Ohio-to-Erie Trail Fund
118 Graceland Blvd. #146
Columbus, OH 43214-1530

Source: The Ohio-to-Erie Trail Newsletter, Spring 2009

2009 ODOT Trail News

In case you've missed it, ODOT has posted its Ohio trail news & updates for 2009.

New Ohio Bicycle Laws Proposed

"If you're a motorist passing a bicyclist on a roadway, make sure your car stays at least three feet away from the bicycle. That's the safety rule that bicyclist groups want to put into Ohio law, so that drivers who violate it could be handed a traffic ticket. Chuck Smith is chair of the Ohio Bicycle Federation. He says that a dozen other states already have that kind of law."

Read the complete news brief that also features audio.

Biking Around Toledo

Included in this article on biking culture in Toledo, is a report on trail expansion plans in the area.

GMRT Plans & Updates

5/21/09

"As more sections of the north-south Miami County Bike Trail [Great Miami River Trail] are completed, planners are looking to extensions east and west and to county parks.

"In the meantime, they’re also hoping to finalize, by month’s end, the path for a key trail section north from Lytle Road at Troy to the area of the Eldean Covered Bridge over the Great Miami River between Troy and Piqua." Read more...

Ohio River Trail May Get Stimulus Help

5/20/09

"Cincinnati City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow the City to accept $1.75 million in federal economic stimulus funding to build a portion of the Ohio River Trail in the East End." Read more...

Landowners To Appeal Decision

5/20/09

"The ownership dispute over Licking Township land proposed for a bicycle path is not finished despite a recent ruling by Licking County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Marcelain.

"John G. Neal, the attorney representing township residents opposed to the bike path, said Wednesday the residents will appeal Marcelain’s April 29 ruling in favor of the Thomas J. Evans Foundation." Read more...

Read an earlier report on the court ruling.

Trail Sentinels At Work

5/20/09

"...With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, Ohio's bike/hike trails will be busier. Every year, at least a few other parks groups or cities that maintain trails call the London folks for tips on how to organize and run a successful sentinel program.

"A dozen volunteers patrol the Ohio to Erie Trail at least four hours every month. Each is trained in CPR, first aid and bike repair. Local police officers give the sentinels a crash course in defusing situations and coach them on what to do in emergencies." Read more...

'The Final Link'

5/19/09

The future connection of the Little Miami Trail, from Lunken Airfield to downtown Cincinnati along the riverfront, is called 'The Final Link.' Learn more about this trail connector and the fundraising efforts needed to make it happen.

Cincinnati Bike Route Guide

5/19/09

"The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) has released the 2009 Cincinnati Bike Route Guide, and it's now available in print or online (PDF).

"Prepared by OKI with assistance from the City of Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering, Bike/PAC, the Cincinnati Cycle Club, and other area bicyclists, the map covers most of Hamilton County in Ohio and the northern parts of Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties in Kentucky." Learn more...

We've added a link to this map on our Map page under 'City Networks' in the left-hand margin menu.

Trail Attacks Related?

5/19/09

Police are investigating the similarity between two attacks along bikeways in the Little Miami Trail system. The most recent was reported a few days ago and occurred on the Lebanon Trail. The other incident took place in 2006 along the Little Miami, not far from the Lebanon Trail junction. Read more...

Here's an article that suggests it's too early to link the two incidents.

In light of this recent news, here's a piece that offers some tips on safe trail travel. Also, visit our Bikeway Safety page to learn more.

Bridge Replacement In Springfield

5/18/09

"The Pleasant Street bridge over the Little Miami Scenic Trail will be replaced this summer.

"The aging bridge will be removed and replaced with a 14-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide box culvert pipe that will serve like a tunnel for the bike path below, City Engineer Leo Shanayda said.

"The pipe, which will be lighted for trail users, will be covered with dirt and the road will go on top." Read more...

Sexual Assault On Lebanon Trail

5/18/09

"Lebanon police are investigating a sexual assault that happened outdoors in broad daylight.

"Police said the 22-year-old woman told officers that she was walking on a bike trail near the Lebanon National Guard Armory just after 3 p.m. Sunday when she was attacked." Read more...

Here's an earlier news brief on the assault.

Stow Trail May Expand

5/17/09

"The city hopes to expand its bike trail from the MetroParks Hike and Bike Trail parking lot at Springdale Road to the intersection of Hudson Drive and Springdale Road.

"To do so, Stow applied for $50,000 from the Ohio and Erie Canal Corridor of the Summit County Trail and Greenway community grant project.

"The request for money for the 900-foot asphalt addition was approved April 23 by Council." Read more...

Cridersville Trail Plan

5/12/09

"Officials with a northern Auglaize County village are set to unveil what its village councilors call a “master plan” to provide safety to children and link the community to outlying areas. Cridersville Mayor Lorali Myers said Monday Cridersville Village Council members intend to showcase their plans to install a network of walking and bicycle paths during an open house at 6:30 p.m. June 1 at Otterbein-Cridersville.

"The proposed project is part of the Ohio Department of Transportations’ (ODOT) Safe Routes to Schools program. Myers said she hopes the village is a prime candidate for the $250,000 grant. “The students in our new school are between the ages of five and 10, and the primary road leading to the school (Reichelderfer Road) is not conducive to walking,” Myers said after Monday’s village council meeting. “This is an opportunity for us to look at that and see how we can improve the safety for the students.” Read more...

Here's a related piece on Bicycle Safety Day that was held in Wapakoneta recently.

Mt. Vernon Trail Junction Glitch

5/9/09

"The city got a bit of a wrench thrown in some of its future plans recently.

"Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said, in preliminary chats with the railroad company, an issue arose in the city’s plan to connect Kokosing Gap Trail and the Heart of Ohio Trail near Foundation Park. The railroad company has a strict policy against pedestrian and bicycle trails crossing working railroad lines. For the city to connect the two trails, they would have to dig a tunnel or build a bridge to get across the working railroad line that passes between Foundation Park and the land near The Station Break." Read more...

Marion County Trail Moves Closer To Reality

5/8/09

"A county recreational project that has been 10 years in the making could break ground for construction as early as this fall.

"Marion County Parks District Director Karen Kelly on Friday presented an overview of the local rail-to-trail project she took hold of four years ago to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and other local and state-wide representatives who meet regularly to share tips and plans about trail initiatives across Ohio.

"The purchase of 182.6 acres that will form the bike trail, an almost 12-mile route, should be finalized in the next two months, she said. Additionally, construction on the trail head that begins along the Little Scioto River and Holland Road should begin by the end of May." Read more...

Foundation Park To Get Trails

5/8/09

"The city of Mount Vernon Parks Department is carving accessible trails around West Lake and East Lake at Foundation Park this spring.

"...The work is expected to take two weeks, with finish grading, tree trimming and planting this summer. The trails will provide views of the lakes as well as the Kokosing River. Two picnic areas are planned along the new trails.

"...Future uses in the park will include paved bike trails which will connect with Riverside Park along the dike way, paddle boating and mountain biking. Rest rooms, an amphitheater and activity center building are being planned as possible park structures." Read more...

Spring Trail Rides

5/8/09

Here's an article that details recent visits to the Holmes County, Maple Highlandsand North Coast Inland Trails.

More Details On Judge's Decision

More details have been reported regarding the Licking County Judge's ruling in favor of the Evans Foundation in the disputed trail build in Heath, Ohio.

The landowners had several points of contention, including: that they had been paying taxes on the land in question and that the corridor had legally reverted back to them when the tracks were removed. This piece explains the judge's ruling on those points.

Read an earlier post on this matter.

OKI Updates Bike Plan

5/5/09

"The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) has updated its 1993 regional bike plan, identifying problems and making recommendations to improve bicycling conditions in the counties of Boone, Butler, Campbell, Clermont, Hamilton, Kenton and Warren." Read more...

Judge Rules In Favor Of Evans Foundation

5/2/09

A Licking County judge ruled in favor of the Evans Foundation in the disputed trail build between Heath and Hebron, Ohio. However, there are no plans to resume paving while the legal process continues. The residents who contested the ownership of the trail corridor have up to 30 days after the case is decided to appeal the ruling. Read more...

Great Miami Trail Robbery

4/29/09

"A devoted walker gets an unwelcome surprise when his morning stroll is interrupted by a man with a knife.

"It happened Wednesday morning on the bike path at Crain's Run Park. That's when police say a walker called them to report a robbery." Read more...

GOLTRG Progress In Trumbull County

4/27/09

"... the Western Reserve Greenway, remains under construction in various parts of Trumbull County. When it's done, it will connect Trumbull County to Ashtabula and Mahoning counties as part of the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway.

"Now, work on three parts of the bicycle path is being done." Read more...

View a map of GOLTRG.

Aberdeen Gets Shared Use Path

"...ODOT has awarded $250,000 to the Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington School District and the village of Aberdeen for the construction of a one-mile shared use path and for educational programs that promote walking and bicycling to school safely...

"The $250,000 will also include funding for bike racks for the village to use as well as educational safety materials." Read more...

Fairfield County Recreational Plan Unveiled

4/24/09

"...The three-hour open house gave residents an opportunity to view a draft of a study, which outlines the best locations for the development of recreational outlets, including bike trails, walking paths and parks. The year-long study, conducted by Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, is intended to be a framework for local governments and developers for planning-related decisions. The information will be used to help villages and municipalities develop bike trails, walking paths and parks, in the future." Read more...

Bike-Hike Trail Construction Closure

4/24/09

A 1/4-mile section of the Akron Bike-Hike Trail will close on Monday for a culvert replacement. See the news brief.

SW Ohio Trail Projects

4/18/09

"Construction is scheduled to begin this year on at least a dozen bike and pedestrian projects in the region, from Austin Boulevard in the south to Piqua in the north and from Union City in the west to downtown Xenia in the east.

"...The Piqua project is one of four breaking ground this summer on the Great Miami Trail in Miami County. The others are in Troy, Tipp City and just south of Piqua."

The work also includes the installation of regional trail signage. Read more...

Fairfield County Seeking Public Input

4/16/09

"A draft of the Fairfield County Active Transportation and Open Space Plan will be available for the public to view at an open house April 23.

"A new study outlines the best locations for the development of recreational outlets, but officials want to hear from the community about what they want." Read more...

Guernsey County Trail Opposition

4/16/09

"A "Rails to Trails" project proposed by the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation to span an abandoned railroad bed from Lore City to Senecaville is raising the ire of several residents along the proposed path." Read more...

Oakwood Considers Trail Options

"City officials want to have a bike trail that connects Oakwood to the bike trail that runs along The Great Miami River, according to Oakwood City Manager Norbert Klopsch.

"There is no definite plan yet, but Klopsch said city officials have been discussing several options with the engineering firm LJB, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Miami Conservancy District, and the University of Dayton." Read more...

Brunswick To Draft Trails Master Plan

4/2/09

"City officials are moving forward with plans to draft a citywide bicycle route master plan to better link the city's existing trails with parks, schools, shopping centers and other destinations throughout town." Read more...

Reynoldsburg Trail Project Likely

4/1/09

"It's looking more likely that Reynoldsburg will receive $425,000 in federal stimulus money to construct a multi-purpose trail system around Civic Park.

"The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, responsible for distributing $28 million for transportation-related funds in Central Ohio suburbs as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, finalized a list of projects Monday, March 31 for consideration.

"Development Director Lucas Haire said construction of a trail system around the 137-acre park along Blacklick Creek has been on the city's to-do list for a while." Read more...

Ohio Stimulus Projects Coming To Light

3/29/09

As funding begins to line up with the approved projects, Ohio communities are learning what to expect in their area.

This piece from Champaign County mentions a funding search for the Simon Kenton Trail's proposed 18-mile expansion through West Liberty to Bellefontaine. It also summarizes the Franklin County Trails that will receive funding, including $2.1 million for the Alum Creek Trail in Columbus, Ohio. Read more...

I-670 Bikeway Cleanup Day

A trail cleanup day for the I-670 Bikeway is scheduled for April 9th from 10 am to 12 pm. Read more...

Broadview Road Work Includes Bike Lane

3/29/09

Buried in this piece on much-needed road work in Broadview Heights is a mention of a 5-foot bike lane that will be added to Broadview Road when it is resurfaced.

Mill Creek Restoration & Trail

3/29/09

"For decades, the Mill Creek has been viewed as a detriment to the communities around it. The polluted condition of this waterway, which cuts through the middle of Hamilton County and empties into the Ohio River, caused one national river conservation group 12 years ago to call it “the most endangered urban river in North America.

"But the Mill Creek corridor is on the cusp of a major transformation. The first phase of a plan to change the corridor into an area that people will want to live near and visit is about to get under way.

"The non-profit Mill Creek Restoration Project will begin building a 0.6-mile hike/bike trail along the creek from Salway Park in Spring Grove Village to the Dooley Bypass and Ludlow Avenue in Northside." Read more...

Prairie Grass Trail To Get Seal Coat

3/24/09

Buried in this Madison County report is word that 6.5 miles of the Prairie Grass Trail will be seal coated this year.

Evans Foundation Awaits Ruling

3/22/09

"The Thomas J. Evans Foundation awaits a ruling from Judge Thomas Marcelain that it hopes will end the bike path dispute in the foundation's favor.

"The foundation and numerous Licking Township residents have been locked in a stalemate about ownership of a strip of land from Heath to Hebron that previously was used for a railroad." Read more...

Towpath Section Closing For Repairs

3/21/09

A short stretch of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail will be closing in a few days for repairs. Read more...

Sandusky County Trail Seeking Stimulus Funding

3/20/09

"Sandusky County Park District officials are waiting to hear if any federal stimulus money is heading their way to complete the next phase of the North Coast Inland Trail."

"...The Ohio Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant supplied money for previous phases. Those funds, however, have been frozen because of the economic climate..." Read more...

Proposed Spring Valley Trail Raises Concerns

A proposed trail from Bellbrook to Spring Valley would connect with the Little Miami Trail. Unfortunately it would also have to cross private property and therefore raises some concerns. Read more...

Chillicothe Trail Gets Bridge

3/15/09

Bridge construction has begun over Rt. 104 in Chillicothe. The bike bridge will link two sections of trail that are separated by the roadway. Read more...

Cuyahoga & Mahoning Rail-Trail Project

3/12/09

Plans are coming together for the last leg of the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail into the Flats and to Lake Erie at Cleveland. The proposed Cuyahoga & Mahoning Rail-Trail would provide the last link needed for the towpath to reach its final northern destination. Read more...

Hudson Turnpike Trail Moves Forward

3/11/09

"A proposed hike and bike trail plan in the works since 2006 cleared another hurdle at the March 9 meeting of the planning commission.

"The planning commission unanimously approved the half-mile, 8-foot wide asphalt path along the turnpike, to be known as the Stow Aurora Trail, which will run along the turnpike from Hudson Aurora Road to Stow Road." Read more...

New Franklin County Cycling Map

3/9/09

A new color-coded map is being drafted for cyclists looking for the most bike-friendly streets in Franklin County. The map will denote streets that are safe for all skill levels, moderately safe, or only for the most experienced riders.

The difficulty levels are based on several factors including traffic and truck volume, speed limits, pavement quality and lane width. The free map will be available in May. Read more...

New Carlisle Trail Construction Plans

3/8/09

"The city's multi-use trail project is running ahead of schedule by about a month, and construction could begin on it this summer.

"Otherwise known as the New Carlisle Bikeway, the trail has been in the design stage for two years. It will be the first such trail in western Clark County and will someday connect with Springfield's trail at George Rogers Clark Park." Read more...

SW Ohio Trails Get Lowest Stimulus Priority

3/7/09

With economic stimulus money coming into the state, one may well wonder how Ohio trail projects and bikeway plans will benefit. According to this commentary, southwestern Ohio residents shouldn't hold their breath.

Commentary: We wouldn't suggest that road and bridge projects shouldn't have priority when it comes to rebuilding or maintaining transportation infastructure. But transportation planners that put trail programs at the bottom of their lists reveal a number of things about their thinking, such as:

  • They don't take alternative transportation seriously.
  • They believe bike trails are primarily for recreation only.
  • They are not serious about making our communities more walkable or livable in the near future.

Transportation plans that display this cars versus trails mindset are short-sighted. Incorporating alternative transport with current road and bridge projects -- when both plans share the same turf -- is a much wiser long-term approach that adds minimal extra cost. In urban areas where much-needed transportation projects abound and ped and bike travel is often problematic or impossible, there should be ample opportunities to serve both needs.

Kyle Park Trail Gets Low Bids

3/3/09

A sluggish economy can be a boon for those taking bids for construction projects. Tipp City accepted a bid nearly 35% under the engineer's estimate to build a trail in Kyle Park for a savings of over 57k.

The project attracted an impressive 17 bids, all of which came in under the engineer's estimate. Read more...

Mill Creek Restoration

2/27/09

This Cincinnati area project involves combating soil and bank erosion as well as greenway development that includes trails. Read a summary of the project or view the web site and learn more about the master plan.

Geneva State Park Trail Construction

2/26/09

"Meetings will be held next week to start planning for construction of a paved bike trail at Geneva State Park.

"Ashtabula County commissioners on Thursday approved the bid of Mr. Excavator, a Kirtland company, for the project. Mr. Excavator's base bid of $325,105 was the lowest of the nine bids received. Commissioners also approved three enhancements, which bring the total package to $427,454." Read more...

Read a previous post on this subject.

Granville Connector Project

2/26/09

The Granville Rotary Club is working to connect a local trail to the nearby Thomas J. Evans Bikeway. The project involves a challenging bridge build to Racoon Valley Park, along with repairing an eroded section of bikeway at the proposed bridge site. Read more...

Summit County Metro Parks Approves Trail Plan

2/26/09

"Metro Parks, Serving Summit County unveiled plans Wednesday for a new visitor center and a new trail at Liberty Park in northern Summit County.

"The visitor center would be the park district's second. The other is the Seiberling Nature Realm off West Smith Road in Akron that is closed for major renovations. The park district is considering similar facilities elsewhere in the county." Read more...

CAMBA Trail Building At West Branch State Park

2/26/09

"If you enjoy mountain biking, here's your chance to do your part to help maintain the trails that we enjoy. The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) is holding one of their trail building sessions this Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 9:00am at West Branch State Park, near Ravenna." Read more...

Grove City Trail Development

"...Council members also approved two appropriations of $38,000 and $31,000 to pay for engineering services that will mean new bike paths in the Windsor Park addition and between the Westgrove development and the Town Center, respectively." Read more...

Amherst Beaver Creek Reservation To Expand Trails

"The Lorain County Metro Parks system plans to expand the trails at one of its most popular parks.

"Currently, the Amherst Beaver Creek Reservation has 1.2 miles of paved trail that loop past a small marsh into the Beaver Creek Valley and through a pine forest. By 2010, that trail will nearly triple in size as the Metro Parks add 3 miles of paved trail." Read more...

Visit the park's web site.

Findlay Trail Grant Request Turned Down

2/22/09

"A project to build a half-mile extension of the Blanchard River Greenway Trail in Findlay has been suspended by the state, and is not on the state's short list of projects to be funded. The Hancock Park District board had halted the project in September because of climbing costs, but resurrected the project last month when a grant request was made to the state Department of Transportation.

"The grant was sought after the state contacted park district personnel last month seeking "shovel ready" projects which could use federal funds, expected to be approved by Congress soon to spur the economy. The park board decided to request a grant, but there was no guarantee the project would receive funds, and it did not." Scroll to 'Bike Trail' on this page to read more.

Heart Of Ohio Trail Controversy

2/21/09

A landowner was provided gates to move his horse across the Heart Of Ohio Trail, when necessary. Knox County Commissioners have decided to remove them claiming the gates have been used to unnecessarily block the trail at times. "The commissioners advised that when maintenance workers are sent to remove the gates, they should be accompanied by a sheriff?s deputy." Read more...

Read an article that gives the landowners perspective on this issue.

Commentary: We must admit that we don't fully understand the controversy here. It's not unusual for property owners to own land on both sides of a trail corridor and require access across a trail. Farmers typically do this from time to time with their pickups, tractors or livestock. They simply regard the trail as a road and yield right-of-way to trail users to cross safely. This is often done at a pre-determined point to control the traffic impact on the trail as well.

When these situations occur in rural settings, as appears to be the case here, trail traffic is sparse and sporadic and causes little or no inconvience to property owners doing what they need to do. So, the big question is: "Why were gates needed here?" It appears that the proverbial mountain may have been made of the mole hill in this case. If you can shed more light on this issue, contact us.

Buckeye Trail Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The 1444-mile Buckeye Trail is commemorating its 50th year with a number of events across the state. Read more...

Tiffin Park & Trail Projects

2/21/09

..."Started last year and continuing into this year is clearing of a walking and bicycle path along the Sandusky River in cooperation with Clinton Township trustees. Tentatively named "Clinton Trails," the stone path starts at the north edge of Tiffin's Schekelhoff park and is to continue down an unpaved township road to TR 132, providing about three miles of traffic-free bi[k]ing and walking for families. The first phase might be finished this spring." Read more...

ODNR Reviews Grant Requests

2/18/09

"The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), which administers the Clean Ohio Trails Fund, is reviewing grant proposals for trail projects across the state that will help develop and revitalize communities.

"ODNR received 40 grant applications for the Clean Ohio Trails Fund from local entities statewide. Total projects are expected to cost $24.9 million with grant requests totaling $10.1 million. Applicants must provide a 25 percent local match for their projects. ODNR will award $6.25 million in Clean Ohio Trails Fund grants in 2009. Recipients will be notified this summer." Read more...

$825 million For Transportation Enhancements

2/17/09

"Today, President Obama signed into law an economic recovery package that contains $825 million in funding for Transportation Enhancements. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) applauds Congress for its foresight in recognizing the job creation benefits of building bicycling and walking infrastructure, including trails. While representing less than two percent of transportation funding in the bill, this investment could create tens of thousands of jobs and critical active transportation connections that communities need." Read more...

Ohio Canalway Coalition Grants Awarded

2/17/09

Restoration of the historic Richard Rowe House was one of 10 projects awarded grants by the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association. Read more...

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail will span roughly 110-miles along the old canal route, when completed.

Proposed Willoughby / Willoughby Hills Trail

2/16/09

"The proposed shared-use path along SOM Center Road in Willoughby and Willoughby Hills will be considered this week by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency's Transportation Advisory Committee. Read more...

View an earlier report on this trail project.

Geneva Trail Bids Opened

2/12/09

"Bids for a mile-long bike trail at Geneva Lodge and Conference Center are on the table for review.

"Ashtabula County Commissioners on Thursday received the bids that were opened Feb. 11. Nine contractors bid on the project, which has a base bid of $352,523.80 and will be funded with $100,000 of Community Development Block Grant money and $300,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources." Read more...

Cuyahoga County Stimulus Wish List

2/11/09

Among the $420 million-dollar projects that Cuyahoga County has ready for consideration for the economic stimulus program, is "$187 million to complete the Towpath Trail, relocate the port, stabilize the Riverbed Road hillside, advance the Green Bulkhead Project, redevelop the lakefront and create a bridge from the Towpath trailhead to Wendy Park." Read more...

Newark River Trail Expansion

2/7/09

"Newark is applying for money to extend the bicycle trail north from Manning Street to Waterworks Road.

"The idea is to eventually close the northern loop of the trail, which currently ends with two spurs -- at Goosepond Road and at Baker Boulevard. " Read more...

Learn more about this trail.

Senator Equates Trail Projects With Pork Spending

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), chair of the Senate Steering Committee, was recently quoted on the stimulus bill as saying, ?When people see bike trails and hiking trails and golf courses, they know this is not designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs,? DeMint says. ?It?s just basically special-interest pork barrel spending..." Read the full article.

It's revealing to hear politicians that are clueless about the benefits of any form of transportation projects other than those for the almighty automobile. Sure, keeping highways, roadways and bridges properly mainained is essential. At the same time, building alternative transportation corridors that can reduce traffic on traditional roads, reduce oil consumption and energy use should hardly take a back seat. Especially when you consider pedal-power is also preventative health care in a society that's struggling with afforable health care costs and obesity.

Fortunately, some politicians do get it, such as Congressman Earl Blumenauer from Oregon. Here's his take on the subject.

Does your representative in Washington know your views on bike trail spending? Let them know. Contact your local senator or congressmember.

Big Creek Project Approved

2/7/09

The Cleveland Planning Commission approved the Big Creek project on Friday, making it a part of Cleveland's master plan. The plan includes cleaning up the Cuyahoga tributary, building a trail link from the Cleveland Zoo to the towpath, and redevelopment that could include an adventure sports area. Read more...

Read a related article. View an earlier post on this subject.

Loudonville Connector

2/3/09

The city of Loudonville is taking consruction bids for a trail that will effectively connect the downtown to Riverside Park and the existing bikepath to Mohican State Park Class A Campground and the Pine Run Grist Mill. Plans include a 116' single-span bridge over the Black Fork River in Riverside Park. Read more...

Washingtonville Trail Hits Snag

2/3/09

"Rod Wilson and Greg Gurney, both of ODOT, said the plans they developed for the project depended upon 66 feet of right-of-way property along state Route 14, in the village's center; however, after further investigation they found the village owns 30 feet and that 36 feet may be owned by Jack Waggle under a quit-claim deed. Waggle currently uses the property for parking spaces for his End Zone sports bar." Read more...

Headwaters Trail Gets Spur

2/2/09

A 1/4-mile trail spur, known as the Buchert Trail, opened recently as a new connection to the Headwaters Trail. It includes an observation deck overlooking the Cuyahoga River. Read more...

Akron Transportation Plan

2/2/09

An Akron transportation agency has drafted a transportation plan that includes $105 million for bicycle and pedestrian improvements through 2030.

The report, "... 'makes maintaining existing roads and bridges the highest priority for investment of transportation dollars,' said Jason Segedy, the agency's executive director. 'The draft plan includes recommendations that ensure that the area will retain viable transit service and will complete a regional system of bike trails.' "

Public hearings will be held February 10 & 11 where the draft will be open for public comment. Learn more...

Lower Big Creek Valley Greenway Redevelopment Plan

2/2/09

"The plan presents 'a new vision for the Valley Greenway. The creation of this vision incorporates detailed future land use, public access, infrastructure, ecological restoration and environmental regeneration, open space and trail linkages and economic development concepts.' "

The plan is being presented to the Cleveland Planning Commission on Feb. 6. Learn more...

Here's another post on the subject.

Preble County Trail Controversy

"On Wednesday January 7, 2009, the Preble County Commissioners noted receipt of a court case filed in Common Pleas Court by Paul A. Beisner. The Beisner case represents the third lawsuit filed against the County Commissioners over the same issue. All have been in response to the county claiming title to old railroad property that two of the complainants have already proven they own." Read more...

Though this dispute has apparently been going on for several years, this is the first we've heard of it. If anyone has a response from the Preble County Commissioners, or knows their position on this matter, submit it and we'll post it here.

Granville's River Road Plan

1/31/09

"Village engineering consultant Bird & Bull will present a $3 million plan for new utility lines and a new road and bike path to serve existing and potential development on River Road north of Ohio 16." Read more...

Discovered Body Thought To Be Suicide

1/30/09

This is a follow up to an earlier report on 1/6/09 regarding a body found along the Olentangy River in Columbus, Ohio. The corpse has been identified and is being investigated as a suicide at this time. Read more...

Oregon City Developing Bikeway Plans

1/29/09

"On June 11, 2001, a $56,701 contract was awarded to Poggemeyer to provide professional engineering services for ?Various Bikeway Projects,? including the Stadium Road Bikeway, phase I, the Municipal Complex Connector, phase I, and the Pearson Park connector.

"The city received a $228,000 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) grant from the Federal Highway Administration to fund the construction of the Pearson Park connector in 2010."

Included in the plans is a unique railroad crossing design where users enter a type of maze and are forced to dismount and walk to cross railroad tracks. Though this concept has been used elsewhere, it may be the first of its kind in Ohio. Read more...

Youngstown Drawing Up Bike Plans

1/29/09

The city is using public input to help shape their bikeway plans.

"The extended plan for the bike trails in the city would connect with the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Trail, which runs from Ashtabula to East Liverpool, and the Stavich Trail, which runs from Lowellville to New Castle, Pa." Read more...

Train Avenue Towpath Connector

1/28/09

As plans move forward to connect the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail with its final northern destination, the Flats in Cleveland, so to are plans for towpath connectors in the area. The Treadway Creek Trail is one such connector already in place, while the Train Avenue Connector is a more recent concept. Read more...

Scroll down this page to 'We Like Bikes' for another report on this topic.

Tipp City Modifying Trail Rules

1/22/09

"Motorized vehicles likely will be banned from the city bike trail, reflecting policies of trails at area park districts." Read more...

Thank Volunteers For Mohican Forest Trails

1/23/09

"In 2008, volunteers donated 788 hours of labor at Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders who value the forest and its scenic trails contributed time, materials, tools and machinery use to ensure the facility's upkeep...

"Horse clubs, including Cowboys for Jesus and the Wayne County and Holmes County chapters of the Ohio Horseman's Council, purchased and spread forty tons of gravel for horse tie areas, spent four days cleaning bridle trails after the September 14, 2008 wind storm, furnished and installed two horse mounting stations and purchased and installed trail directional signs.

"The Mohican/Malabar Bike Club worked five days clearing the twenty five-mile mountain bike trail after the wind storm. The Mohican Trails Club marked the Hog Hollow hiking trail and installed a forty foot bridge there. Hiking and biking volunteers also re-routed sections of trails." Read more...

Construction Bids For Geneva State Park Trail

1/22/09

Buried toward the bottom of this article is word that construction bids are being accepted for a 1.7-mile trail to be built in Geneva State Park. Bids will be opened on February 11.

SKT Seeks Funding For Expansion

1/21/09

The Simon Kenton Pathfinders are seeking funding to extend the SKT 16 miles north to Bellefontaine. Read more...

Westerville Seeks Alum Creek Trail Improvements

1/14/09

The Alum Creek Trail underpass beneath Schrock Road is in need of redesign. Periodic flooding requires city crews to close and clean up the asphalt surface by scaping the resulting sediment off the bikeway. Funding is being sought through the ODNR Recreational Trails Program to eliminate the problem. Design work could be begin this year. Read more...

Steelyard Commons Towpath Falls Short

1/16/09

The .4-mile Steelyard Commons towpath trail section is devoid of design or landscaping. It's primarily a straight-line corridor with 8' chain-link fencing closely bordering on both sides. At the moment it looks more like a gauntlet than the a first-class greenway. Will it remain this way or is it simply a placeholder for better design yet to come? Read more...

Northeast Ohio 'Shovel Ready' Stimulus Projects

1/15/09

The catch-phrase 'shovel ready' is being used to describe potential economic stimulus projects that are ready to launch. Everyone is lining up their 'shovel ready' lists for consideration in the big (perhaps 1 trillion dollar) plan. Here's a piece on a northeast Ohio list which includes trail projects for the region.

Berlin Lake Trail Proposed

1/15/09

The public is invited to attend a meeting on the proposed Berlin Lake Trail at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Deerfield Town Hall. 1450 State Route 14, Deerfield Township. The 2-mile trail proposal in southeastern Portage County would utilize the old Lake Erie, Alliance and Wheeling Railroad corridor. It also includes a 475-foot concrete bridge over the reservoir. Read more...

Granville Developing Bike Path Plans

1/14/09

"Results of a community survey showed a clear interest in expanding the village's pathway system. Now, it will be up to an advisory committee to develop a plan to guide future improvements." Plans may include a TJ Evans Trail Connector. Read more...

On a related note, there's a series of 'Simply Living' lectures coming to the Bryn Du Mansion in Granville. "On Jan. 27, a Simply Living subgroup called the Alternative Transportation Project will present "Walk, Bike!," a program on how to reduce your reliance on the automobile. There will be information on what other communities are doing to increase walking and biking opportunities, said Redman." Learn more about the lecture series.

Cyclists Respond To Boehner's 'Trash Talk'

1/13/09

Congressman John Boehner, Representative, Ohio's 8th District was on 'Face The Nation' last Sunday when he made a disparaging remark regarding bike paths. The League Of American Bicylists responds to the "trash talk." Read more...

Here's another response from BikePorland.org.

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is lobbying to get a part of the federal economic stimulus package. After all, if transportation infrastructure is the desired vehicle, then bike and ped projects should certainly be in the mix. Read more about the petition drive.

Ohio-to-Erie Trail Progress

Here are some recent developments along the 305-mile OTE corridor in which the OTE Fund played an important role:

  • Cincinnati: A trail right-of-way was secured from Lunken Airport to downtown Cincinnati. The OTE Fund Board donated $34k toward engineering for this route.
  • Madison & Franklin Counties $100k pledged by OTE Fund toward purchase of the old Camp Chase Railroad. This critical link will connect with existing trail in Madison County and reach I-270 in southwest Columubus.
  • Delaware County $20k OTE Fund committed to securing a right-of-way that will link the Genoa Trail to Galena, Ohio.
  • Holmes County: $120k granted to Holmes County Park District to secure the final 4.75-mile gap in the Holmes County Trail.

In October '08, the OTE Fund purchased a 2-mile right-of-way in Delaware County that was previously thought to be unattainable. That recent acquisition depleted the OTE treasury. The fund plays a critical role in closing many of the gaps that remain along the trail.

Consider donating to the Ohio-to-Erie Trail Fund. Donations allow them to assist communities in seeking state and federal dollars to build the trail across the state for all Ohioans. The fund spends less than 3% annually on fundraising and is a tax deductible non-profit corporation. Visit their web site or email jrampelt@columbus.rr.com.

Or mail your donation to:
The Ohio-to-Erie Trail Fund
118 Graceland Blvd. #146
Columbus, OH 43214-1530

Source: ohiotoerietrail.org

Submitted by: Jerry Rampelt, Executive Director

Flats Connections Plan

1/10/09

"The gray industrial landscape and parking lots on the west bank of the Flats, now edged with housing and nightclubs, could soon be crisscrossed with parks, trails and green spaces.

"The new "Flats Connections Plan," completed by the nonprofit organizations ParkWorks, Cleveland Public Art and Building Cleveland by Design, shows how an abandoned railway and the vacant strip under the Main Avenue Bridge could become playgrounds, bikeways and artificial wetlands." Read more...

Brunswick Group Seeks Trail Funding

1/7/09

The Green Avisory Group is looking to develop city-wide walking and bike trails in Brunswick, Ohio. "The first portion of the project the city is looking to build would lead from Laurel Road to Brunswick Lake, where the city intends to construct a trail system around Brunswick Lake." Future plans call for a potential connector to the Cleveland MetroParks Mill Stream Reservation. Read more...

Tallmadge Trail Meeting

1/7/09

Metro Parks of Summit County is holding a public trail meeting on Jan. 22.

The Freedom Secondary Trail would connect the Portage Bike-Hike Trail in Kent, with the existing Tallmadge Trail and run west to connect with the towpath at Akron's Northside Station. Learn more...

Jogger Spots Body Along Olentangy River

1/6/09

"Law-enforcement officials are trying to identify a man whose frozen body was found yesterday on the west side of the Olentangy River, just south of Goodale Boulevard." Read more...

Another write up on the incident.

Comprehensive Columbus Bike Plan

1/5/09

Building trails and bike lanes and installing some bike racks is certainly a move toward making any city more bike-friendly. But a well designed plan considers the whole enchilada, right down to local codes and bicycle laws and how well they work in urban areas today.

The city of Columbus, Ohio started addressing these issues last summer when they introduced their "Complete Streets" plan. Read more...

Ironton Plans Riverfront Park

1/3/09

"City leaders want to take a 17-acre tract of land along the riverfront and turn it into a recreational venue with an amphitheater, picnic tables, walking and biking trails and restrooms. Scroll down this page to 'Quality of Life' to learn more.

2008 Ohio Trail News Archive

Moonville Rail Trail

An interesting Ohio trail project resides in Vinton and Athens Counties. It's the Moonville Rail Trail that extends 9-miles from Zaleski to Mineral, Ohio. The route is likely to be very scenic. It passes through two tunnels and a good slice of the Zaleski State Forest.

News about the trail is sparse on their web site, so it's difficult to say how much of the trail is open at this time. Currently, a local trail group, the Moonville Rail Trail Association, is working on installing trail bridges. Learn more by reading their fall '08 newsletter or visiting their web site map.

Source: The Moonville Rail Trail

Dayton Region Trails Plan

Earlier this month the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission unanimously passed a regional trails plan that has been in the works for more than a year. "The idea is to connect every community to the "interstate system" of existing bike paths, so people can more safely get around without cars." Read more...

Source: Dayton Daily News

Gahanna Bikeway Plans

12/30/08

Gahanna looks to add over 3 miles to their trails and eventually connect with Hoover Dam. Scroll down this page to 'Bike Trail' to learn more.

Source: Columbus Local News

Bike Tour Fatality Aftermath

12/29/08

A blog entry that grabbed our attention this week spells out the circumstances surrounding a fatality during RAGBRAI in 2004 and its aftermath. This could serve as a case study for such tragic episodes during tours, their sometimes preventable circumstances and the after shocks that are far-reaching and sometimes hard to understand. Read the blog.

Crawford County, Iowa had banned organized bike rides as a result of a lawsuit filed by the victim's family. That ban was lifted earlier this month. Here's a summary of the story from the bikeiowa web site.

Sources: Blogger.com, Denison Bulletin Review & bikeiowa

Cincinnati Bike Plan

12/29/08

Cincinnati's new bike plan was unveiled recently. It features 63 miles of planned trails, 55 street miles of designated bike routes, 231 miles of streets with bike-friendly design and over 200 city-wide bike racks. Read more...

Source: Cincinnati-oh.gov

Perrysburg Considering Bikeways

12/29/08

Perrysburg City Council is looking into the feasibility of establishing some new bikeways as well as completing a trail along Ohio 65. Read more...

Source: Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune

It Floats!

12/21/08

What's 14-feet wide, is made of Brazilian hardwood and supports 15,400 lbs per 20' section? Why the floating Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail across Summit Lake, of course!

Construction began on December 1. Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

Trail Towns Seek Tourism $

12/18/08

Troy, Piqua and Tipp City trails are in place along with some amenities. The nearby Great Miami River Trail is a big draw for trail users. So the three cities are looking to utilize the bikeways and canal to attract more visitors. Read more about how they hope to fund and implement their plan.

Source: Dayton Daily News

Akron Design Administrator Retires

12/20/08

"The man who played a key role in developing the Cascade Locks Park and getting the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail into Akron has retired." Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

World's Longest Bicycle Route

12/17/08

AASHTO, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, has approved plans for a national bicycle route. The network would cover over 50,000 miles, making it the longest bike route in the world.

The Euro-Velo route, a similar plan in Europe, would cover a projected 36,000 miles, while if one were to circumnavigate the earth in a straight line, that distance would only be about 25,000 miles. Read more...

Source: The Marietta Register

Towpath Seeking Trailblazers

12/15/08

"The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Service is looking for new volunteers to join its Trailblazer Group.

"The group is tasked with patrolling the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, lending assistance to visitors on foot, by bike or on horseback." Learn more...

Source: Cleveland.com

Dayton University To Kettering Trail?

12/14/08

Some interest is being generated regarding the possibility of converting an old rail line from the UD campus to Kettering for trail use. Currently the section is owned by the city of Dayton and is being used as a drainage and sewer easment. Read more...

Source: Dayton Daily News

Great Allegheny Passage & C & O Canal Trail

12/13/08

Nothing much going in with Ohio trail news this week, so we're featuring a great out-of-state trail ride, the Great Allegheny Passage and C & O Canal Trail. The two combine for an epic 318-mile journey from Pittsburg to Washington D.C.

The route surface is unpaved and conditons can vary quite a bit due to weather and maintenance issues. Since long-distance activities have become very popular, there is a great deal of good information on virtually everything about this corridor including: food stops, lodging, water locations, surface conditons & trail section status, maps, trip planning and more. Sites such as this one on the C & O are invaluable. So whether you're considering a small or long excursion, you can get all the info you need to be well-prepared for a great ride.

Recently, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal volunteers were honored. Read more...

Ohio's own Ohio-to-Erie Trail will offer a similar distance (when completed), with a paved surface. For those not interested in tackling 300+ miles of trail, shorter sections starting at 90 miles or less are already in place. If you combine some road riding with the completed trails, you can ride most or all of the cross-state trail. See the Ohio-to-Erie Ride for one such example.

Sources: Great Allegheny Passage, National Park Service, C & O Bicycling Guide, Cumberland Times-News

Sandusky County Seeks Trail Sponsors

12/3/08

Sponsors and volunteers willing to participate in an 'Adopt-A-Trail' program are being sought for the Sandusky County portion of the North Coast Inland Trail from Elmore to Lindsey to Fremont. Scroll down this page to learn more.

Source: The News-Messenger

Ohio River Trail

The proposed Ohio River Trail will connect downtown Cincinnati with Lunken Field and the Little Miami Trail, completing the riverfront end of the Ohio-to-Erie cross-state trail. Fundraising for the required $4 million local match is on-going. Visit their web site to learn more.

Source: The Ohio River Way

Greene County Installs New Trail Signs

11/27/08

Five new bike trail signs have been posted at Xenia Station in Greene County. They are part of the first round of 31 new signs that will be erected alongside Greene County Trails.

The signage is the first of its kind in Ohio and is being implemented in the Miami Valley in southwestern Ohio. Each sign provides comprehensive trail info which includes: the trail # the rider is on, the same color to match a regional trail map, the name of the trail, as well as an emergency phone # and managing agency. Some will include directions to other locations or facilities. Read more...

Hopefully this regional signage approach will spread to other jurisdictions throughout the state, providing trail users with a valuable navigation tool as they ride. See 'Navigation Ohio Bikeways' for more on this subject.

Read another recent article on this topic.

Sources: Greene County Dailies & whiotv.com

Westerville Parks Director To Retire

11/27/08

"After making Westerville's Park and Recreation Department one of the top in the nation, Director Jody Stowers announced her retirement on Friday, Nov. 21." Read more...

Source: Columbus Local News

More Budget Cuts For Springfield Facilities

11/26/08

"Yet more cuts were proposed at the city's budget meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 25. This time it's the city's subsidy to the National Trail Parks and Recreation District."

The NTPRD oversees 3 area golf courses and a number of parks in the Springfield, Ohio area. It's facing a potential $450k cut in operating expenses. Read more...

Source: Springfield News-Sun

Lancaster Loop Trail Earns Grant

11/24/08

Bikes Belong recently awarded grants to five trail projects across the county. The city of Lancaster received $5,000 toward building their 9.6-mile trail loop around the city. Read more...

Source: Bikes Belong

'09 Franklin County Parks & Trails

11/24/08

Franklin County Metro Parks will spend $36.5 million next year on park and trail projects. Trail projects include a 7-mile trail in western Franklin County and a 11.4-mile trail along the Camp Chase Railroad right-of-way, which is a link in the Ohio-to-Erie Trail. Read more...

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

New Miami-Erie Canal Trail

The newest piece of the Great Miami River Trail was completed in October. The new 1.5-mile section extends along the canal from the Tipp City Nature Center, to the Monroe Township-Concord Township line. Read more...

Turnpike Trail Moves Forward

11/23/08

The Hudson Park Board will proceed with plans to build a turnpike trail. Read more...

Natureworks Grants For Van Wert County

11/21/08

Nearly $76k in state recreation funding is coming to Willshire and Van Wert County. Read more...

Source: Lima Ohio.com

$28 mill Boost Columbus Trail Projects

11/20/08

Several bond issues were approved by Columbus voters on Nov. 4, including $28 million to build and improve area trails.

Expect to see the Alum Creek Greenway Trail completed in 2009, as well as other trail-related projects moving forward. Read more...

Source: Dispatch Politics

Columbus - Future Best Cycling City?

Recently Bicycling Magazine named Columbus, Ohio as potentially one of the next best cycling cities in the U.S. Read more...

Source: Bicycling

Bike/Walk-Friendly Communities Go Retro

11/17/08

Perhaps you're old enough to remember the days when you could walk to a local neighborhood store to pickup some milk. Since then malls, strip malls and other business districts were often built away from residential areas making it necessary to drive to pickup that milk.

Today's thinking is returning to integrating retailers and services with local neighborhoods which allows residents to bike and walk to stores and services, sometimes work as well. Read more about such developments and communities in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

Great Miami River Trail Construction Closures

A 1.5-mile segment of the Great Miami River Trail has reopened between West Carrolton and Miamisburg. The section had been closed for repaving. Read more...

Construction projects are widespread along the trail this year. Reconstruction of the Stewart Street bridge closed a portion of the trail in June. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete. Read more...

Two more projects, the I-75 construction and the Monument Street bridge reconstruction have also closed portions of the trail. While the Paul Laurence Dunbar bridge reconstruction has closed a piece of the nearby Wolf Creek Bikeway. It's thought the I-75 construction will last 3 years. Read more...

Source: Miami Conservancy District

Trail Dispute Heats Up

11/13/08

The dispute between residents and trail builders in Heath, Ohio is ramping up again as a December 10 hearing draws near. Here are the latest details on this ongoing stalemate.

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Scenic Railroad Bike Program A Success

11/12/08

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Bike Aboard program proved to be a big success in 2008. Improvements for cyclists, such as a dedicated coach, onboard concessions and their own boarding area, ramped up participation to 18,691 cyclists, up from 6,500 in 2007.

Towpath cyclists will be able to enjoy the train again in 2009 when the $2 fare program continues from April through October. Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

Willoughby / Willoughby Hills Trail Project

11/14/08

"The cities of Willoughby and Willoughby Hills are teaming up in an effort to build a shared-use path along SOM Center Road, a project that would essentially connect Lake Erie to a popular part of the Cleveland Metroparks system for area cyclists, joggers and pedestrians." Read more...

Source: The News-Herald

3 Miles Of Trail Closed

11/11/08

A report suggests that 3-miles of trail are closed along the popular Little Miami Scenic Trail in southwest Ohio. Problems with slick bridge surfaces as well as deteriorating bridge supporting structures have been accumulating while the park budget for maintaining the trail has dippped to about 25% of previous levels. Read more...

Read a previous report on this topic.

Source: Cincinnati.com

KSU Hosts Adventure Race

11/10/08

Kent State University Recreational Services recently sponsored a race dubbed the 'Brady's Leap Adventure Race.' The unique event was named after frontiersman Captain Samuel Brady who is famous for his legendary leap across the Cuyahoga River while fleeing pursuing Native Americans. The event was the first of its kind in the area and included the Portage Bike & Hike Trail in the course. Read more...

Source: recordpub.com

Canal History & Current Projects

11/7/08

This article provides some history as well as canal project updates on the Miami & Erie Canal Corridor.

Source: The Star Beacon

Geneva State Park Trail

11/6/08

Ashtabula County commissioners approved an extension for two community development programs to allow more time for completion of the projects. One of the projects, a 1 1/2-mile paved bike trail, will connect the Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva State Park and Geneva-on-the-Lake. Read more...

Source: The Star Beacon

Campus Bike Programs

11/6/08

Colleges concerned with congested parking areas and fuel cost issues are providing commuting options for their students.

Ripon College in Wisconsin, is providing a bike to any freshman who agrees to not drive to campus during the entire academic year. Duke offers a bicycle sharing program, while the University of California-Berkeley and Emory University have purchased fleets of bikes for student use. Read more...

Source: The Independent Collegian

Marietta Considers Greenspace

11/5/08

A request was presented to the Marietta Lands, Buildings & Parks Committee to add a 16-wooded acre parcel to the city's existing greenspace. The land would play a key role in the expansion of an existing trail network and provide additional access points. Scroll down this page to 'Green Space Request' to learn more.

Source: The Marietta Register

Trail Dispute Tabled Until March

A pretrial hearing has established a March 2009 deadline for both parties to submit their ownership claims for the disputed trail corridor in Heath, Ohio. The suit was filed by Licking County prosecutor Ken Oswalt to settle the dispute between the trail builders (the TJ Evans Foundation) and local residents.

Both parties have until March to perform title searches and prepare their case. Read more...

Source: The Buckeye Lake Beacon

Columbiana County Reports Clean Ohio Benefits

11/2/08

"Columbiana County entities received more than $1 million worth of grants for park areas and walking trails from the Clean Ohio Fund over the past several years..." Read more...

Source: Salem News.net

Little Miami Trail Needs Help

10/31/08

The Little Miami Scenic Trail is one of the most popular bikeways in the state of Ohio. But it can use some help. A creek bridge along the trail is closed, along with some trailside facilities. In addition, other issues, such as slick bridge surfaces and eroding embankements, need attention.

Simeon Copple, owner of the Corwin Peddler, is organizing a volunteer group to to try to help the trail. Read more...

Source: Dayton Daily News

Speed Limit Concerns In Lindsey

10/31/08

The Village of Lindsey has requested a speed limit decrease from 35 to 25 mph where the North Coast Inland Trail crosses Main Street in town. Read more...

Source: The News-Messenger.com

Brunswick Working On Master Trail Plan

10/29/08

Brunswick has received a grant of $55k toward preparing a master trail plan that will looks to develop a "...comprehensive trail system that links the neighborhoods to the recreational resources in the city."

Also, the city of Medina received $48k to plan a bicycle path along Champion Creek and the Smith Road corridor. Read more...

Source: Cleveland.com

New Trail Links Kent & Ravenna

10/29/08

A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for this Saturday at 10 a.m. for the newest 2.1-mile section of the Portage County Hike & Bike Trail. This final link connects two trail sections and extends from Lake Rockwell Road in Franklin Township to Crain Avenue in Kent. Read more...

Read another article on this subject.

Sources: Ohio.com, recordpub.com

Board Approves Turnpike Trail

10/29/08

The Hudson Park Board board has voted to build a Turnpike Trail, which would connect Hudson Springs Park to Hudson-Aurora Road, along the south side of the Ohio Turnpike. However, a survey revealed that impacted residents are split on the idea.

The board will meet again on November 17 to discuss input from City Council and the residential survey. Read more...

Source: Hudson HubTimes.com

Clean Ohio Act & Park Levies

10/24/08

The Clean Ohio Act, which began in 2002, will be up for renewal on the November ballot. Here's a perspective from Fairfield County on the issue. And another piece from Athens, Ohio.

Knox & Portage Counties have park levies on the ballot. Read more about the Portage County levy.

Sources: Lancaster EagleGazette.com, The Post.com, Aurora Advocate.com

Lima Developing Bike Plan

10/23/08

The city of Lima, Ohio along with the Allen County Regional Planning Commission, are developing a 2030 Bike Plan. Read more...

Source: Lima Ohio.com

Newark Considers Bike Lanes

10/23/08

The Neighborhood Design Center proposed adding bike lanes to connect the OSU Connector Trail, which ends at the YMCA, with the eastside Panhandle Trails. Along East Main Street that would amount to little more than painting the lanes since the road width is already sufficient to accommodate bike lanes. Read more...

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Trail Rerouting Approved

10/23/08

Talk of rerouting the Bike & Hike Trail away from a dangerous section of Brandy Wine Road has been turned to action. The National Park Service has approved the plan and final engineering is set to begin with construction likely in 2010.

"The $877,000 project, proposed eight years ago, calls for getting the Bike & Hike Trail off a dangerous section of Brandywine Road in Northfield Center and Sagamore Hills townships.

"The one-mile rerouting would take the trail along the side of the road and across I-271. It would loop around Brandywine Falls and the Inn at Brandywine Falls, then run north on the west side of Brandywine Road to reconnect with the existing route that continues into Cuyahoga County." Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

Gahanna Delays Trail Plan

10/21/08

Residents expressed concern about the proposed Big Walnut Trail passing along their properties. Apparently the northern and southern portions of the proposed bikeway would run alongside Big Walnut Creek, with the middle section to be determined later.

Three options for the middle portion are on the table and all pass through residential neighborhoods. Read more...

Source: ThisWeekNews.com

Western Reserve Greenway Paving

10/21/08

"The new paving is complete between Hague and Callender Roads. It's really nice to ride through to Rock Creek from Champion now. Just over 50 miles round trip on that section. Be prepared for the dusty gravel roads alongside to this new addition, you can get dusted real easy if traffic is running alongside the bike path in some spots. And I got the feeling seeing some quad riders using the bike trail during my time there, that this is going to happen regardless of the rules. One quad rider dusted me and my friend that day. We had to stop and wait for the cloud to eventually blow away, to continue our journey on. But all in all this is a super trail. Very nice place to ride. Thanks to all the persons that continue to provide us with a smooth paved trail to enjoy."

View a map of the Western Reserve Greenway.

Submitted by: Ray H.

Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition Announce Grants

10/21/08

$45k is going toward completing the towpath trail on PPG land in Barberton, Ohio. This would finish the trail between Snyder Avenue and Eastern Road, a key missing link. Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

Lancaster Bike Trail Moves Toward Phase III

10/19/08

"It's been nearly four years since construction began on the $1.7 million linear park and path, which eventually will encircle the city with a 9.6-mile loop and connect bike trails in Franklin and Hocking counties." Read more...

Source: Lancaster EagleGazzette.com

State Issue 2 Would Renew Clean Ohio Act

10/19/08

"Passage of Issue 2 would renew a bond program that enables the state to generate millions from private investors. The target is $400 million, with the money being divided into four programs: brownfield assessment, clean up and development; open space and natural areas conservation; farmland preservation; and, recreational trails.

"In the seven years Clean Ohio has been in existence, 173 polluted, abandoned industrial sites in Ohio have been cleaned up and redeveloped, 20,000 acres of family farms have been protected, 26,000 acres of wildlife habitat have been preserved and 216 miles of new trails developed." Read more...

Source: Vindy.com

NCIT Summary & Progress

10/19/08

Bob Downing writes detailed, informative pieces on many Ohio bike trails. His latest work covers the North Coast Inland Trail completed sections as well as portions that are under construction. He notes that, "Lorain County is looking at extending the trail at that end two miles north along the Black River to Lorain." And that, "Work is under way to complete 65 miles of the North Coast Inland Trail between Elyria to Walbridge in Wood County." Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

Fall Colors In Portage County

10/18/08

"The leaves in Northeast Ohio have begun to change, and warmer than average temperatures are making it easy for outdoor enthusiasts to take in the beautiful backdrop of red, yellow and orange." Read more...

Source: recordpub.com

Westerville To Arena District Bikeway

10/17/08

Brett Allen has organized a first Third Thursday ride to create awareness for the Westerville to Arena District Bikeway project. The proposed corridor is an abandoned rail line that extends 10 miles from Cooper Park in Westerville, to the downtown Arena District in Columbus. Read more...

Visit WAD for more on this project.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch.com

Middletown To Add Park Trail

10/15/08

A 1-mile recreational trail and a 3-acre BMX track are among the scheduled improvements for Monroe Crossings Park. Read more...

Source: Middletown Journal

New Albany & Gahanna Extending Trails

10/11/08

These two Columbus suburbs are working to extend and network their trails with nearby communities.

New Albany plans for 62 trail miles by 2025. Gahanna is working to complete a 5-mile trail between Morse Road and Pizzuor Park, an estimated $3 million dollar project. Read more...

Source: The Columbus Dispatch.com

Trumbull County Trail Plans

10/11/08

A 193-page plan is being finalized by the Trumbull County Planning Commission and MetroParks Board. It includes a wide range of ideas regarding linking bikeways, such as the Western Reserve Greenway and Stavich Bike Trail. It also includes a potential new trail called the 'Western Reserve Heritage Trail.' Read more...

Source: Vindy.com

Lancaster Bike Trail

10/9/08

Here's a descriptive piece that takes you along for a ride on the Lancaster Bike Trail.

Source: Lancaster Eagle Gazette.com

N.C.I.T. Opens Two New Sections

10/7/08

Two new segments of the North Coast Inland Trail are celebrating grand openings this month. A 10.5 mile section is now complete from Fremont, in Sandusky County, through Lindsay and on to Elmore in Ottawa County. The official opening is Sunday, October 12th. Read more...

Also, a new 1.3 mile section of the NCIT can be found in Collins in Huron County between Norwalk and Wakeman, Ohio. Trail openening celebrations are scheduled for Sunday, October 19th. Read more...

Sources: The News-Messenger.com & Firelands Rails-to-Trails.org

Study Finds Trail Boosts Property Values

10/2/08

"There's a suburban legend out there that rail-to-trail conversions drive down property values.

"Propose a trail on an abandoned railway and you'll hear fear and loathing from neighbors about loss of privacy, increased crime, traffic and noise, all which will affect property values.

"A University of Cincinnati master's degree candidate in urban planning decided put those fears to the test by checking data from a populated section of the Little Miami Scenic Trail in south[west] Ohio. Her research concluded that the opposite is true." Read more...

A link to the report is provided in the article.

Source: Biking Bis

Wilmington Trail Construction

9/30/08

The new Judy Gano Trail is expected to be completed shortly. The trail is located in J.W. Denver Williams Jr. Memorial Park. Read more...

Source: wnewsj.com

Chillicothe Bike / Ped Bridge Construction

9/30/08

Construction of the bike path bridge over Rt. 104 will begin soon. ODOT has scheduled a pre-construction meeting in October, with work beginning shortly thereafter. You can read the news brief toward the end of this article (includes photo).

Source: Chillicothe Gazette.com

Fairfield County Updating Trails Plan

9/30/08

"Ira Weiss envisions a future in Fairfield County where bikers and walkers can feel safe and confident when they hit the streets." Read more...

Source: Lancaster Eagle Gazette.com

Bengals Contribute $250k To Riverfront Park

9/29/08

Work has commenced on the new Cincinnati Riverfront Park. The Cincinnati Bengals organization kicked in $250,000 minutes before the ground-breaking of this $110-112 million project.

"In addition to the fountain and event lawn, the first phase of the park will include two tree groves, a Labyrinth, the park’s first work of public art and the first section of a bike trail and adventure playground." Read more...

Source: The Business Courier

Phase I Begins For Middleport Trail Project

9/28/08

" Middleport Mayor Michael Gerlach signed a contract Friday for the first phase of work on a new $850,000 bike and walking path in Middleport.

"The awarding of the $55,000 contract to Strategic Environmental of Westerville is “where a dream becomes a reality,” Gerlach said." Read more...

Source: The Daily Sentinel

Mill Creek Bikeway Section Closing

9/29/08

Ohio Turnpike construction will close the Mill Creek Bikeway between Kirk and Herbert roads from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. The section will reopen on Friday. Read the news brief.

Source: Vindy.com

Sugarcreek Township Considers Connector

9/18/08

"The public meeting on a proposed Bellbrook-to-Spring Valley bike path drew "phenomenal" attendance last week, but two main issues stand in the way of the project — funding and property owners' opposition."

The proposed 10' wide 4.5-mile trail would connect with the Little Miami Trail in Spring Valley. A preliminary cost estimate is $5 million. The earliest estimated completion date is 2013. Read more...

Source: Dayton Daily News

Lunken To Cincy Trail Taking Shape

9/22/08

The route has been set and the details are being worked out to try and make the Lunken Air Field to downtown Cincinnati Trail a reality. It still remains to be seen if the $17-18 million dollar project will make it to the construction phase in the the next year or two.

The goal is to open the temporary trail by 2010. A permanent trail that's closer to the river is planned, but there are questions as to when / whether that trail will be constructed due to the many challenges it faces. Read more...

Source: Cincinnati.com

Athens Trail Maintenance

9/24/08

A note at the end of this news brief covers recent maintenance along the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. A recent coat of sealant was applied to the surface, with a crack filling project scheduled to follow in November.

Source: The Athens Post

Summit County Towpath Extended

9/20/08

"Construction of the 1.1-mile stretch of towpath between Vanderhoof and Eastern roads began last fall and was completed early this summer."

The new trail segment narrows a gap in this area that now extends from Eastern Road to Snyder Avenue in Barberton, Ohio. Read more...

Submitted by: Craig Morgan

Source: Ohio.com

Court Lifts Clyde Gun Ban

9/19/08

The city of Clyde, Ohio had a ban on carrying firearms in their city parks, which includes a portion of the North Coast Inland Trail. That ban has been struck down in a recent 4-3 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Most trail riders may not think about whether users are toting guns along their local trail. Read more on the Clyde ruling.

Source: Sandusky Register

Licking County Storm Damage

9/17/08

News from Licking County details tree damage along the T.J. Evans Trail, Dawes Arboretum and Lynd's Fruit Farm.

"The T.J. Evans bike trail west of Granville and the Panhandle Trail east of Hanover are impassible due to downed trees, according to Licking County Parks Director Russ Edgington." Read more...

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Ike Causes Widespread Damage Across Ohio

9/16/08

Some Ohio residents are still without power since Ike swept through the state last Sunday, September 14. Falling trees and limbs caused the most damage and clogged or closed many trail sections. The clean up is bound to take time, so use extreme caution on any trail trip as overhead debris that hasn't fallen may pose a hazard. You can check with trail overseers for trail condition reports.

If you have a condition report on a Ohio Bike Trail, send it in and we'll post it here.

Here's a report that covers some of the damage and deaths across the state.

Source: Dayton Daily News

Lake-To-Lake Trail Progress

9/15/08

In 2007, a concept was outlined to link the Harris Dillard Bikeway with trails in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. Thus the 10-mile Lake-To-Lake Trail idea was born. 1.5 miles have been completed. Scroll down this page to read the progress report.

Source: Cleveland.com

New Trail Plans In Delaware

9/11/08

City Council approved a new development plan in Delaware, Ohio that includes constructing a bike path along the north side of Olentangy Street. The new trail will connect existing paths on Henry and Sandusky Streets. Read more...

Source: Columbus Local News.com

Bridge Concerns Prompt Trail Closure

9/9/08

"A two-mile section of the Little Miami Scenic Trail just south of Xenia was closed on Friday, Sept. 5, to bicycle and pedestrian traffic between Hedges and Richland roads, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources." Read more...

An inspection of the bridge will determine if it can be repaired. No detour exists for the closed section at this time. Funding is also being sought to address concerns about other bridges along the trail.

The article also contains a map of the affected trail section.

Source: Dayton Daily News

Landowners Sue Licking County

9/8/08

The disputed trail build in Heath, Ohio is making news again. The Landowners have filed a countersuit against Licking County. The county had filed suit against both parties -- trail builders & residents -- in an effort to determine rightful ownership of the corridor to end the dispute.

"The counterclaim implies that the county filed its suit on behalf of the foundation and that the county's suit is meant to deprive the residents of their lawfully owned property." Read more...

In a related piece, the argument the Evans Foundation has presented in its claim to the land centers around the fact that the property owners didn't record their claim to the property before the foundation purchased it. The implication being that no record of ownership beyond the B & O Railroad exists. Read more...

Sources: The Columbus Dispatch.com & The Newark Advocate.com

Heart Of Ohio Bridges Inspected

Last month ODOT conducted an inspection of the rehabbed trail bridges along the Heart Of Ohio Trail corridor. The 13 or so structures lie between Centerburg and Thayer Road, just southwest of Mt. Vernon. The trail is an unfinished link along the Ohio-to-Erie Trail route. Read more...

Plans are also in the works to move a bowstring truss bridge to Foundation Park in Mt. Vernon. There are three links covering this story: 1, 2, 3.

Submitted by: Cecil Neighbarger

Source: Mount Vernon News

Portage Trail Nears Completion

A report from Aug. 18 details the current construction along the Portage Hike & Bike Trail. Two sections are being developed at KSU and in Kent with the majority of construction to be completed by November 15th.

Future plans are for the Portage Trail to serve as an east-west connector between the Ohio & Erie Towpath and GOLTRG. Read more...

Source: KentNewsNet.com

Brooklyn Considers Trail

Here's a news brief from Aug. 26 on a concept to link Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with more parkland along Big Creek Parkway in Parma, Ohio. Building the 3-mile trail would be a challenge since there is no obvious, preferred route through this densely populated area. Read more...

Source: Cleveland.com

'Bike-Unfriendly' Cincinnati

9/3/08

What makes a city bike-friendly? This detailed piece takes a closer look at Cincinnati and its bikeways plans and woes. It also speaks to the successes of 'bike-friendly' towns like Portland and Chicago, as well as Ohio cities that are on their way to integrating pedestrian and bikeway transportation and facilities. Read more...

Source: City Beat

Newark Considers Trail Connector

9/3/08

Newark City Council is considering a connector between its west and eastside trails. This would effectively link the Thomas J. Evans Bikeway with the Panhandle Trails. Read more...

View a map of the Newark Trail network.

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Turnpike Trail Reconsidered

8/24/08

Plans for a 1/2-mile bike trail along the Ohio Turnpike in Hudson, Ohio hit a snag recently when it was suggested that the bikeway be put in front of residents homes instead of behind them. The suggestion came after some of the residents told the Hudson City Manager that there were not happy with the idea of a bikeway behind their homes. Read more...

Source: Hudson Hub Times.com

Sex Offender Flashes Trail Users

8/28/08

An Oregonia man exposing himself to canoeists and trail users along the Little Miami Trail was taken into custody. It was later learned that he is also an unregistered sex offender. Read more...

Source: Dayton Daily News

Ohio Trails Plan Meeting

8/27/08

We happened upon this blog entry, "The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is updating the State Trails Plan to provide guidance for the development and expansion of recreational trails on a statewide basis. Local participation is critical to producing a complete and visionary planning tool to ensure a coordinated approach to statewide, regional and community trail systems. To that end ODNR is conducting input meetings in 14 regions statewide. ODNR wants to know about your existing trails as well as any master plans or planning documents your communities may have that include planned trails and connections to trails in your community and neighboring communities. Please bring your maps and plans!"

A meeting is scheduled at the Fairfield Lane Library in Fairfield, Ohio on September 9th. Scroll down this page to learn more.

Source: BioWheels.com

River's Edge Plans In Hamilton

8/26/08

Contributions are coming in for the River's Edge Plan along the Great Miami River. The primary goals of the project are to create jobs and attract urban dwellers. Quality of life projects, like bike trails, can play a significant role in that regard.

"River's Edge is proposed to feature 45 to 65 townhouse apartments with some retail and commercial facilities, an amphitheater, and bike and pedestrian trails by the Great Miami River." Read more...

Source: Journal News

Akron Towpath Bridge Opens

8/23/08

The new 275'- long Akron Towpath Trail bridge over the Innerbelt (Rt. 59) is now open. It is part of a new trail section from Beech Street, where the trail had ended at the southern end of Akron's Cascade Locks Park, to Ash and Quaker streets behind Cascade Plaza. Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

Fairfield County Developing Bikeways Plan

8/22/08

..."The county has hired the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission to gather and analyze data, conduct a public open house and recommend strategies to develop bicycle and pedestrian systems and preserve open space for parks and greenways." Read more...

Source: Lancaster Eagle Gazette.com

Triangle Trail Raises $3,000

8/22/08

The Triangle County Trail Bicycle Tour attracted 170 cyclists and raised $3,000. Read more...

Source: Record Herald.com

Akron Bike Week Report

8/21/08

The inaugural Akron bike week festivities continue through August 30. Read more about the events and scheduled activities.

Source: Akron.com

Kent Trail Construction

8/20/08

Dave Ruller, avid cyclist and Kent City Manager, has posted photos of the new Kent trail construction on his blog. His follow up post, 'Adding Kent To The List Of Bike Trail Towns,' is also worth a look.

Kent is a key link in the Akron Hike & Bike Trail that will also provide the future junction with the Portage Trail.

This related video covers a Kent bridge project that incorporates trail use.

Sources: Dave's Blog & YouTube.com

Akron Kicks Off Bicycle Celebration Week

8/18/08

Eight days of bicycle events and celebration will begin this Friday, August 22 in Akron, Ohio. The events include the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday for the new bridge over the Akron Innerbelt on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Read more...

Learn more about O&E Towpath construction at the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition web site.

Sources: Ohio.com & Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition

Chillicothe To Get Ped / Bike Bridge

8/14/08

Chillicothe city council approved plans for a $1.4 million pedestrian / bike bridge over Rt. 104. Work is expected to begin this fall. Read fall. Read more...

Source: Chillicothe Gazette.com

WRGT To Be Completed In 2008

Construction to complete the 43-mile Western Reserve Greenway Trail should be finished by the end of this year. Paving of a 5.6-mile gap in the trail, along with tunnel construction under busy Rt. 84, are among the final projects.

The ultimate goal is to join the corridor with the rest of GOLTRG, the Great Ohio-To Lake Greenway, at Walnut Beach. The remaining section is about 60% finished. Read more...

This item was originally published on June 12.

Submitted by: Craig Morgan

Source: The Star Beacon.com

Power Line Route Facing More Opposition

8/13/08

The plan to install power lines in Geauga County is running into more opposition. "The recommended route promises to reshape Geauga's landscape if approved, with dense stands of trees replaced by a series of 80-foot-tall wood poles. Approximately 63 acres of woods would be cleared. The line also would cross 57 streams, 64 wetlands and acres of cropland." CARE, Citizens Advocating Responsible Energy, opposes the plan.

Previous speculation had suggested that the Maple Highlands Trail corridor was being considered for the project. According to the Ohio Power Sitting Board, that route is not one of the two preferred options. Read more...

Source: Cleveland.com

Westerville Addresses Park & Trail Concerns

8/12/08

Complaints regarding problems along bike trails or public parks can sometimes fall on deaf ears. Not so in this case. Read more about one man's complaints and the quick response by the city of Westerville.

Source: Columbus Dispatch.com

Rough Section Along Trail

8/11/08

Here's a news brief regarding a bad section of asphalt for Olentangy Trail riders.

Source: nbc4i.com

Legal Proceedings In Heath

8/10/08

The Licking County Prosecutor has taken the first step in resolving the legal dispute between residents and trail builders in Heath, Ohio by filing a lawsuit in Licking County Common Pleas Court. The suit is against both the Evans Foundation and Licking Township residents along the corridor, seeking a declaration of ownership.

This recent article takes a stab at sorting out the legal issues in this case.

Read more news reports regarding this dispute.

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Stark County Towpath Condition Criticized

8/9/08

Ernine Lehman, a bike shop owner in Massillon, Ohio, has taken the Stark County Park District to task over the condition of the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail. This prompted park officials to ride and videotape the 25-mile section to address the concerns. Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

N.C.I.T. Construction Progress

8/8/08

A leg of the North Coast Inland Trail being constructed from Elmore to Fremont, Ohio is about two weeks behind schedule. The delay was the result of adding more fill to a portion of the trail. The original completion date for the project was October 1. Scroll down this page to read the news brief.

Source: The News-Messenger.com

Ashland Trail Group Facing Challenges

8/6/08

Efforts to build bike trails in Ashand, Ohio have been simmering for 4 years. Feasibility and right-of-way ownership issues have been primary concerns as the group evaluates its options. Read more...

Source: Ashland Times-Gazette.com

Akron Begins Bike-Friendly Initiative

8/5/08

The city of Akron is implementing a program that will allow safer bike travel within the city, encouraging residents to use pedal powered transport on a daily basis. The program includes 'share the road' signs and pavement markers, as well as bike lanes. The initial plan will cover 14 1/2 street miles this year and approximately 50 new bike racks in the University Parks neighborhood.

The city is also looking into the feasibility of adding bike lanes to Exchange Street from the Towpath Trail to state Route 8.

"On Aug. 22, the new Towpath Trail bridge over the Akron Innerbelt will be dedicated. The city is planning bike-related activities through the week of Aug. 25." Read more...

Source: ohio.com

Mandatory Helmet Law In The Works

8/4/08

Last year State Rep. Michael Skindell proposed a state-wide law that would require minors to wear a helmet while biking. The law has not gone to vote, but Skindell is trying to build support for it.

A similar law has already been passed in Columbus, Ohio.

If passed, the law would require police to initially give warnings and then fine repeat offenders $25. The minors' parents would be responsible for payment. Read more...

Source: cleveland.com

Belmont County Trail Plans

8/4/08

Officials in Belmont County are developing a revitalization program that includes a trail along the Ohio River. Read more...

Source: WTOV9.com

Work On Bikeway Tunnel Continues

8/1/08

A short distance from the disputed trail build in Heath, construction on the bikeway tunnel is progressing as scheduled. The road closing has been lifted, but work remains to be completed this month. Read more...

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Tri-County Trail Fundraiser

8/1/08

The 14th Tri-County Trail Bicycle Tour will take place in Frankfort, Ohio on August 17th. The annual fundraising event starts between 7-9 am. and offers rides from 14-75 miles in length. Learn more...

Source: Record Herald.com

Olentangy Trail Detour

7/31/08

Construction has closed a portion of the Olentangy Trail near the Cannon Drive basketball courts at OSU. A detour is posted, but requires users to carry their bikes up a flight of stairs. Read more...

Source: The Lantern

Bikeway Opponents Agree On 8-Day Cease Fire

7/31/08

Building tensions and confrontation between trail builders and opposing residents in Heath have resulted in a lot of press coverage and the Licking County Commissioners to meet in executive session on the matter. It appears that the dispute is destined for court, but neither side seems anxious to initiate legal proceedings. Read more...

See the related story below and the building press clippings on this issue.

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Bikeway Dispute Continues

7/30/08

A dispute between property owners and trail builders has been on-going this summer in Heath, Ohio where The Thomas J. Evans foundation is attempting to construct a 6.6-mile trail from Hopwell Drive to Rt. 40 in Hebron along the old B & O line. The foundation purchased the former rail line for $100,000 in 1984 and leased it to the Buckeye Central Scenic Railroad until October of last year.

Exactly what the foundation purchased seems to be the core of the dispute. "Property owners say that all the foundation is entitled to are the tracks and the right to run a railroad. Residents say that once the trail stopped being used for train traffic, it reverted to them." Read more...

On 7/29, Sarah Wallace, president of the Evans Foundation, released a statement explaining the foundation's position on this matter.

Here's another brief on the story from 7/29.

Sources: Columbus Dispatch.com & Newark Advocate.com

Niles Bike Trail Receives Funding

7/29/08

"The Niles bike trail, to run from Weathersfield to the Robbins Avenue-State Street intersection, received an additional $1.3 million in federal funds.

"Mark Hess, Niles’ coordinator of engineering, grants and development, said work is expected to start on the 4.5-mile asphalt trail early next year."

The Trumbull County project received mention at the end of this piece on Youngstown Traffic Projects.

Source: Vindy.com

Linking Canal Basin Park With The O&E Towpath

7/29/08

Cleveland hopes to develop Canal Basin Park into a 21-acre park that links with the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail by 2014. A consultant has been hired to lead the planning. Read more...

Source: Cleveland.com

Arson Destroys Trail Bridge

We missed this story from July 18 regarding a Sippo Valley Trail bridge that was destroyed by fire. A $5,000 reward is on offer for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s). The trail has been closed between 6th & 17th St. Northwest in Massillon.

Source: IndeOnline.com

Fatal Crash On Bikeway

7/28/08

An ATV rider was killed when he failed to negotiate a curve on the Slippery Elm Trail. Read more...

Source: ToledoBlade.com

Ohio River Swim Benefits Bike Trail

On July 27th, 70 brave souls participated in the Great Ohio River Swim, a mass swim off the Serpentine Wall, across to Kentucky and back to Ohio. The event celebrates the Ohio River and will raise money for a bike trail from Newtown through Lunken Airport to Downtown Cincinnati. Read more...

Here's a 7/28 news brief from the event.

Source: Cincinnati.com

Stark County Bikeways Plan

7/27/08

..."The Stark County Park District and local officials have been working during the last decade to expand a fledgling network of trails throughout the county that can be used for biking, hiking and riding horses." Read more...

Source: CantonRep.com

Near Drowning Next To Bike Trail

7/27/08

A portion of the Thomas J. Evans Trail network in Newark, Ohio runs alongside Raccoon Creek. Two fishermen nearly drowned there last Sunday near the lowhead dam. Read more...

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Injured Trail Rider Dies

7/23/08

A 57-year old Aurora man was found injured on the Wabash Cannonball Trail. He was transported to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, where he died on Friday. The cause of death is unknown at this time. Read more...

Here's another brief on the story.

Sources: The Beacon News & The Fox Valley Villages Sun

Olentangy Trail Assessment

7/22/08

Joe Blundo has written an interesting piece on the current state of the Olentangy Trail. Read more...

Source: The Columbus Dispatch.com

Public Input Wanted On Trail Rerouting

7/22/08

"The National Park Service is seeking public comment on a plan to reroute a section of the Bike & Hike Trail in northern Summit County." Read more...

See an earlier report on this subject.

Source: Ohio.com

Heath Bikeway Tunnel Construction Progress

7/18/08

"The tunnel will allow pedestrians to avoid crossing the busy road while traveling the two-mile path that connects Heath High School with the Heath Water Park."

The work is scheduled to be finished on August 31. Read more...

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Black Bear Spotted on Greenway Trail

7/17/08

"Ed Millspaw is used to seeing all sorts of wildlife along the Western Reserve Greenway Trail, but Thursday morning he was quite surprised to see a black bear wandering along." Read more...

Source: Star Beacon.com

Columbus Mandates Bike Helmets

7/16/08

Columbus City Council passed a law requiring helmets for cyclists 18 years old and younger. Violators will face a $25 fine. Read more...

Source: Columbus Local News

Floating Trail Work Begins

7/15/08

Several towpath construction projects are in the works in the Akron area, including the 'floating' trail section over Summit Lake.

The new sections should be complete by spring or early summer of '09. Read more...

Submitted by: Craig Morgan

Source: Ohio.com

Trail Section Realignment Delayed

7/13/08

Plans to realign the 1-mile trail section of the Bike & Hike Trail near Brandywine Falls have been pushed back to 2011. Read more...

Source: HudsonHubTimes.com

Power Line Route Discussions Continue

7/12/08

A proposal to run new power lines along the Maple Highlands Trail has stirred opposition from local residents. State senator Tim Grendell has proposed a solution that may help First Energy Corp. utilize a route that may be beneficial to all parties. Read more...

Here is an earlier report on this story.

Source: News-Herald.com

Portion Of Greenway Re-Opens

7/10/08

About 1.2 miles of the Huron River Greenway have been reopened. The Erie MetroParks are working on opening the remaining 5.5 miles that were closed due to an earlier Ohio Supreme Court ruling. It stated that some property owners along the corridor were entitled to compensation for their land that was used for the trail. Read more...

Here's an earlier report on the trail closing.

Submitted by: Steven Myers

Source: Sandusky Register.com

Lab Students To Tackle Underground Railroad Route

7/10/08

Aside from Ohio bikeways, there are other trails or trail systems that make their way through the Buckeye state. Some utilize existing trails or combine them with various road routes. One such route is called the 'Underground Railroad Bicycle Route.' Here's an article about 8 Bronx Lab students who will ride the 240-mile stretch through Ohio.

Source: Pedal Pushers Online

Bikeway Extension Land Dispute Continues

7/9/08

ODOT disputes a local resident's claim that the Athens bike trail extension is being built on land that it does not own. Read more...

See previous news on this story.

Source: The Athens Messenger

Ohio Bicycle Laws

7/9/08

Can you legally ride your bike on the sidewalks in your neighborhood? Are you required to have a license for your bike in your town? Read this informative piece by Ann Fisher to learn more about rules of the road for bikes, particularly in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch.com

WAD Gaining Support

This project, also known as the Westerville to Arena District Bikeway, is gaining momentum by gathering support. It seeks to establish a bikeway along an abandoned rail line from Westerville to the Convention Center in downtown Columbus. To learn more about the initiative, visit their web site and checkout their blog page.

Source: WAD

Residents Unhappy With Bike Path

7/6/08

About 30 residents attended a recent Lancaster City Council meeting to voice their displeasure at surveyors marking a bikeway route through their neighborhood. It appears the residents were not contacted before the work began. Read more...

Source: Lancaster EagleGazette.com

Land Needed For New Akron Towpath Trailhead

7/5/08

There's a news brief buried in this story about a parcel of land that will be purchased for a new trailhead near downtown Akron for the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Source: Ohio.com

Road Closure For Bike Path Construction In Heath

7/4/08

"Irving Wick Drive at Liberty Drive will be closed starting Tuesday for two weeks while a new bike path is installed in a tunnel under the road." Read more...

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Cyclist Envisions Bike Path Around Lake

7/3/08

Sylvia Sylvester has a vision. She sees, "...Young cyclists speed along in their racing gear, in front of the bank. Signs designate the bike route through town. The bike rack is full in front of the pizza shop. Street vendors offer drinks and snacks; a kite shop flies its brightest kites. A retired veteran flies an American flag as he purrs homeward on his scooter." Read more...

Source: The Buckeye Lake Beacon

Bikeway Extension Illegal?

7/2/08

A local property owner has officially advised the city of Athens to "cease and desist" its trail construction off the far end of East State Street. Ed Renzelli says the proposed trail route runs through an easement he purchased from the CSX Railroad. He says he was misled by the city saying, "They didn't want us to know where they were going to put the bike path."

Ironically, Renzelli and a neighboring business, Holzer DOCS LLC, are willing to donate land for the project that constitutes their southern portion of their respective properties near the Hocking River. "I'm (willing to give) them 1,692 footage of my property for free," Renzelli said, "and additional land for a picnic area."

Athens Law Director Pat Lang declined comment on the situation on Tuesday. Read the complete story...

See this related article of the Hockhocking Adena Trail Extension.

Source: The Athens Messenger

Essay Applauds Trail

A recent essay contest (May '08) asked the question, "What makes North Central Ohio a great place to live and work?" Eric Keeler received honorable mention for his write up that recounts his childhood memories of visiting the Richland B & O Trail with his family. Read more...

Source: Mansfield NewsJournal.com

Hockhocking Adena Trail To Get Repairs

6/25/08

"Several repairs to the Hockhocking-Adena Bikeway are slated for this year, with larger repairs for slips and erosion also in the pipeline." Read more...

Source: The Athens Messenger

Marion County Working Toward Trail

6/24/08

After about a decade of efforts, Marion County Parks are getting closer to seeing their dream of a multi-purpose trail become reality. Director Karen Kelley still needs an agreement with CSX Transportation and a clean bill of health from an enviromental survey to start things rolling. If successful, she hopes work could begin in 2009 on Marion County's first multi-purpose trail. Read more...

Source: MarionStar.com

Columbus Bicycle Laws Could Change

6/23/08

The new Columbus Bikeways Plan calls for some changes to the city codes regarding bicycle use in the city. It outlines a requirement for those 17 and younger to wear helmets, along with allowing bike riders to use sidewalks as well. The proposed changes are stirring some debate on the issue. Read more...

Source: Columbus Local News

Park District Buys Land For Trail

6/23/08

"The Pickaway County Park District purchased parts of the old Penn Central Railroad for a two-mile trail, according to Charles Babb, park district board member." Read more...

Source: Circleville Herald

Towpath Fundraising Ride For Autism

Dave Hayslip and a group of dedicated riders started out on June 7 to raise funds for Autism by riding the entire Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath corridor! Read more about this annual towpath expedition by reading Dave's recap or the full report.

Also, be sure to visit Dave's fine web site covering the towpath trail.

Submitted by: Dave Hayslip

Source: Inquisitive Visitor's Guide to the O&E

Trail Rider Collides With Car

6/19/08

A cyclist traveling north of Xenia on the Little Miami Trail apparently rode into the path of a car at Brush Row Road. Read more...

Source: The Greene County Dailies

Hillside Dirt Used For Bikeway Extension

6/17/08

A property was clear-cut of timber for the purpose of mining fill dirt for a bike trail project in Athens, Ohio. The move upset some local community members. The work is related to extending the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway along East State Street. Read more...

Source: The Athens Messenger

Ohio-to-Erie Trail News

6/16/08

Jerry Ramplelt sends word on the latest developments along the Ohio-to-Erie corridor:

Holmes County: "There is a tentative agreement in Holmes County for securing the final four miles of trail right of way. A final contract still needs to be signed, but it seems that this last link will be soon acquired. This is fantastic news. Also, the auction this past week was another success, and we left Millersburg with a van full of items we purchased."

Submitted by: Jerry Rampelt, Executive Director, Ohio to Erie Trail Fund

Source: Ohio to Erie Trail

Preliminary Work Set For Middleport Trail

6/15/08

Middleport is looking to utilize a bike path as a major component to their downtown revitalization program. Read more...

Source: The Daily Sentinel

Little Miami Trail Extension Receives Funding

6/15/08

A 2.82-mile segment of the Little Miami Trail, between the Little Miami Golf Center and a future trailhead near Ohio 32 and Clough Pike, received a $1.9 million federal grant for construction. Read more...

Source: Cincinnati.Com

3 Charged In Bike Path Slaying

6/13/08

A murder took place on or near the Olentangy Trail in Columbus. Three suspects were apprehended near the scene. Read more...

Here are two more reports of the crime: 1 & 2 with video.

Sources: 10tv.com, Columbus Dispatch & nbc4i.com

Bicycling Community Helps Young Boy

6/11/08

Here's a wonderful story of how a bicycle community worked together to provide a young hit-skip victim with a new set of wheels. Read more...

Source: Columbus Dispatch

Columbus City Council Approves Bikeway Plan

6/10/08

The Bicentennial Bikeways Plan for Columbus, Ohio will provide more bikeways, bike lanes, racks and a downtown bike station. Initial cost will be $20 million, with a long-range plan estimated cost of $167.6 million over 20 years. Read more...

Follow this earlier post for more plan details.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

Ohio & Erie Canalway Backer To Be Honored

6/9/08

Ralph Regula has spent more than 40 years championing and developing the Ohio & Erie Canalway, which includes the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail. He will be honored on June 21 for all his dedicated service. Read more...

Source: CantonRep.com

Cyclebration At Lunken Field

6/8/08

A grand 'cyclebration' was held at Lunken Field to celebrate National Bike Month and to raise funds for the Little Miami Trail extension into downtown Cincinnati. Read more...

Source: Cincinnati.com

GOBA Attempts World Record

6/8/08

The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, also know as GOBA, will attempt to set a world record for the largest bicycle parade when the tour kicks off in Wellington, Ohio on June 14. Read more...

Source: CoshoctonTribune.com

Group Prefers Light Rail & Trail To Highway

6/6/08

The Miami Group of the Sierra Club has requested the removal of the highway portion of the Eastern Corridor Project. With increasing fuel costs and greater environmental awareness by local citizens, comes a creative, more environmentally friendly proposal to solve transportation issues in the area. Part of the proposal involves redirecting highway dollars toward completion of the Little Miami Trail extension to the Ohio River. Read more...

Source: Cincinnati.com

Akron Towpath Bridge To Be Installed

6/5/08

A 275-foot towpath bridge over the Akron Innerbelt south of West Market Street is scheduled to be installed next week. St. Rt. 59 will be closed for seven days to install the pre-fabricated structure. The overpass will be 14' wide and 16' high and is scheduled to open in August. Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

Sexual Assault On Trail Near OSU Campus

6/2/08

A woman reported being sexually assaulted on the Olentangy Trail near the Ohio State campus. Read more...

We sometimes take for granted that a trail section is safe simply because it is familiar and we've seen no trouble there in the past. This can create a false sense of security. Be sure to check out our safety tips to help you stay safe out there.

Here's a related brief with video.

Sources: 10tv.com & NBC4i.com

Donation To Help Towpath Extension

5/28/08

A $100,000 donatiion from a petroleum products company will help build 3/4 of a mile of Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail just west of Bolivar. Read more...

Bikeway Part Of Exercise Regimen

5/27/08

Dave Swihart heeds his grandmother's advice by exercising regularly on the Kokosing Gap Trail. Read more...

Source: Mt. Vernon News

Praise For B & O Trail Users

5/26/08

Here's a recent letter to the editor that praises locals for keeping the Richland B & O Trail looking good. It addresses trail safety as well.

Submitted by: Cecil Neighbarger

Source: Mansfield NewsJournal.com

Gallia Hike & Bike Trail Upgrades

5/26/08

Buried in this piece on the passage of House Bill 562 is a brief mention of funding for upgrades to portions of the Gallia Hike & Bike Trail. Read more...

Source: Gallipolis Daily Tribune

Knox County And Property Owner Discuss Access Across Trail

Here's an article from April 11th that deals with problems that can arise when a trail route bisects a landowner's property. It's similar to a story we noted last year with another resident along the same corridor that's slated to become the Heart of Ohio Trail.

Submitted by: Cecil Neighbarger

Source: Mt. Vernon News

Craig Bridge Bike Path

5/23/08

Toledo is planning to add bike paths that cross through the downtown area. In August they will begin modifying the Craig Bridge to include a bike path which would extend to the Greenbelt Parkway Path downtown. The news can be found toward the end of this article.

Source: ToledoFreePress.com

Bike To Work Day In Toledo

5/23/08

Here's a brief on some Toledo, Ohio residents enjoying the benefits of commuting to work by bike.

Source: ToledoFreePress.com

Vehicle Break-ins Along Bikeway

5/23/08

Three Springfield area residents were charged with vehicle break-ins in Champaign and Clark Counties on Friday, May 16. They were seen running from a parked car at a lot adjacent to the Simon Kenton Trail. Read more...

Source: The Urban Daily Citizen

More On Columbus 'Bike-Friendly City' Plans

5/19/08

The vision includes 31 additional trail miles and 58 miles of bike lanes and routes, as well as a downtown bike station.

The ambitious 20-year plan has a total estimated cost of $167.6 million. Read more...

Source: ColumbusDispatch.com

Ohio & Erie Towpath Construction In Akron

Here's a summary of towpath construction that will allow the trail to make its way through Akron, Ohio. Read more...

Source: Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition

Columbus, OSU Advocate Bike To Work Week

5/14/08

As this piece point outs, May is National Bike Month! A time when pro-bike organizations are promoting cycling with a "bike to work day (or week)."

The article also covers a bit of Mayor Coleman's plan to invest $50 million in bike and Ped transportation within the city. Plans include a 5.75 mile cross-town bike route between the Olentangy Trail and Alum Creek Bikeway near Easton.

A related piece from 5/12 on the mayor's plan (with video) as well as the high cost of gasoline and its impact on transportation.

Speaking of cycling in Columbus, here's an item from 5/8 that debates the value of Columbus's first Bike to Work Week.

Sources: UWeekly.com & nbc4i.com & TheOtherPaper.com

Clean Ohio Program May Be On Fall Ballot

5/13/08

According to Senator Mark Wagoner, "The state legislature plans to put the bond issue that funds the Clean Ohio Program on the ballot in November."

[From the article,] "Since voters approved the fund in 2000, it has helped develop 223 miles of recreational trails, revitalize 1,896 acres of abandoned industrial sites and preserve more than 27,500 acres of farmland. Half of the money is allocated to preserving farmland and green space, and the other $200 million to fixing up brownfields." Read more...

Source: PortClintonNewsHerald.com

Power Line Route Meetings Planned

5/10/08

Meetings continue concerning the possibility of installing electric power lines along the Maple Highlands Trail corridor in Geauga County.

Chardon City Council has unanimously opposed the idea. Read more...

Here's a related story from 5/12/08.

Sources: NewsHerald.com & wkyc.com

Canton Downtown Connector

5/6/08

The new trail, dubbed the 'West Branch Trail,' may one day be a part of a 15-mile loop around the city. Read more...

The story is a follow up to this news brief from 5/2/08.

Source: CantonRep.com

Bike Path Route Studied For Possible Power Line

A Geauga Park District trail is being considered as a potential route for new power lines by FirstEnergy Corp. The plan would consist of 80' towers every 250 feet along the corridor. Read more...

Source: Cleveland.com

Here's a related piece with a sampling of trail users' reaction to the plan. Includes a video clip.

Source: wkyc.com

Miami 2 Miami Trail Dedication

On April 30th phase II of the Port Union-Gilmore Ponds Historic Canal Trail was dedicated. This trail is part of the Miami 2 Miami network which will connect the Great Miami River Recreation Trail in Butler County and the Little Miami Scenic Trail in Warren County. Read more...

Source: Journal News

Lancaster Fundraising For 'Sensory Trail'

The concept is to develop a 1-mile section along the Lancaster Bike Trail that will stimulate all 5 senses. The 3 phase plan will allow MRDD individuals to better experience recreation and park facilities. Read more...

Source: LancasterEagle-Gazette.com

Bike Trail Bridge Delayed Until '09

The bridge will effectively connect the Larry Cox Memorial Bike Path with the Triangle Trail in Chillicothe. Read more...

Source: CentralOhio.com

Bike Path Foes Face Off With Trail Builders

A portion of a 6.6 mile (formerly) scenic railway corridor in Heath was paved before some local residents threatened legal action to attempt to halt further trail construction. The two sides met for the first time recently to discuss the issue. Read more...

Source: NewarkAdvocate.com

Ontario Woman Loses 103 Pounds In One Year

What does this woman's story have to do with Ohio Trails? She used her local trail, the Richland B&O, as part of her daily exercise regimen, of course! Read more...

Source: MansfieldNewsJournal.com

Funding Sought For Little Miami Southern Extension

Anderson Township has joined with the Hamilton County Park District in applying for federal funding to extend the Little Miami 2.1 miles south to the intersection of Ohio 32 and Clough Pike. Read more...

Source: Cincinnati.com

Eaglet Hatched Near Towpath Trail

"The bald eagles nesting in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park have hatched an egg for the second year in a row." Read more...

Source: Cleveland.com

Bridgewater Trail Dedication May 10th

4/27/08

Here's another article on the Bridgewater Trail opening sent in by Mark Thomas. It's from the Lorain County Metro Parks site. You'll need to scroll down the page to view it.

Submitted by: Mark Thomas

Source: Lorain County Metro Parks

GMRT & Little Miami Trail Connector

4/16/08

Plans are taking hold to build a connector from the Great Miami River Trail in Miamisburg, to the Little Miami Scenic Trail at Spring Valley in southern Montgomery County. Read more...

More On OTE Camp Chase Link

There's more info on the news sent in by Jerry Rampelt on the acquisition of an 11-mile right-of-way along the Camp Chase Railroad for the Ohio-to-Erie Trail project. The rail-with-trail section would connect with existing trail just east of London, Ohio, and extend to a point near I-270 in Columbus. Read more...

Source: Columbus Dispatch.com

Land Ownership Issues Put Hold On Bike Path

The Hamilton Community Foundation is committed to donating a 5-mile bike path that would connect with the Great Miami River Trail and extend from Joyce Park to the Rentschler Forest Preserve in Fairfield Township.

The project has been on hold for over 5 years due to court battles over land ownership. Read more...

Source: Journal-News.com

Towpath Construction Updates

Here's a summary of towpath construction news for Barberton and Akron compliled by RD Bike Shop.

Source: RD Bike Shop

Developing The Columbus Trail System

Here's an interesting piece from last September on the developing Columbus trail network and its many connectors.

Source: Columbus Dispatch.com

Trail Yeah! Boosts Trail Push

Backers like Trail Yeah! are coming together to support a trail connection from downtown Cincinnati to the Little Miami Trail. Read more...

Read another story about this group.

Source: Cincinnati Business Courier

Bridgwater Trail Dedication Set For May

This informative article covers trails and activities in Lorain County MetroParks. It also covers the Back Roads & Beaches bike route and the northern extension of the Bridgewater Trail.

Source: Cleveland.com

Commuting Along The Towpath

Ernie Lehman commutes from Navarre to his bike shop in Massillon 4 days per week. He's logged many miles, burned a load of calories and saved some money, too. Read his story.

Source: CantonRep.com

Wooster Mayor Envisions Bike Hub

Trail fever can spread quickly and affect people in areas where there's nary a trail to be found! Read more...

Source: The-Daily-Record.com

Great Miami Trail Development In Monroe Township

4/6/08

There's been a change of plans for Great Miami River Trail construction in Monroe Township. The focus has turned north to the Concord Township line. The plans to go south to Montgomery County have been put on hold for now. Read more...

Source: Dayton Daily News

Towpath Trail Challenges

As the Ohio & Erie Towpath nears completion it will be facing some of its biggest challenges. Existing federal funding for the project is running low, while at the same time the most expensive section through the industial flats in Cleveland is on the table.

More funding is being pursued as completion of the entire 100-mile corridor is targeted for the year 2016. Read more...

Source: The Cleveland Free Times.com

Triangle Trail Plans For 2008

3/23/08

Funding trail projects can be a huge challenge. Especially one as large as the Triangle Trail. Learn more about their development plans for 2008.

View a map of the Triangle Trail completion status.

Source: Tri-County Triangle Trail web site

Ohio River Trail

News brief announcing Cincinnati Council resolution to support the Ohio River Trail Project. Read more...

Source: Building Cincinnati.com

Tallmadge Trail Upgrades Possible

The Metro Parks in Summit County is interested in improving and extending a trail in Tallmadge and Munroe Falls. The Tallmadge Bike & Hike Trail would connect with the Portage Hike & Bike and perhaps the Towpathtrail sometime in the future. Read more...

Source: Ohio.com

Federal Trail Funding Cuts

3/10/08

On March 6, 2008, the United States Department of Transportation ordered states to return $3.15 billion in transportation funding. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has worked to ensure those cuts are not implemented disproportionally against bike and pedestrian trail programs. Read more...

Source: RTC

Progress On Vital OTE Link

3/6/08

Jerry Rampelt sends word of an exciting new development for the Ohio-to-Erie Trail project:

Camp Chase Railroad Agreement Signed: Metro Parks of Central Ohio has a signed agreement with the Camp Chase Railroad for an option to purchase a trail right of way on the Camp Chase Rail line. This is not a misprint; a signed agreement is in hand. We waited over five years for this day.

Details: The agreement is for an option to purchase an easement within 12 months subject to an engineering study and survey of the route. The route is from Wilson Road in Madison County to I-270 in Franklin County, which is 11 miles in length. An easement 19 feet wide on either side of the track is in the agreement. Determining the side of the track for the easement will be based upon the engineering study. The purchase price is $750,000. According to John OMeara, Metro Parks Executive Director, both parties want to complete the engineering this summer so that a final agreement can be executed and payment made to the railroad.

Camp Chase is an active short line rail route.

Words cannot adequately express how we feel about the signing of the agreement. It is not final, but we believe that the final agreement will be signed. A debt is owed to John OMeara, Brad Westall from Columbus Parks and Recreation, and the Camp Chase Railroad Co. for accomplishing this difficult job.

Please note the new address: The Ohio to Erie Trail Fund, 118 Graceland Blvd. #146, Columbus, Ohio 43214.

Submitted by: Jerry Rampelt, Executive Director, 614-267-2915

National Trail News With Job Postings

Here's a great resource for trail news across the U.S. It also features a job list for trail-related positions. Now you can find that trail manager job you've been looking for out west! Check it out here.

Source: American Trails

Miami Valley Trails Plan - Public Meetings For March

The final series of public meetings on the Comprehensive Local-Regional Bikeways Plan for the Miami Valley is scheuled for March 19th & 20th. Read more...

Source: Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission

Columbus Ohio Trails Master Plan

More trail planning web sites have been coming online in recent times. They feature master plans for the local community and/or region. Columbus residents can now learn details about their city's plan for "a world-class on-street and off-street bicycle transportation system for the enjoyment and use of Columbus residents and visitors." Learn more...

Source: altaplanning.com

Portage County Trails Plan - Public Meeting On 2/28

2/24/08

A public meeting will be held for a presentation and review of the vision for Parks, Trails and Greenways in Portage County. Learn more...

Source: Portage Park District

Erie MetroParks Outlines Greenway Purchase Plans

The new head of Erie MetroParks is moving swiftly to repair embattled relationships with some property owners along the Huron River Greenway Trail. Steven Myers sends this piece on the plans for property compensation. Read more...

Submitted by: Steven Myers

Source: Sandusky Register

Knox County Trail Landmarks

Here are a couple of stories with video on two landmarks along Knox County trails: The Bridge of Dreams along the "Amish Highway" and the "Old Red Mill" along the Kokosing Gap in Howard, Ohio.

Source: Mt Vernon News.com

Recent Floodwaters Affect Towpath

2/15/08

Rain and strong winds pummeled much of Ohio in early February. Undoubtedly many low lying trails were hit across the state. Here are two recent stories on the towpath's latest clash with Mother Nature.

The articles were linked from a Yahoo! Group. For more on these resources, see 'Towpath Newsgroups' on the Web News page.

Source: Yahoo! Newsgroups

Erie MetroParks Plans To Pay-Up, Reopen Greenway

Steven Myers sent in news regarding Erie Metroparks next move toward reopening the Huron River Greenway. Though no timetable has been set, it's believed that a portion of the trail could be open by May. Read more...

Submitted by: Steven Myers

Source: Sandusky Register

Huron River Greenway Update

1/26/08

Steven Myers sends the latest word on the court's most recent ruling conerning the greenway. A recap of this ongoing dispute between property owners and Erie MetroParks can be found here and includes video.

Submitted by: Steven Myers

Source: Sandusky Register

2008 Trail Projects

1/19/08

The new list for 2008 Ohio trail construction projects has been posted along with a recap of completed projects in 2007. Check it out on the ODOT Bicycling page.

Source: ODOT

Assault On Trail Near Newark Campus

1/6/08

Here's a news brief with video regarding this recent event. Also, another brief for anyone who has information regarding the attack.

For those of you who regularly use trails, whether for leisure or commuting to work or school, be sure to check out the safety page, if you haven't already.

Sources: OhioNewsNow.com & CentralOhio.com

Phase 5 Funding For Holmes County Trail

Funding has been secured to begin construction on the final unfinished leg of the Holmes County Trail from Brinkhaven to Killbuck. This critical section includes a tunnel under Rt. 62 to connect the bikeway with the Mohican Valley Trail. When completed, you will be able to ride across the 375' Bridge of Dreams over the Mohican river from the west, travel another 1/2-mile and ride through the 260' tunnel to enter Holmes County. Read more...

Completion of the final Holmes County section will allow users to travel roughly 48 miles from Mt. Vernon, Ohio to Fredericksburg via the Kokosing Gap, Mohican Valley and Holmes County Trails. (Go to the Gmap & click the Mohican Valley Trail button to view this section.) With the exception of a few blocks of road riding through Danville, this will be contiguous trail. The three trails comprise a major part of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail project.

Source: Daily-record.com

2007 Towpath Progress

Towpath fans will appreciate this summary on Ohio & Erie construction progress for 2007. It covers the various projects along the entire 101-mile corridor. Read more...

A related news item is Summit County towpath progress. Scroll down their news page for two construction updates with photos.

Sources: Ohio.com & Summit County MetroParks

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