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New U.S. Bike Routes Mapped

12/30/10

"New mapped bicycling routes in the United States were announced this week by the Adventure Cycling Association, adding to the Montana-based organization's vast system of bicycling routes across America." more...

A Future For The Recreational Trails Program?

12/30/10

"One of the most important sources of funding for trails in Alaska and across the nation, is in danger and needs your help. Trail and trail-user groups need to show their support for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) by explaining to Congress that trails are an essential form of transportation, as well as being vital to our nation’s health, and therefore deserve a consistent and appropriate funding source.

"The RTP is part of the existing federal surface transportation funding program, known as the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which was to officially expire at the end of 2010.

"Funding for these transportation programs is typically approved for several years, which is why little lobbying for this particular program has been needed for the past few years. A new multi-year transportation funding program is being worked on but has not been passed. Because of the current economy and political gridlock, SAFETEA-LU funding has been extended only temporarily through continuing resolutions." more...

Great Allegheny Passage Missing Link Funded

12/30/10

"State Sen. Jay Costa Jr. today announced a $750,000 grant that will be used to complete the last missing segment of the Great Allegheny Passage biking/hiking trail.

"When that segment is finished, a continuous trail will stretch from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.

"Officials in October announced that they had finally completed lengthy negotiations with Sandcastle Waterpark and CSX Railroad for easements that would allow the trail to cross their property. Their hope was to complete the last segment by 11-11-11: Nov. 11, 2011." more...

Trail Realignment At Brandywine Falls

12/29/10

"After years of planning, construction on a planned realignment of the Metroparks, Serving Summit County Bike and Hike Trail near Brandywine Falls may begin in 2011.

"We have some final engineering that needs to be done, but we're real close on that," said Dave Whited, chief of planning and development.

"Parks spokesperson Nathan Eppink said Dec. 23 that the parks are finalizing right-of-way acquisitions and expect to begin seeking bids for the estimated $3.3 million project in February. Eppink said the start of construction has not been scheduled." more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

Elmore Budgeting For Trail Extension

12/28/10

"...During Monday night's Elmore Village Council meeting, Lowell Krumnow asked council to budget $10,000 to $15,000 per year for the next few years for a proposed bike path between the village and Genoa.

"He said the deadline to apply for grants through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Transportation is the end of January." more...

Recapping NE Ohio Bike News For 2010

12/27/10

"It’s been a good year: the economy appears to be on the up-and-up, the Chilean miners all saw the light of day, and Cleveland Heights saw it’s first sharrows.

"Green City Blue Lake, with the help of Lois Moss, has outlined many of the bike improvements NE Ohio has made over the last twelve months. It’s a pretty impressive list:" more...

Sierra Club Rift Over Multi-Use Trails

"Several high-profile civic leaders [in Santa Cruz] have joined a cycling advocacy group in launching what critics decry as an unprecedented and aggressive campaign to shake up the leadership of the local Sierra Club, a group of 3,300 environmentalists that faces a growing rift over proposed multi-use trails and other land use issues.

"But those seeking change within the executive committee of the Sierra Club Ventana Chapter's Santa Cruz Group say they are just trying to breathe new life into an organization that has become too focused on fighting small projects rather than populating the front lines of larger environmental battles." more...

Newark Interchange Plan's Trail Connector

12/26/10

"If a proposed interchange at Cherry Valley Road and Ohio 16 becomes a reality, it could provide new routes for runners and bicyclists at the border between Granville and Newark. The Ohio Department of Transportation's recommended alignment for the proposed interchange would provide a pathway connection between the T.J. Evans Bike Trail on the south and Newark-Granville Road on the north.

"A 14-foot wide pathway would be to one side of the vehicular travel lanes on the bridge over Ohio 16. A barrier would separate the path from the shoulder of the roadway. A 10-foot-wide path would run alongside the roads connecting the bridge to Cherry Valley Road on the south and Newark-Granville Road to the north. A 5-foot-wide grassy strip would separate the path from the shoulder." more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

Portage Trail Getting New Signs

12/24/10

"Twelve signs highlighting the history and natural environment of Kent will be placed along The Portage Hike and Bike Trail as soon as the weather allows.

"John Idone, director of the Kent Park and Recreation Department, said the $25,000 project, was made possible through a Community Development Block Grant.

"The signs will provide information on topics from local wildlife to Kent’s railroad history, to the origin of Breakneck Creek’s name.

"...The signs will be displayed in two groups, with six located on the Cuyahoga River segment of the trail and six located on the Crain Avenue segment." more...

Pickaway Trail To Expand

12/23/10

"The county park district closed a deal Wednesday with Dayton Power & Light that will extend the Pickaway Trail into the New Holland area.

"The purchase of 122.5 acres, added to the 21.5 acres purchased from DP&L in 2008, will add about 15 miles to the proposed hiking and bike trail that currently runs from Canal Road to Calamus Swamp near state Route 104.

“The main goal was for this land to be preserved for the county,” said Pete Hartinger, chairman of the Pickaway County Park District. “We like to think of it as a Christmas present for the county, and it’s going to be a big thing in the future.” more...

Bluffton Bike Plan

12/21/10

"A Bluffton Bike and Pedestrian Pathway Committee, established by Bluffton council, is working to create a pathway, which will eventually encircle the Village of Bluffton. This is the first in a series of feature stories on this project." more...

Read an earlier post on this topic.

Patrolman Honored For Helping Cyclist

12/18/10

"An Ohio State Highway patrolman from the Southington post has been honored for helping a woman fight off an attacker while off duty in northern Trumbull County on Oct. 10.

"Trooper Jason Bonar was riding his motorcycle on Custer Orangeville Road in Hartford Township near the entrance to Sharon Speedway when he spotted what appeared to be a bicycle accident up ahead.

"As he got closer, Trooper Bonar saw a man walk onto the road from an adjacent field. Seconds later, a woman came from the edge of the field, yelling that the man had tried to rape her." more...

Land Transferred For Bolivar Towpath

12/16/10

"...In another matter, [Tuscarawas County] commissioners accepted the transfer of ownership of land to the county from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The nearly one-acre parcel borders the Tuscarawas River off Rt. 212 and is between I-77 and Rt. 21.

"Plans call for building an aqueduct bridge which will connect the Stark County and Tuscarawas County portions of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath trail."

Source: TimesReporter.com

Middletown Wants Input On New Trail

12/16/10

"The city of Middletown is seeking comments on the proposed recreational trail to be constructed between the city and Franklin.

"Located along Ohio 73, the 2.65-mile-long, multiuse Great Miami River Recreational Trail would be located about two miles northeast of Middletown on the north side of Ohio 73 between the highway and the Great Miami River.

"...Project plans call for the path to connect to a 1.92-mile-long section between Ohio 4 and Ohio 73, which was completed in 2009. Also, it eventually will connect to the 3.7-mile-long bike path segment in Franklin, which was constructed in 2006.

"...To provide comments to the city on the trail, mail the information to Kim Carter at Stantec Consulting Services, 1500 Lakeshore Drive Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43204. Comments will be accepted through Dec. 31." more...

Bids Going Out For Bike-Hike Re-Route

12/16/10

"...Signed final agreements with the Ohio Department of Transportation to reroute the Bike & Hike Trail off Brandywine Road and across Interstate 271 in northern Summit County.

"Bids are scheduled to be let in February for the the long-discussed project in Northfield Center and Sagamore Hills townships, park district planner David Whited said.

"The project, first proposed 10 years ago, has a price tag of $1.5 million, with the state providing $700,000. It will get bicyclists off busy Brandywine Road."

Source: ohio.com

Massillon Working To Solve Towpath Washouts

12/15/10

"Constant washouts along a section of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail will end if City Council agrees to buy land at the Indian River Juvenile Correction Center and transfer it to a nearby sand and gravel company.

"Massillon Materials Inc., 2775 Indian River Road S.W., would pay $15,000 for the 8.6-acre land and build a large detention basin to capture runoff that forces stones and other debris onto the trail in exchange for being able to mine the land for profit.

"The estimated cost to build the detention basin is $200,000. The city would be covered by a bond to ensure that the detention basin is built by the gravel pit. The city would also have approval over the design. There is no cost to taxpayers." more...

Katy Trail Fatality Spurs Safety Debate

12/14/10

"From putting more police officers on the Katy Trail to studying whether bicycles should be subject to speed limits, City Hall is working on several initiatives to make Dallas' popular trail system safer.

"Gail Peisach of Dallas walked her French bulldog, Tabitha, across Knox Street on Monday. The committee to study Katy Trail safety will include city staff along with representatives from trail organizations, biking clubs and running clubs.

"Council members and city officials on Monday discussed the latest plan to increase safety and encourage etiquette among users of the city's 104 miles of trails.

"The plan, outlined in a memo issued Friday, comes in response to the October death of 28-year-old jogger Lauren Huddleston, who was fatally struck by a bicyclist on the Katy Trail. She was wearing headphones when she turned into the path of the cyclist." more...

Mosquito Lake Greenway Receives Donation

12/14/10

"A $1,000 donation will be used to help the Mosquito Lake Greenway project [in Trumbull County] move forward with plans for a bike trail around part of the lake. The donation from Ted and Denise Webb took place recently at the Trumbull County Engineer's Office.

"It's a little early in the game, but I wanted to get some points on the board before the end of the year," said Ted Webb of the couple's donation to the project.

"Webb, a member of the project's committee said the committee will not be soliciting funds until next spring, but having money in the bank will make planning a little easier.

"Michael Swiatkwich, committee chairman, said the project plans to develop bike lanes connecting the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway to Mosquito Lake State Park and the proposed Mosquito greenway." more...

Read a previous post on the Mosquito Lake Greenway project.

RTC Delivers Petition To AAA

12/13/10

"D.C.-based nonprofit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) hand-delivered 51,377 signatures to AAA headquarters today, demanding AAA rescind its position to kick trail, walking and bicycling programs out of the federal transportation trust fund. Sixty-five percent of signers are AAA members.

"More than 25 RTC supporter-cyclists joined RTC leaders and local Florida bicycle and pedestrian advocates on a ride from OutSpoke'N Bike Shop in Lake Mary, Fla., to AAA headquarters in Heathrow, Fla., to deliver the petition. The ride was on the federally funded Seminole-Wekiva Trail—a trail in AAA's front yard that, ironically, was developed using the same funding programs AAA would eliminate." more...

Jumper Lands On Bike Trail

12/12/10

"A woman was rushed to Miami Valley Hospital on Sunday afternoon after she jumped from the Washington Street bridge and landed on the bike path below.

"Passengers in a vehicle crossing the bridge spotted the female sitting on a railing on the east end of the bridge, then saw her jump off.

"One person went down to the bike path, part of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail, to check on the woman." more...

Houk Road Bike Path Discussions

"A proposed Houk Road bicycle path dominated much of the Delaware City Council budget discussions Dec. 6 and 7.

"Council members discussed potential grants, pedestrian and bicycle safety and what effect expected future widening of Houk Road would have on any money spent previously on the bike path. City manager Tom Homan said next to no chance exists that the path could be built before 2012.

"If council's goal is to build it in 2011, that's going to be very difficult," Homan said. "Realistically, you take a look at topography, easement issues and the cost itself it makes more sense to get it programmed in 2011 and have the objective of getting it built and finished in 2012." more...

Tallgrass Trail Completes Phase I

12/12/10

"On Nov. 12, Phase I construction of the Marion Tallgrass Trail was finished. Using a $100,000 Clean Ohio Fund Trail grant, the Marion County Park District was able to refurbish two bridges, construct and pave 0.7 miles of trail.

"Located west of Marion between Ohio 95 and 309 the trail head address is 2093 Holland Road. The trail runs through some of the county's most beautiful and diverse natural resources such as wild swans, bald eagles, wetlands and prairies." more...

Read an earlier post on this subject.

GMRT Construction South Of Tipp City

Culvert construction has closed Ross Road on the northern edge of the Taylorsville MetroPark in Montgomery County. Construction began on Dec. 6 and the road will be closed for approximately 30-45 days.

The culvert is for a new Great Miami River Trail section that will bridge the gap between finished trail in Taylorsville Metropark and Tipp City. Projected completion is June 2011.

Source: sundayrecordherald.com

17 Street & Trail Projects Funded

12/11/10

"Streetscape projects and walking and bicycle trails in the area will get a $9 million boost from the federal government over the next three years.

"Regional planners picked 17 projects across Northeast Ohio on Friday to split the money over that time, ranging from street beautification in Cleveland's Warehouse District and Tremont neighborhood, to trails connecting parks or linking existing paths in Geauga and Lake counties." more...

Port Union Canal Trail Closing Dec. 13

12/10/10

"Due to utility work, the portion of the Port Union Canal Trail in West Chester will be closed for the winter and possibly into the spring months, according to a press release from West Chester Township Public Information & Marketing Officer Barbara Wilson.

"The closure will begin this Monday, Dec. 13.

"Duke Energy will be installing underground lines, which will require disturbing portions of the trail. Restoration of the trail will not be able to take place until spring when new pavement can be installed.

"The portion of the path impacted follows the course of the former Miami-Erie Canal from State Route 747 to Firebird Lane at the Township’s border.

"The Port Union Historic Canal Trail is three-mile paved trail from State Route 747 to Route 4. The 10-foot wide multi-purpose trail can accommodate bicycles, roller blades, walkers, and joggers and is handicapped accessible. It is accessed from Firebird Lane, off Union Centre Boulevard at the Township’s western edge."

Source: WestChesterBuzz.com

Cleveland Bridge Plans Remain Uncertain

12/9/10

"The Lorain-Carnegie bridge could become a premier link for those on bike and foot under a $6 million street-improvement plan.

"The Ohio Department of Transportation says it can complete a project next year to widen and fortify bike-walk paths on the historic span between Cleveland's East and West.

"But ODOT's financial commitment to the Lorain-Carnegie (Hope Memorial) Bridge project is uncertain." more...

Moab Offers 100+ Miles Of Paved Trails

"Moab, Utah, well known for its spectacular mountain biking, also boasts some of the best road biking in the West and is now busy adding paved trails for those not ready for rugged mountain biking.

"With the recent completion of the Moab Canyon pathway, connecting the town to two national parks and one state park, there [are] over a hundred miles of paved non-motorized trails, snaking through absolutely amazing scenery. Add to this, the existing Mill Creek Parkway that meanders throughout the city, and you have a great road biking experience for any age." more...

North Ridgeville Master Plan

12/8/10

"North Ridgeville residents have to decide if several options to reinvent the city’s Town Center are - quite literally - on the right path.

"...For pedestrian and bicycle access across the city, Liszniansky explained four options. Waterside Trail, the first proposal, includes potential stream restoration and stretches from South Central Park, across Bainbridge Road, proceeds north beside the library and Ranger Stadium and passes next to St. Peter Church to reach Center Ridge Road. The Civic Link option, which Liszniansky called “the least inspiring … but the cheapest,” proceeds from between the Senior Center and the library, north to between the stadium and St. Peter Church cemetery, and ends between the middle school and St. Peter Church at Center Ridge Road.

"Option 3, Interior Loop, is just that. The approximately 1-mile circuit encompasses South Central Park, crosses north over Bainbridge Road at two locations and winds around to just south of St. Peter Church cemetery, making recreational use of the empty, several-acre field off of Bainbridge Road where Corn Festival parking normally occurs. The Diagonal Links option (the “most ambitious,” Liszniansky said) is a bit more complicated. Starting points for the two intersecting trails would be at Center Ridge Road by the middle school and also at the intersection of Root and Center Ridge roads. They would skirt the land on either side of the St. Peter Church cemetery and cross over each other in the midst of the woods north of the library. The trails would continue separately and end at the Senior Center/South Central Park and also somewhere near Bainbridge and Root roads." more...

Liberty Township Forming Bike Plan

12/7/10

"After gathering public input on multiuse trails in Liberty Township, grant writer Alicia Eckhart said there's a good chance the township could get funding to construct them.

"...During the township board of trustees meeting Monday, Dec. 6, Eckhart said she received public input through community brainstorming sessions on where township residents would like multiuse trails. Residents were asked to prioritize their suggestions, and votes were compiled Nov. 30, Eckhart said.

"According to results presented at the meeting, the No. 1 trail segment on residents' lists was a south connector going from Liberty Park, through Calumet Farms subdivision and on to Columbus." more...

Clark County Stonewalls Trail Volunteers

12/7/10

"Former users of Clark County's closed bike trails pleaded with park commissioners to reopen the trails at a parks meeting Monday night, even if they can't open other local parks.

"Users of the trail system held a petition with the names of 324 people urging park officials to open the trails.

"But park commissioners resisted pledging to open the trails while other parks remain barricaded from the public.

"Clark County Park District Commissioner Tim DeVore told the Springfield News Sun that it has to be "all or nothing" after a levy failure last month." more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

Hudson Turnpike Trail Opens Dec. 10

12/5/10

"The first phase of the Turnpike Trail, after four years of discussion, is scheduled to be completed Dec. 10. Remaining work as of Dec. 2 in the $145,000 project includes signs, railings and bollards to prevent vehicle traffic, said Eric Hutchinson, city park superintendent.

"The city paid Mr. Excavator Inc. $125,845 to construct the half-mile asphalt bike and hike trail just south of the Ohio Turnpike between Stow and Hudson-Aurora Road. The city paid $19,650 to GPS Associates for the design, Hutchinson said.

"The trail will provide off-road connections to Hudson Springs Park and Hudson Schools. It will be open to any "non-motorized traffic," Hutchinson said. There are sidewalks on both Stow and Hudson-Aurora Road where the trails end." more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

Morgana Run Trail Receives Award

12/2/10

"Slavic Village Development, Cleveland Public Art and Parkworks all claim their share of a national trail award.

"...The Slavic Village neighborhood's Morgana Run Trail boasts the first urban rail-trail conversion in Cleveland. Slavic Village Development, Cleveland Public Art and ParkWorks collaborated to develop a distinguishing marker for the East 49th Street trailhead: a 35-foot tall steel "flower" sculpture crafted by local artist Jake Beckman." more...

'Safe Routes' Funding For Baltimore, OH

"...Baltimore Village Administrator Marsha Hall said the Ohio Department of Transportation approved the Safe Route to School Travel Plan.

"Hall, Baltimore Police Chief Mike Tussey, Liberty Union-Thurston School Board President Art Brate and Superintendent Paul Mathews developed the plan, which encourages elementary and middle school students to walk or bike to school. ODOT’s approval of the travel plan allows Baltimore to submit an infrastructure application for funding.

"...The project proposes a 4,200 foot, six foot wide bicycle and walking path; 1,100 feet of five feet wide sidewalks; curb ramps and associated materials; flashing beacons with infrared pedestrian detectors; flashing beacons with a support beam and mast arm; and repainting the Ohio 158 crosswalk." more...

Ohio-To-Erie Trail Progress

11/30/10

Trail building highlights along the Ohio-to-Erie in 2010:

  • 1 mile of trail in Delaware County that includes a trail bridge over the Old 3C Highway.
  • 3.5-miles of new tarmac along the Camp Chase Trail before winter.
  • Construction began to close the gap in the Alum Creek Bikeway, with scheduled completion in 2011.
  • 3.5 miles of paved trail in the Mt. Liberty area along the Heart Of Ohio Trail
  • Cincinnati and Hamilton County sections are in various stages of completion of the 9.6-mile segment from Newtown to Lunken Airfield and on to downtown Cincy along the riverfront.
  • The final towpath segment through Akron, the Bartges Street bridge project, is scheduled for completion in Fall 2011.

Source: Ohio To Erie Trail Fund

Help to complete the cross-state Ohio-to-Erie Trail by making a donation.

Paving Begins On Heart Of Ohio Trail

11/29/10

A 3.5-mile section of the Heart Of Ohio Trail was recently paved in the Mt. Liberty area. The new tarmac begins at Bishop Road and extends eastward to a point just shy of Graham Road.

The next segment slated for paving is from Centerburg east to Updike Road, approximately 1.5 miles. Construction could come as early as summer 2011.

Knox County Parks is seeking input regarding future trail paving. Check their web site for the latest updates.

Cyclist Leaving Trail Struck By Car

11/25/10

A rider exiting a Beavercreek bikeway was struck by a car on Thursday. more...

NYC Bike Lane Wars

"...It's easy to laugh off irate protesters like Leslie Sicklick, a 45-year-old dog walker and substitute teacher who organized that little East Village bike lane protest last month. Sicklick tells the Times, "[Bloomberg's] taking away my rights as a driver!" And even though her protest was greatly outnumbered by cyclists, she's hardly alone in her resentment of the city's 200+ new miles of bike lanes. The bike lane backlash has been getting a lot of media attention, and there was a feeling of foreboding last week when the DOT started removing a long stretch of bike lane on Staten Island. The Times reminds us that no bike lane is sacred; in 1980 Mayor Koch installed dedicated bike lanes on Sixth and Seventh Avenue, but quickly removed them in the face of opposition." more...

ODNR To Clark County: Reopen Trail

11/24/10

"Days after the Clark County Park District put up barricades closing its four parks and bike trails, state officials say two of those properties must stay open.

"The Little Miami Scenic Trail and George Rogers Clark Park were developed with state and federal grants that stipulate the parks must stay open to the public indefinitely. This is according to a letter to the park district sent Monday from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“At this time we are asking the (district) to notify our office in writing of the park district’s plan for re-opening the park and trail,” the letter concludes. It gives a deadline of Dec. 10.

"The park district closed the park and its portion of the bike trail — along with Estel Wenrick Wetlands and the Prairie Grass Trail — last week, saying they can’t afford to keep them open."

Source: Springfield News-Sun

Read more about this trail closing controversy.

Trail Connector Part Of Newark Interchange Plan

11/23/10

"...The Ohio Department of Transportation held an open house at the Ohio State University-Newark campus to solicit feedback on a freeway interchange design that would eliminate the intersection at Rt. 16 and Cherry Valley Road, which is plagued by congestion and high crash rates.

"...One feature of the proposed interchange is a bike path that would connect two popular multipurpose paths already in the area." more...

Read about the feedback from the public meeting.

Canadian Trails Coming To Google Maps

11/22/10

"Cycling enthusiasts across Canada will soon be able to turn to Google for help with their next urban bike expedition.

" The online information giant announced Monday that it is introducing a Bike Directions feature to its popular Google Maps site, allowing users to highlight bike-friendly trails and roads across most major Canadian cities.

"Google spokeswoman Wendy Rozeluk said the feature will be available countrywide, but more detailed route info will be available for nine major cities that shared their bike trail data with the company.

"The cities are Ottawa, Gatineau, Que., Toronto, Waterloo, Ont. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Kelowna, B.C.." more...

Bicycle Route 66

11/22/10

"In a few years, you'll be able to get your bike touring kicks on Route 66.

"The Adventure Cycling Association announced on Monday that it has chosen the corridor of that iconic American highway as its next long-distance bicycle touring route.

"Known as the Mother Road, "it winds from Chicago to LA, more than 2,000 miles all the way" .... OK, maybe you already know the lyrics of the song.

"The two-lane highway was established more than 80 years ago as one of the original U.S. highways. Decommissioned in the 1980s, it remains a part of our popular culture." more...

In a related story, read about trail development along Rt. 66.

Reevaluating The Licking County Park District

11/21/10

"It's difficult to imagine anyone opposing parks and recreation opportunities, especially when the cost of a proposed parks levy is just $6 per $100,000 in property value.

"But that's what Licking County voters did twice in 2010 for reasons we suspect go well beyond any anti-tax sentiment toward the Licking Park District, which never has passed a levy in its 20 years." more...

Read a local judge's take on the park board.

Trail Bridge Construction Delayed

"Construction delays slowed progress on the installation of the Blacklick Trail bicycle path bridge over U.S. Route 33.

"It had been hoped to have the bridge up this fall, but various construction delays have set back the anticipated date for the placement of the bridge to mid-January, depending on the weather," said spokeswoman Peg Hanley of Metro Parks. "Once the bridge is set it will be usable."

"Once the 737 foot bridge is in place, it will connect the newly extended Blacklick Trail to existing paths that will enable cyclists, runners, and walkers to travel the five miles from Three Creeks Metro Park to Pickerington Ponds.

"The bridge over U.S. 33 will consist of eight pre-fabricated sections made of weathering steel, which means it will not need to be painted." more...

Clark County Closes Trails

11/18/10

"The onset of darkness Thursday also marked the end--at least temporarily--of four facilities operated by the Clark County Park District.

"No Trespassing" signs have now been placed at the 5.6-mile Little Miami Scenic Trail, the 10.7-mile Prairie Grass Trail, the 255-acre Estel Wenrick Wetlands and the 249-acre George Rogers Clark Park.

..."We are not going to be out here patrolling, looking for people who trespass," he said, adding they will answer all emergency calls." more...

Read another story on this topic or read earlier reports.

More Budget Cuts For Licking County Parks

11/18/10

"The Licking County Park District had its budget cut 53 percent last year when county funds started to dry up.

"Officials attempted to pass a levy in November without success. Now, commissioners are asking all county departments to make a 5 percent cut to their budgets and the park district is concerned that with more cuts, they will not be able to operate.

"Estimates from the county were that we were going to receive $260,000 again this year. But we have received indications that that amount will be cut additionally. If you do the math, it doesn't look very well," said Russell Edgington, director of the Licking Park District." more...

Read another report on this topic or read previous posts.

2010 National Trails Award Winners

11/17/10

"The National Trails Awards is one way American Trails recognizes the exemplary people across the landscape of America who are working to create a national system of trails to meet the recreation, health, and travel needs of all Americans." more...

Licking County Parks May Close This Winter

11/17/10

"The Licking Park District almost certainly will have to close its parks during the winter months after Tuesday's budget hearing with the Licking County Commissioners, and further cuts might be needed.

"The commissioners have asked district officials to cut at least 5 percent from the $260,000 received in 2010, cutting their budget to about $247,000, but park leaders have told commissioners they can not operate on a budget of less than $386,000.

"Although the district makes some money through events, it is reliant on the commissioners for the majority of funding." more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

Missing Persons Search Includes Kokosing Trail

11/16/10

"Trash bags and a tarp recovered by investigators are significant clues in the search for three missing Knox County residents, Sheriff David B. Barber said today.

"Barber would not say where or when the items were located, but they match items found by volunteer searchers earlier today. The sheriff also confirmed that investigators had a receipt indicating that Matthew J. Hoffman, the man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and holding her capitive at his Mount Vernon home, bought a tarp, trash bags, a t-shirt and a sandwich at a local Walmart.

"...Delaware County deputies and two dog teams also joined the search. They are searching the Kokosing Gap Trail, a 14-mile paved recreational trail that runs between Mount Vernon and Danville. A section of the trail ends near where Tina Herrmann's truck was found abandoned on Thursday." more...

Trail Closing Threats

11/15/10

We've noticed early signs of a disturbing trend that may be on the rise in various Ohio park districts. Rather than putting a label on this practice, we'll describe how it works.

It starts when a parks levy fails to pass voter approval. These are usually operating levies that provide the budget that maintains parks and their facilities. When this happens, naturally there are consequences. Facilities and parks can close.

The disturbing trend we see is that bike trails are among the first facilities mentioned that will be shut down. Bike trails are very popular and therefore easy targets for closure. Affected park districts know this is a hot button they can push to attempt to leverage local residents. Obviously, we have a problem with that." more...

Clark County Tactics Drawing State-Wide Attention

11/15/10

"The rejection of a property-tax issue in one western Ohio county has upset outdoor enthusiasts far and wide because the levy's loss on Nov. 2 means about 10 miles of the Ohio to Erie Trail will close in Clark County this week.

"The 92-mile, southern Ohio leg of the Ohio to Erie Trail connects Cincinnati to Madison County, and Metro Parks is extending it into Franklin County. The trail is responsible for a great deal of Ohio tourism and is far more than a place just for recreational bicyclists, said Jerry Rampelt, the trail's executive director.

"Closing chunks in the middle of the Columbus-to-Cincinnati route will be devastating, especially to those who might use the trail to bike to work, Rampelt said. "It is disastrous news and extremely disappointing that Clark County has made this decision," he said. "These closures create a gap in what has become a major transportation thoroughfare."

"...Barricades will go up at entrances to the trails on Thursday, said Cyndy Jividen, the district's assistant director.

"...People thought all we really needed was volunteers," Jividen said. "But it doesn't matter if I have 50 people standing here offering to mow our parks and trails if I don't have money for gas for the mower." more...

Read earlier posts on this topic.

Chestnut Ridge Building MTB Trail

"Chestnut Ridge Metro Park soon will be home to a criss-crossing, challenging and scenic mountain-bike trail that officials hope will bring more people into the park.

"Construction hasn’t begun yet but will be completed sometime next year, said Peg Hanley, Metro Parks spokeswoman. When it’s finished, Ohio mountain-bike enthusiasts will have one more rigorous path to practice their sport.

"It’s at the foot of the Appalachian Hills; you can get some pretty challenging trails going,” Hanley said." more...

Towpath Completion: $74 Mil & 5 More Years

11/14/10

"To some, completing the northern end of the 101-mile Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is Northeast Ohio's Mission: Impossible. To date, about $85 million has been invested to build 82 miles of the trail in Summit, Stark, Tuscarawas and Cuyahoga counties.

"The cost of completing about five miles in Cleveland could rival much of what has been spent so far as planners face active rail lines, steel mills and bulk commodity storage, pipelines, heavy truck traffic, interstate highways, environmental contamination and geological challenges such as high bluffs and the Cuyahoga River." more...

Clark County Trails To Close Nov. 18

11/13/10

"All four Clark County Park District parks and bike trails will close to the public indefinitely on Nov. 18, park district commissioners agreed Friday.

"This means “No trespassing” signs will block access to the parking lot at Beatty Station and access to both park district bike trails, as well as George Rogers Clark Park and the Estel Wenrick Wetlands.

"This should come as little surprise, park district commissioners said. This is exactly what they said could happen if voters rejected their levy request this year." more...

In a related story, the Licking County Parks Levy was also voted down. They are seeking more funding.

Trail Closing Scare Tactics?

11/12/10

"...[Clark County] Park commissioners voted Friday to close all four county parks. The district’s parks are the 5.6-mile Little Miami Scenic Trail, the 10.7-mile Prairie Grass Trail, the 255-acre Estel Wenrick Wetlands and the 249-acre George Rogers Clark Park.

"This is because the park district has no money, and voters rejected a levy this month that officials said was needed to keep parks open. That levy would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home roughly $4.69 per year.

"It doesn’t make sense to lose all the work you’ve done over the years for something like this, $5,” said Springfield resident Jenny Woolery.

"She asked if they could collect fees from park users. Park officials said this would cost too much to enforce. “Is part of this just a scare tactic?” she later asked.

"No, said park commission President Walt Szczesny. He said without the levy, their revenue from the state is projected at only $65,000." more...

Commentary

Note that this article reports that the "...park district has no money..." It goes on to say that it expects to receive $65k from the state. We believe those funds could go a long way for concerned volunteers interested in keeping their trails and parks open and maintained.

Clark County Closing Trails

11/11/10

"Voters rejected a levy on Election Day, and now some parks and bike paths in Clark County will close. The announcement was made Friday during a special meeting held at the Clark County Park District.

"Four properties that are maintained by the Clark County Park District will close on Nov. 18. Park officials said they do not have all the answers, but their No. 1 priority is to protect their assets.

"To do that, the president of the park district said closed signs will be placed at George Rogers Clark Park and the Estel Winrick Wetlands. They will also put signs up at the Little Miami Scenic Trail and the Prairie Grass Trail." more...

Camp Chase Trail Construction

11/11/10

"Work continues on the Camp Chase Railroad section of the Ohio to Erie Trail. Park staff hope to have a 3.5-mile section from Lilly Chapel to Georgesville done by the end of the year. Asphalt has been laid on a 2-mile section from Olmstead Road to River Street in Georgesville. A 60-foot bridge will be put over a tributary of Little Darby Creek near Olmstead Road in November.

"Metro Parks has committed to building 11 miles of the Ohio to Erie Trail from Wilson Road in Madison County to Sullivant Avenue on the west side of Columbus, just inside I-270.

"The 325-mile Ohio to Erie Trail is a multiuse trail that runs from Cincinnati to Cleveland."

Source: Columbus Rides

County Line Trail Progress

"The Erie Lackwanna Railroad disappeared years ago, but you can travel its path between Creston and Ritman on the Country Line Trail. A project of Rails to Trails of Wayne County, work is underway in Sterling, where the EL once crossed the Baltimore & Ohio Chicago-Pittsburgh line at RU tower.

"The trail is paved through Sterling and railings are on the bridge across the creek west of Kauffman Avenue." more...

Veteran's Glass City Trail Opens

11/11/10

"The former stretch of I-280 that divided Toledo's North End neighborhood is officially history, replaced by a linear park featuring a multiuse trail linking the Buckeye Basin area with Tribute and Ravine parks.

"Nothing had been keeping walkers and cyclists from using the trail before the Ohio Department of Transportation formally announced its completion Wednesday, of course.

"...The 2.21-mile trail meanders beneath the North Toledo viaduct of the Veterans' Glass City Skyway, crossing the Craig Memorial Bridge into the East Toledo parks. It is just one element of ODOT's $22 million project to restore the former I-280 right-of-way to local use following the freeway's 2007 relocation onto the Skyway overhead. But it's a step ODOT pledged to take to reunify the North Toledo neighborhood that was divided during the 1950s, before the interstate highway system, by construction of the Detroit-Toledo Expressway." more...

We gleaned the new trail name from this news brief.

Residents Oppose Trail Connector Options

11/10/10

"By 2012, biking and hiking enthusiasts may finally see a connection between Lake Metroparks’ 4.8-mile Greenway Corridor Bike Bath and the Geauga Park District’s 12.4-mile Maple Highlands Trail.

"Bill Baker, of CT Consultants, Inc., is Lake Metroparks’ project manager for the connection, and he unveiled six trail development options in a meeting Tuesday attended by about 150 affected property owners. The proposed trail would connect Lake Metroparks’ trail that currently runs from the city of Painesville into Concord Township, to the Maple Highlands Trail.

"..The park system has been planning this project for a number of years and has acquired federal funding to complete the connection. Property owners adjacent to any of the five proposed pathways (the sixth option is to not complete the trail) were invited to attend the information session.

"Two of the proposed connection routes are through the Quail Hollow area of Concord Township, which is where the majority of residents who attended the meeting live. The crowd was extremely vocal in their opposition to the alternatives that would pass through their neighborhood."

"The two existing trails that course through both Lake and Geauga counties run primarily along an abandoned railroad right of way. The Quail Hollow subdivision was built on a portion of that abandoned railroad." more...

MTB Trail Coming To Fairfield County

11/10/10

"Area mountain-bike enthusiasts will have a second challenging trail to call home next year.

"Metro Parks is working with the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization to develop a 12-mile trail at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park in northwestern Fairfield County, the first such trail in the park system.

"Yesterday, the Metro Parks board approved the agreement with the group to help design, build and operate the trail. Metro Parks will spend about $40,000 on it." more...

Newark Trail Section To Be Re-Routed

11/9/10

"The Newark City Council Capital Improvement Committee on Monday approved the relocation of the bike path along Country Club Drive.

"The change, which still must be approved by full council, is being prompted by a widening of the road in 2011, City Engineer Brian Morehead said.

"The bike path will move from right next to the road to behind a house on the Newark campus of Ohio State University and Central Ohio Technical College. The work will be done in spring 2011."

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Funding For Route 66 Trail

11/8/10

"Gov. Pat Quinn announced that McLean County [Illinois] will receive over $1.5 million to construct a bike trail along Historic Route 66. The new funds will be used to connect the four mile gap between the bike trails in Towanda and Normal.

"The $1.5 million comes from a $90 million federal transportation enhancement fund the state was awarded for alternative means of transportation. The federal government obtained these taxes by placing an excise tax on gasoline.

"This new bike trail is going to make it much more accessible [to] experience the historic route,” Fred Walk, academic adviser in the department of history, said.

"I think it [the bike trail] is going to enhance the opportunity to experience Route 66 which has a local and national historical value,” he added." more...

Northwest Bike Path Proposed

11/4/10

"An ordinance that will expand the Athens bike path with a new spur for riders to get across the Hocking River was introduced to Athens City Council when they met Monday night.

"Transportation Committee chair Christine Knisely said the extension is part of a larger $221,000 project with grant money from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to reimburse part of the expenses.

"She said the project involves the bridge portion of the bike path where it comes near Ohio Rt. 682 and Armitage Road. Using an existing railroad bridge, the spur will extend across the Hocking River toward the Moonville Rail Trail. The ordinance will contract an estimated $120,000 for the spur construction, she said." more...

Licking County Parks Levy Fails

11/3/10

"Licking County residents will lose access to parks, and county bike trails will not receive needed maintenance next year, as voters yesterday rejected a county park district levy.

"The request was rejected by about 52 percent of the vote in final, unofficial returns. The 0.2-mill, 5-year property-tax levy would have raised about $737,060 a year for district operations and cost property owners about $6 a year per $100,000 of home value.

"The park district's budget was cut by more than 50 percent this year as part of an overall 10 percent reduction in the county budget. County funding makes up 90 percent of the district's budget, which is why officials have said parks would close next year without new revenue." more...

Evans Trail Closing For Maintenance

11/3/10

"The T.J. Evans Bike Path will be closed Monday for routine maintenance on the roads parallel to the trail by the Licking County Highway Department.

"The trail will be closed between the crossing near Raccoon Valley Road in Granville along the T.J. Evans Bike Trail and end in Alexandria. The trail is scheduled to reopen Tuesday when the work is complete.

"For more information, call the Licking Park District at (740) 587-2535.

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Projected Costs For Heath Trail Double

11/2/10

"...Another appropriation, the city's share of extending the bike path from the Heath City Water Park to the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, increased the cost estimate.

"The project cost, previously estimated at $600,000, increased to $1.2 million, Groff said he was told by ODOT. The city's share, expected to be $160,000, jumped to $284,000.

"Groff told the committees he expects the city share will be closer to the original estimate, but the amount will not be known until bids are opened in December. The Evans Foundation also contributed $80,000 to the project."

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Mosquito Lake Greenway Project

11/2/10

"A committee of local residents is continuing its work to establish the Mosquito Lake Greenway.

"The trail would encircle part of Mosquito Creek Reservoir and connect with the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway providing a place for bicyclists, runners and walkers.

"Members of the 10-member committee met recently to discuss the status of the project.

"Michael Swiatkwich, chairman of the committee, said the commitee's vision is to connect population centers in Trumbull County to the regional recreational resource of Mosquito Lake by a "greenway" and bike lanes, creating a focal point for building community and sustainable development.

"Our goal is have a greenway trail that encircles a part of Mosquito Lake," he said." more...

Cleveland Bike Station Coming

10/30/10

"Work has begun on Cleveland's first bike station. The Cleveland Bike Rack is being constructed downtown, in the North Gateway Garage at East 4th Street and High Avenue, near Quicken Loans Arena.

"The station will be managed by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and will have private shower and changing facilities, secure indoor/outdoor bicycle racks, plus a bicycle repair and rental facility.

"Robert Brown of the Cleveland Planning Commission says the facility will allow people to commute downtown by bike, and should attract more visitors to the business district. Sheri Drake if the Downtown Cleveland Alliance reveals, this is just the second such facility in Ohio.

"The bicycle station is being constructed at a cost of $600,000. Half is being paid for by the city of Cleveland, with the remainder covered by federal stimulus funds. It's set to open in the spring of 2011."

Source: WTAM.com

NPS May Expand Lewis & Clark Trail

10/30/10

"The National Park Service is studying the idea of potentially extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail into Ohio and neighboring states.

"The NPS will hold an open forum from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Campus Martius Museum [in Marietta] to discuss issues and opportunities and gather input from interested participants regarding the trail's potential expansion." more...

Closing The Clyde To Bellevue NCIT Gap

10/29/10

"The long-awaited Clyde-to-Bellevue segment of the popular North Coast Inland Trail is coming soon, according to the Sandusky County Park District.

"The district has been working to extend the trail from Clyde since the 6.5-mile Fremont-to-Clyde segment opened in 1997.

"Grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will provide 94 percent of the cost to design and build the trail. The new trail segment will link directly to the Clyde-Fremont segment at Maple Street in Clyde and travel approximately 4.75 miles to County Road 177 at the west edge of Bellevue. The trail will be built on the inactive railroad corridor previously acquired by the park district and the City of Clyde." more...

Trying To Ride A Century

10/27/10

We came across this blog that covers a ride north on the Great Miami River Trail. It provides some connecting road route directions between finished trail sections.

Plans May Link Firestone Metro Park With Towpath

10/27/10

"Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, is taking a close look at developing a trail to connect Firestone Metro Park to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

"Park commissioners on Wednesday approved spending $17,000 to hire the Akron-based GPD Group to direct a feasibility study that will include looking at possible trail alignments and investigating soil conditions along the route on the Akron-Coventry Township border.

"The proposed trail would run along a feeder canal from the lake at Warner and Harrington roads at Firestone Country Club west past Logan Field to Long Lake. It would then run north and west to connect with the Towpath Trail in the still-developing Confluence Park.

"It is about two miles from Firestone Metro Park to the Towpath Trail, and about half of the new trail would be on the feeder canal towpath, park district planner David Whited said." more...

Group To Meet With ODOT On Bridge Design Plan

10/26/10

"The coalition leading a community conversation around the design of a Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge to include a bike and pedestrian path are the same citizens and NGOs who will meet with the Ohio Department of Transportation on November 18 to discuss a compromise.

"...Some in the group still believe that ODOT, with more creativity and the will of the city behind it, could insist that its designer add a bike-ped path on the bridge. At the same time, Access for All, which includes advocacy group, ClevelandBikes, and cycling educators Ohio City Bike Coop, wants to be at the table to shape the alternative route which snakes through the Near West Side and which ODOT has promised to pay to improve." more...

Follow earlier posts on this topic.

Go Ohio Public Workshops

ODOT is surveying Ohioans to learn more about the kind of transportatiom future they envision. That's right, they're asking YOU to give your input on Ohio's transportation plan.

The program is called Go Ohio. It's a series of fall workshops being held across the state to survey residents. The 1st workshop was held Oct. 25th. Future workshops will be held in Bowling Green (10/27), Portsmouth (10/28), Cleveland (11/3), Youngstown (11/4), Cambridge (11/9) and Athens (11/10). Learn more...

Read more about the feedback gathered at the Columbus workshop on Oct. 25.

Bike Shelters Coming To Columbus

10/26/10

"The city wants help planning where to build as many as 10 bicycle shelters.

"Columbus officials have turned to Consider Biking, an advocacy group, which is asking cyclists to submit ideas.

"Each shelter might accommodate 10 to 20 bikes, said Jeff Stephens, chairman of the city's biking subcommittee and executive director of Consider Biking.

"The city wants to build the shelters outside Downtown. Ideas include locating the shelters at shopping malls, parks and athletic venues, Stephens said." more...

Riverside Drive Bike Plans In Cincy

10/23/10

"The East End's Riverside Drive, a major artery that has linked Downtown to eastern Cincinnati neighborhoods and suburbs for generations, is a prime candidate for almost four miles of bike lanes or off-street bike paths.

"With the construction of a permanent bike trail along the Ohio River through the East End 10 to 15 years in the future, Cincinnati planners view the Riverside route as a much quicker, less expensive option.

"All five of the bike path concepts, ranging in cost from $400,000 to $2.3 million, would eliminate parking on one side of the four-lane road and would restrict motor vehicles to two lanes.

"This is part of the city's plan to create 440 miles of bike lanes over the next 15 years." more...

NE Ohio TE Projects Seeking Grants

10/21/10

"Several area communities are still in the hunt for Transportation Enhancement program funding from NOACA.

"The TE Task Force recommends spending more than $9.2 million on 18 projects, including seven in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties. A Transportation Advisory Committee will make its recommendation to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency's governing board next month, with the awards scheduled for December.

"...Among the proposals on the funding list is the Maple Highlands Trail connector, which would close part of the gap in the trail. The trail now ends on South Street in the city of Chardon and Center Street in Chardon Township." more...

O & E Canalway & Towpath Receive Award

10/20/10

"The developers of the Ohio & Erie Canalway & Towpath Trail have received their first-ever Scenic Ohio Award.

"On Saturday, October 16th, Dan Rice, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, along with the Director of Projects Sue Reid, accepted the 2010 Scenic Ohio Award from First Lady Frances Strickland at the Ohio Governor’s Residence in Columbus.

"...The Scenic Ohio Award recognizes the work of agencies, local government, non-profits and others that significantly preserve and improve Ohio’s scenic resources." more audio...

Bolivar Towpath Gets $320K Boost

10/19/10

"...After learning the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail will receive $320,000 toward construction, Hubble said the trail will bring people to Bolivar.

Bolivar Councilman Richard Lebold said he has been working on bringing the Towpath Trail to Bolivar for the past 12 years.

“The funds will be used for construction. The trail will begin at Fort Laurens park and come down Park St., through the downtown (Canal St.) and end where Canal and Park Sts. meet Sherman Ave.,” he said. “The trail will be made with expanded concrete.”

Source: TimesReporter.com

Marblehead Considers Bikeways

10/19/10

"Officials from the village, Ohio Department of Transportation, the LaFarge North America and the state's Office of Coastal Management met Sept. 20 to discuss the possibility of bringing a bike and walking path to the peninsula, Marblehead Mayor Jackie Bird said.

"It was an idea we had because we have the water line replacement going on," Bird said. "Phase two is next year."

"Bird said because repaving will be taking place, why not look into adding a path to some of the area's roadways? "We have East Harbor, the Lakeside Daisy Preserve, the lighthouse and the state park on Kelleys Island," she said.

"Ideally, Bird said, a bike and walking path could connect all the locations, using the Kelleys Island Ferry to get cyclists to a path on the island. That path, she said, would lead to the state park." more...

Tallgrass Trail Phase I Underway

10/17/10

"...Karen Kelley, Marion County Parks District Board director, and members of the board and Friends of Prairie Parks took a group of about 15 for a walk along the first two miles of the former Erie-Lackawanna Railroad corridor on Saturday.

"We just wanted people to see how far we've come so far," Kelley said, after, some of the group dispersed to assist in clearing a portion of the trail westward from the trailhead at the eastern edge of the path.

"Two former railroad bridges will be refurbished and the first 1,000 feet of the trail paved before the end of November, Kelley said. The work is being done with a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources accompanied by a 25 percent match in local contributions." more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

West Chester Passes On New Trails

10/13/10

"New bike trails will have to wait. The [West Chester] township trustees debated the topic for the second consecutive meeting Tuesday, with Trustee President Lee Wong again pleading his case to apply for an 80 percent match grant with a Friday deadline to extend the Port Union trail to Ohio 747.

"At September’s meeting, Trustee Catherine Stoker said Wong should wait until there was more money to complete the entire trail plan and not put it together in segments.

"Two residents spoke in support of the trail, and five others attended to hear the outcome.

“Safety of our citizens is imperative,” Wong said, stressing the high cost to build the entire trail. “Besides, to wait for winning a jackpot in the near future, that’s pretty unrealistic.” more...

Hudson Trail Construction

10/13/10

"A new trail at a park in northwest Hudson offers a quiet, pleasant hike through the woods, while two other new trails should be finished by the end of the year.

"The one-mile crushed limestone Maple Grove Park trail is now open for hiking, said Park Superintendent Eric Hutchinson. The cost was $76,000, and the city contracted Alba Contractors Inc. for the project, Hutchinson said.

"Work on the a trail along the Ohio turnpike has begun, and work on a trail at Oak Grove Park will begin later in the fall, he said. They are scheduled to be done by the end of the year.

"The Turnpike Trail will be an asphalt bike and hike trail south of the Ohio Turnpike between Stow and Hudson Aurora roads. Council awarded a $125,845 contract to Mr. Excavator Inc. for the project.

"The Oak Grove Trail is a crushed limestone trail of several hundred feet from Oak Grove Park to the Weston Drive neighborhood and is budgeted for $35,000. The city has not yet awarded a contract." more...

Hartford Cyclist Attack Thwarted

10/12/10

"An off-duty Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper riding his motorcycle Sunday afternoon may have saved the life of a woman attacked and pulled from her bicycle from an attempted abduction and sexual assault.

"Now police are asking for help in finding the attacker who escaped. The assault happened at 1:30 p.m. Sunday as a 60-year-old woman rode her bicycle near Sharon Motor Speedway." more...

Mad River Trail Extension Plan

10/11/10

"[Dayton] city leaders have taken a big step to extend the Mad River Recreation Trail through the city and connect it with another bike trail at the Huffman Dam in Fairborn.

"Council members voted unanimously Thursday to allow City Manager Bryan Chodkowski to enter into negotiations with Five Rivers MetroParks to grant the easements necessary for the agency to build 3.6 miles of bike trail.

"The Mad River Trail currently runs 2.6 miles from downtown Dayton’s RiverScape to Eastwood MetroPark.

"MetroParks proposes spending $3 million to extend the trail through Eastwood, under Harshman Road at the Mad River bridge, and then down Harshman Road. The trail will then head east along Huberville Avenue and Springfield Street to Huffman MetroPark." more...

Marion Tallgrass Trail Report

10/10/10

"In updating the work on the county's first recreation trail, parks director Karen Kelley also announced volunteers needed to help at the trailhead, 2093 Holland Road, on Saturday.

"We are making slow but steady progress on the project," Kelley said in a news release about the new 12-mile Marion Tallgrass Trail west of Marion.

"From noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Kelley and park board commissioners will be at the trailhead to describe the work done to this point. From 1 to 3 p.m., volunteers will continue clearing trail on the abandoned rail corridor west from Herr Road over to Ohio 203.

"Phase I, using a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, will refurbish two railroad bridges in the first mile and put down pavement starting from the parking area and headed west. Typical trail construction cost runs about $250,000 a mile." more...

Graffiti Cleanup Along Evans Trail

10/8/10

"Newark Parks and Recreation Department workers will spend time today restoring a stretch of the T.J. Evans Bike Trail that was spray-painted earlier this week with offensive graffiti.

"A resident first reported the graffiti -- discovered on the bike path near the Newark campus of Ohio State University and Central Ohio Technical College -- to the Newark Parks and Recreation Department on Thursday, said Chuck Jackson, the department's special events coordinator.

"Jackson and department superintendent Jeff Hotchkiss went out to inspect the trail Thursday after they learned of the damage. A crew will be sent to the site today to attempt to remove the bright orange markings with a power washer and chemical for graffiti removal, Jackson said." more...

Trail Paved With Bioasphalt

10/7/10

"Asphalt is usually made from the bottom of the barrel, the dregs of the oil refining process. But then along came the tar sands and better technologies for refining heavy oil into gasoline, and the price has climbed. John has noted that it has got so expensive that rural roads are going back to the stone age.

"But Chris Williams of Iowa University has come up with an interesting alternative; he has cooked up a bio-oil from plants and trees that can replace the asphalt glue that holds our pavement together- Bioasphalt." more...

Suspect Appraisals For Cleveland Towpath Parcels

10/6/10

"...as Scene first reported in April, the road to Clean Ohio funding was bumpy for Ohio Canal Corridor. Late last year, as the process commenced, accusations flew that the Corridor's point man, Tim Donovan, inappropriately tipped the process in his project's favor. Despite the controversy, the Corridor was awarded the money it needed to finish its trail.

"Afterward, chatter surrounding the Towpath didn't go dead — it only slipped underground and off the record. Ask those with a stake in the Flats' rebirth about the Towpath project, and talk quickly turns conspiratorial — uncharacteristic for a crowd made up largely of do-gooder green thumbs and Earth aficionados.

"Rumors are tossed about: talk of cookie-cutter appraisals, inflated project costs, and whispered ties to fallen county Auditor Frank Russo. But elbow the rumors aside, and a detailed look at the fine print and crunched numbers reveals a troublesome pattern — not only with the controversial land purchases, but with the entire funding process. At the heart of the problem is a pattern of excessively high property appraisals with the same fingerprints on each application. Compounding matters is the fact that state agencies that could have questioned the inflated figures opted instead to do nothing." more...

Lakewood Bike Planning Meeting A Success

10/5/10

"A great turn out for [Monday] night's Bike Network Planning meeting at the Main Library auditorium hosted by the City of Lakewood's Department of Planning and Development. More than 60 residents and stakeholders with representatives from organizations like Walk and Roll, the Earth day Coalition, Lakewood Recreation and the Cleveland Clinic were in attendance to begin a wide reaching collaborative effort to improve the bicycling conditions in Lakewood." more...

Read a previous story on this topic.

28-Mile Trail Planned For Clinton County

10/5/10

"A 28-mile-long recreational trail, extending from Melvin Road east of Wilmington to Sabina to Washington Court House to New Holland, is a viable prospect, albeit in phase one, according to a member of the Clinton County Parks District.

"If attained, the trail will provide the first extensive paved path in Clinton County, far surpassing the 1.2-miles long Luther E. Warren Peace Path and the 1.3-miles long 4-C Bicentennial Trail, both parts of the Wilmington parks system.

"Not that long ago, a trail eastward from Wilmington to Sabina was thought to be of the long-range plan variety, but two things changed that: a $155,696 Clean Ohio Trail Fund grant was awarded to the Clinton County Parks District, and the wish of Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) to divest itself of certain easements since it’s no longer in the natural gas business.

"...A public meeting on the trail proposal is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, at the Sabina Municipal Building, 99 N. Howard St. in downtown Sabina." more...

Olentangy River Rd Path Planned

10/5/10

"A bicycle and pedestrian path planned along Olentangy River Road [in Columbus] would mean safer travel to Ohio Stadium, the Schottenstein Center and other places near Ohio State University, city officials say.

"Columbus City Council members unanimously approved a Department of Public Service request last night for $533,000 to begin planning for the path between Kinnear Road and North Broadway.

"The stretch includes the spot where a 16-year-old Nevada girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2007 while visiting Columbus for a Catholic youth conference.

"There simply is no safe place for pedestrians or bicycles," Public Service Director Mark Kelsey said. "We need to make the area more pedestrian-friendly."

"...the city hasn't decided which side of the street would get the new path. Construction is expected to start next year." more...

Dog Finds Fallen Walker

10/3/10

"Buck the Black Lab illustrated Friday why he and his four legged relatives have been dubbed for ages as "man's best friend."

"...Buck saved a man's life Friday after discovering him unconscious on the side of a bike path in Xenia.

"Joe Frankel is Buck's owner and every afternoon he takes his Black Labrador Retriever on a walk. But on Friday, while on their routine walk, Buck did something extraordinary.

"During the walk Buck stopped suddenly. Frankel said that Buck wouldn't leave a ditch on the side of the path alone as he paced and stared down into the wooded area.

"So Frankel finally gave in and checked to see what had caught the attention of his dog. That's when he found an elderly man laying unconscious in the ditch. From the path, the man was hidden from view but Buck noticed him.

"The man had a gash in his head, Frankel said, and was bleeding. He called police and even while crews treated the victim, Buck stood guard over the man he'd never even seen before Friday." more...

Trail Groundbreaking In Amanda

10/3/10

"A Johns Trail groundbreaking ceremony was on Sept. 10 at Mid West Fabricating in Amanda. About 25 people met along the abandoned railway behind Mid West Fabricating to announce the commencement of construction of a multi-use trail which will rest primarily on the abandoned rail grade.

"The trail will run between West Main Street near Marshall Grain Mill to School Street near the Amanda Roller Rink, and is made possible through easements donated by Marshall Grain Co. and Mid West Fabricating Co. The trail is being funded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources through a Clean Ohio Fund grant, and by the Fairfield Foundation through a grant from The George and Dollie L. Zimpfer Memorial Fund.

"Construction is being done by Tom Gobel Well Drilling and Excavating.

Source: Lancaster EagleGazette.com

5 Dayton Trail Projects Receive Funding

10/3/10

"Five recreational trails projects in the Dayton region will get more than $1.2 million in the voter-approved Clean Ohio Fund money this year.

"...The regional trail grants this year will allow two projects in Miami and Butler counties to fill in gaps in the Great Miami River Recreation Trail, two projects to connect Darke County to the trail, and another project in Beavercreek to connect two housing developments to two parks and the Creekside Trail.

"Mike Thonnerieux, director of the Beavercreek Parks and Recreation Department, said his community’s 4,600-foot-long trail will connect 730 homes in two Beavercreek Twp. subdivisions with two parks and the regional Creekside Trail." more...

MTB Trail Opens In Toledo

10/2/10

"The official opening of the Jermain Park Mountain Bike Trail is at noon Saturday at the park, 3650 Monroe St.

"...Tim Burns, Toledo's manager of parks and forestry, said the 3.28-mile dirt trail was cleared by volunteers and cost the city nothing. "More than 45 volunteers donated more than 500 hours," he said. "The closest trail to anything like this is in Van Buren, [Ohio]. To have something like this in our backyard is a real prize."

"Mr. Burns said the volunteers, organized in a group called Toledo Free Ride, hacked and cut the trail using chain saws, shovels, rakes, hoes, and machetes, but disturbed the topography as little as possible so bike riders would have natural terrain." more...

OSU Bike Thief Nabbed

9/30/10

"A man accused of trying to steal a bicycle from the Ohio State campus allegedly tried to use mace on a safety officer before jumping into the Olentangy River in an attempt to elude authorities.

"The ordeal began at about 12:30 a.m., when two safety officers spotted a man trying to steal a bike from a dorm. As the officers approached the man, he allegedly sprayed mace at them and fled, Ramos reported. The man eventually jumped into the Olentangy River.

"After an hour of searching with dogs and boats, authorities located the man in a wooded area near Cannon Drive, Ramos reported. He was taken into custody and charged with theft. Additional charges were possible, police said.

"The man's identity was not released by police."

Source: 10tv.com

Here's a more detailed report.

New Columbus Bike Routes Map

9/29/10

"Bicyclists looking for a place to ride can find routes throughout central Ohio in a new Columbus Metro bike users map released today.

"The map, released by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, shows current and proposed trails, along with the condition of each route. The map includes residential and off-road paths as well as bike lanes.

"First released in May, 2009, about 30,000 copies have been distributed. The newest edition features rules of the road and safety tips for bicyclists.

"The maps are available at 30 local bike shops and will son be distributed at libraries and recreation centers. See an online copy of the map."

Source: Columbus Dispatch.com

County Line Trail Bridge Goes Up

9/26/10

"A bike trail connecting Rittman, Sterling and Creston is in the process of clearing a major hurdle, namely the Chippewa Creek.

"Crews from Holmesville-based V.O. Menuez & Son Inc. set four 111-foot precast, concrete beams in place Thursday, giving shape to a bridge that will span the creek, allowing trail riders, walkers and joggers to pass.

"Jan Menuez, president of the company, said this is about the largest beams with which his company has ever worked. He said it likely pushed United Precast's abilities, too.

"...Keith Workman, another trustee, said he is excited to see it closer to being done after the project has been in the planning process for so many years.

"[Wayne County] Rails to Trails President Don Noble II said the seven-mile trail, which connects Rittman and Creston through Sterling, will have a positive impact on the communities and county. He said the trail will attract people from outside of Wayne County." more...

Lakeside Trail Gets Maintenance Boost

9/25/10

"[Ashtabula County's] Convention Facilities Authority (CFA) agreed Friday to commit up to $3,500 annually toward the maintenance of the bike trail that connects the Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva-on-the-Lake with Geneva State Park.

"The two-mile trail, which runs along Lake Erie for much of its length, was built largely with state grant money and is on state park property. The agreement the county made with the state requires the county to maintain the trail." more...

Columbus Expands 'Share The Road'

9/24/10

"City of Columbus To Expand Its Bicycle Safety Share The Road Program With Installation of 159 Sharrows, 17 Share The Road and 133 Bike Route Signs In Three Areas Beginning Saturday

"On Saturday, the City of Columbus will begin to install 159 bicycle sharrow pavement markings, 17 Share The Road and 133 Bike Route signs in the Downtown and Northland areas and on Lockbourne Road on the South Side. The three projects totaling $195,000 are part of the City's Bicentennial Bikeways Plan created by Mayor Michael B. Coleman in 2008. Most of the work will be completed by the end of October.

"...The Downtown project, the Scioto-Alum Creek Bike Connector, will provide a link between the I-670 Bike Trail and the Scioto Bike Trail at North Bank Park. The Olentangy-Alum Creek Bike Connector will link the Alum Creek Bike Trail near Cooper Road and Ranier Avenue in northeast Columbus to the Scioto-Olentangy Greenways Trail at the Broadmeadows pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Olentangy River. The connector will go on streets and bike trails through the Northland area and north Columbus west of I-71 near the Worthington border. The South Side project will be on Lockbourne Road between East Livingston and Frebis Avenues." more...

Lakewood Bikeway Planning Workshop Oct. 5

"Help us make our city a great place to ride!

"The Planning and Development Department will host a Lakewood Bikeway Planning Community Workshop on Tuesday, October 5 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM in the Lakewood Public Library Auditorium, 15425 Detroit Avenue.

"This workshop is the first opportunity for residents to share their input and ideas about commuter and recreational bicycling in Lakewood." more...

AAA Calls For Rescinding Federal Funding For Trails

"...The president of AAA Mid-Atlantic recently advocated for the elimination of existing federal dollars that help build bicycle and pedestrian trails and sidewalks. These funds have helped create more than 19,000 miles of trails, walking and bicycling facilities across the country—likely including your favorite nearby trail.

"AAA encourages its members to get outdoors and explore the country—including by bicycle—so why do they support cutting programs that help their members do precisely that?" more...

Galena Trail Dedication Set For October

9/23/10

"The Delaware Friends of the Trail expect to dedicate the latest addition to the Ohio-to-Erie Trail in mid-October -- now that a multi-use trail bridge section has been lowered into place.

"The prefabricated span was placed last Wednesday, Sept. 15, across the Old 3C Highway southwest of Galena. Paving of that trail section is expected to begin Tuesday "and shouldn't take more than a day or two," said Friends secretary Barry Schumann.

"The bridge is "part of a trail section connecting the northern terminus of the Genoa Trail at Plumb Road, passing through the Hoover Nature Preserve on the northwest side of Hoover Reservoir and ending at the intersection of Wiese Road and Old 3C," according to information from the Friends." more...

Read another post on this topic.

CVNP Trail Plan Options & Public Meetings

9/23/10

"The National Park Service (NPS) invites the public to participate and provide comments on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) Trail Management Plan Draft Alternatives.

"Six draft alternatives have been developed for the CVNP’s Trail Management Plan. Each alternative reflects a trail experience theme for the park visitor...

"...The NPS has prepared a Trail Management Plan Workbook to provide a progress report of the planning process to date and introduction of the Draft Alternatives.

"The public is invited to review and download the workbook at parkplanning.nps.gov/cuyahogatrailplan or attend an informational public meeting at Happy Days Lodge today, Sept. 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. or Sept. 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m." more...

Read a previous post on this subject.

Amherst Secures Trail Funds

9/23/10

"It took hearing “no” more than Amherst Township officials would have liked, but it made the news of a grant for more than $30,000 that much sweeter.

"The township was awarded $34,852 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’s NatureWorks program yesterday. The money will be used to extend an existing 2,200-foot trail at Amherst Township Park, 44786 Middle Ridge Road, an additional 2,000 feet, said Neil Lynch, an Amherst Township trustee.

"Weather permitting, Lynch said the project should be completed by the end of the year.

"The new trail will connect the existing trail to the township’s Civil War era cemetery and to the Workshop Player’s Theater, Lynch said. The trail will comply with the American Disability Act of 1990, Lynch said." more + video...

Westerville Plans Ohio-To-Erie Trail Depot

9/22/10

"Westerville officials want the city to be a stop on the Ohio to Erie Trail.

"With the help of Sertoma and the Westerville Parks Foundation, the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department is raising money for the Westerville Legacy Train Depot, a bike hub that would be built on the trail in Hanby Park.

"The 35-by-16-foot structure would be designed to resemble an old-fashioned train depot, an homage to the train depot that once stood in Westerville, city recreation development administrator Michael Hooper said.

"Plans for the hub are preliminary, but Hooper said it would contain restrooms, an eating area, a fireplace where riders could warm up at in colder months and a place for people to lock their bikes while they head to Uptown for ice cream, shopping or food.

"When people are coming through town, they can stop at this hub," Hooper said. "It's a good opportunity to bring people into the city." more...

Tate Township Hit-And-Skip Fatality

9/21/10

"Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers released new information about a man hit and killed while riding his bike in Bethel Monday night. 66 year old James Trammel was struck by a hit and run driver in the 3300 block of State Route 125 in Tate Township around 10 p.m. Trammel died at the scene.

"The driver of the vehicle which hit Trammel took off. Troopers say the vehicle was white in color and should have front end damage, possibly with a shattered windshield.

"Troopers are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact them the Batavia post at 513-732-1510"

A suspect has been identified in the case.

Source: local12.com

Senate Candidate Killed In Hit-Skip

9/21/10

"Natasha Pettigrew, a 30-year-old Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, died late Monday night, one day after she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle.

"Maryland State Police said they learned Pettigrew had died at a Prince George's County hospital at 10:30 p.m. on Monday.

"She had been critically injured at about 5:30 a.m. on Sunday while training for a triathlon on Route 202 in the Largo area.

"Pettigrew was hit by an SUV traveling south on Route 202 near the intersection with Campus Way. State police said the driver apparently thought she had hit a deer or another animal and realized what had happened when she found Pettigrew's bicycle trapped under her car upon arriving home at a Cheverly area address. Pettigrew was not dragged by the vehicle but suffered severe injuries, police said." more...

Upper Arlington Examines Bike Laws

9/21/10

"There was little, if any, traffic on Upper Arlington streets just after 1 a.m. Feb. 2 when Rob Ebert hopped onto his mountain bike and pedaled to a bank machine at the Shops on Lane Avenue.

"He chose his bike because he had been drinking and couldn't afford more points on his driver's license after a previous conviction for driving a car while drunk.

"To his surprise, as he started to pedal back toward his Andover Road home, a police officer pulled him over and arrested him on suspicion of operating a vehicle while drunk.

"[Monday], Ebert pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless operation.

"Although Ohio law says that driving a bike drunk is the same as driving a car drunk, Ebert's defense was that he was stopped in a parking lot, while still at the Lane Avenue shopping center. State law says bicyclists have to be on a street, highway or bike path to be charged with traffic offenses.

"So Upper Arlington wants to change its laws to include private property that is accessible to the public, such as parking lots and private roads." more...

CVNP Trail Plan Options Taking Shape

9/19/10

"Mountain biking, a paddle trail on the Cuyahoga River and 26 new trails are key elements of a developing trail plan for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

"One proposal calls for establishing the first mountain bike-only areas in four parts of the 33,000-acre federal park. Access to those areas, all in northern Summit County, would be off the Bike & Hike Trail that is owned and managed by Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.

"Under a second proposal, mountain bikes and horses could share five existing and proposed trails in the Cuyahoga Valley: Oak Hill/Plateau, Wetmore and Upper Dugway trails in Boston Township; the Five Falls Trail in Sagamore Hills Township; and trails in Cleveland Metroparks' Bedford Reservation.

"At present, mountain biking is banned from the Cuyahoga Valley park and the Bedford park.

"The preliminary trail plan — the subject of four public hearings this week — also outlines 16 new short loop trails, plus six new medium-length trails and four new long trails among its draft alternatives." more...

Read an earlier post on this topic.

New Trail In Reynoldsburg

"Mayor Brad McCloud joined residents, community leaders, and city officials today at the ribbon cutting of the new multipurpose trail located at Civic Park, 6800 Daugherty Drive, Reynoldsburg.

"The Civic Park multipurpose trail is a project that connects the adjoining residential neighborhood with the park. The trail will link directly to the existing sidewalk system of these neighborhoods, which will allow safe access for pedestrians to the park athletic fields, nature trails and other amenities.

"The Civic Park multipurpose trail is a 7,500-foot long asphalt trail that is 10-feet wide and a loop that encircles three quarters of Civic Park from Daugherty Drive to Black Oak Drive." more...

View a previous post on this topic.

Rt. 3 Corridor Project May Include Bikeway

9/17/10

"The Northland Community Council came out of the blocks in support of a concept plan for major widening of the Westerville Road/state Route 3 corridor.

"NCC members unanimously approved a motion to back one of several options for improving the road between Morse Road and Interstate 270, during its regular meeting Sept. 7.

"The concept backed by the NCC, known as "Concept 5" is one of eight for the corridor included as options in a transportation planning study by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

"...Concept 5 consists of five lanes for the vehicle traffic along the entire corridor, dedicated bike lanes or a bike path, a signed bike route, a new local bus route and sidewalks, according to information from MORPC." more...

Hoover Scenic Trail Gets New Bridge

9/15/10

"A new trail bridge is now in place over the Old 3C Highway near Galena.

"Wednesday, workers installed the pre-fabricated, multi-use trail bridge section that will take users of the new Hoover Scenic Trail over County Road 24.

"The bridge arrived Wednesday morning, and was lowered into place on new bridge abutments hours later.

"The bridge is part of a trail section connecting the northern terminus of the Genoa Trail at Plumb Road, passing through the Hoover Nature Preserve on the northwest side of Hoover Reservoir and ending at the intersection of Wiese Road and Old 3C.

"...Paving to complete the trail is planned to begin Sept. 28." more...

Columbus Teen In Critical Condition

9/14/10

"A teen remained in critical condition on Tuesday night, after being struck by a pickup while riding his bike along Cleveland Avenue [in Columbus].

" A pickup struck a 14-year-old boy near the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Weber Road, shortly after 3:30 p.m., 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.

"The teen, whose identity was not immediately released, was transported to Nationwide Children's Hospital.

"The driver of the pickup was stopped a short distance from the scene, and was being questioned by police, but was not expected to be charged, Landers reported.

"Police said it appeared the teen was riding his bike against traffic."

Source: 10tv.com

More Rumble Strips Coming

9/13/10

"The Ohio Department of Transportation plans to spend $4 million to install "rumble stripes" along 1,335 miles of state roads.

"The rumble of tires hitting the grooves is supposed to warn drivers that they're about to go off the road, state officials say, and could reduce crashes into trees, power poles and other roadside objects by about one-third.

"Considering that about 450 people die and 3,000 are injured in Ohio in such crashes each year, that's good news for drivers, said ODOT spokesman Scott Varner.

"But bicyclists aren't sold. Popular rides, including the Tour of the Scioto River Valley, use state routes where crews will cut the grooves. The uneven pavement could cause a cyclist to crash and make it tough to move from the shoulder to the road to avoid debris, bike advocates say.

"It's a safety hazard," said Chuck Smith, chairman of the Ohio Bicycle Federation. "I would hate to see this on our state routes." more...

Read another post on this topic.

GMRT Section Closed Sept. 13-16

9/12/10

"...The Miami County Park District said the "tow path" section of the Great Miami Recreational Trail will be closed beginning Monday, September 13. It will remain closed until workers are finished making some repairs to the bike way.

"Bikers or walkers will not be able to use the path between Tipp City and Dye Mill Road.

"Crews will be digging up about 350-feet of that bike way. Signs will be posted about this closure. It should reopen by Thursday, September 16."

"If you have any questions, call the park office at 335-6273"

Source: wdtn.com

Innerbelt Bridge Design Selected

9/11/10

"ODOT has picked a ‘winner’ for the new Innerbelt Bridge [in Cleveland] —and at $287 million—the city will have another $100 million committed to improving infrastructure on or around the bridge (the budget for the bridge is $400 million).

"Spending a small portion for a pedestrian/bike path on the bridge—which ODOT estimated should cost $20 million—would continue the agency’s fiscally sound decision making. For its part, whether we finally have a budget to design a multipurpose bridge and complete the Towpath Trail, Mayor Jackson should pick up the phone today and insist that Governor Strickland direct ODOT to spend the money where its rightfully due—here." more...

Read more about the ongoing struggle to include bike & ped access to the new bridge.

Sabina Considers Public Meetings On Proposed Trail

9/9/10

"A town meeting probably will be held here in November on the prospect of Sabina becoming a link in a national bike trail system.

"In a return visit to council chambers, Bob Thobaben of the Clinton County Park District spoke Thursday night before Sabina Village Council to update village officials on the possibility of utilizing DP&L easements for a paved bike path in the county’s northeast corner.

"Thobaben first addressed village council four months ago on the topic. Since then, the Clinton County Park District was awarded $155,000 through the Clean Ohio Trail Fund.

"One purpose of this Trail Fund program that began in June 2009 is to help create a trail system, according to Thobaben.

"He called the possibility of using DP&L easements “a one-time shot” as the utility company, no longer in the natural gas business, tries “to unload” its easements.

"Thobaben said trail proponents are seeking guidance from Sabina officials and townspeople on how the trail could best make its way through Sabina, if there is interest in having a trail in town." more...

Towpath Development In Zoar

9/8/10

"Funds are slowly being realized for the completion of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Zoar.

"Ted Gerber, Friends of Tuscarawas County Parks Treasurer, says that his organization, in cooperation with the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition (OECC), recently received a local grant to continue the Ohio & Erie Canal towpath through the Zoar area." more...

Heath Trail Constuction Slated For March

9/8/10

"Construction of a bike path from the Heath City Waterpark to the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority will be put out for bid Dec. 10, Zoning Inspector Eddie Hunt told Heath City Council's Community Development Committee.

"Construction is slated to begin in March.

"The estimated cost is $673,000, with the Ohio Department of Transportation paying 80 percent of the cost, or about $485,000. The Evans Foundation will contribute $80,000, reducing the city's share to $180,000."

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Python Found Along Emerald Necklace

"People using the bike path in the Mill Stream Run Reservation [on 8/29] got a ssss-surprise.

"A Burmese python estimated at 8 feet long and weighing 30 pounds was spotted sunning in the grass near the Paw Paw picnic area on the Strongsville-North Royalton border.

"Metropark Rangers responded and took the snake to their headquarters then passed the animal on to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for medical care.

"The python is currently in quarantine and is being evaluated." more + video...

Upper Arlington Rejects Parks Trail Plan

"An informal meeting between Upper Arlington residents and the Parks and Recreation Department led to the rejection of a new connecting trail in Northwest Kiwanis Park. It also resulted in plans for more discussion for one in Burbank.

"Nearly 30 adults, two dogs and one child huddled in the Burbank shelter house for a public discussion Monday, Aug. 30.

"It was hosted by Tim Moloney, parks and Recreation director, and Steve Cothrel, superintendent of parks and forestry, to discuss plans to add connecting, 8-foot wide blacktop trails to the parks.

"Cothrel said the new paths would link existing sections of trail, to allow people a full loop around the park without having to exit the park and walk along street. Currently, he said, visitors of the park must walk quite a bit of street to make a loop, which joggers and people with young children have told him they're uncomfortable with.

"After the meeting, Moloney and Cothrel told the residents a new path for North Kiwanis would not be developed. The proposed path, which would have gone in the southeast corner of the park near the bottom of the hill, was overwhelmingly rejected." more...

SKT Extension Delayed

9/3/10

"The city of Urbana expected to receive Ohio Public Works Commission funding for drainage improvements near the Urbana depot on Miami Street in time for the project to be completed this fall, but state funding has been delayed, which means both the drainage project and the first phase of the northward extension of the Simon Kenton Trail will be delayed, according to Doug Crabill, assistant to the city director.

"City officials now expect to receive approximately $900,000 in OPWC funding in time to start the drainage project before year's end. It should be completed within a few months. Then work can start on extending the Simon Kenton Pathfinders' multi-use trail from the depot to the north city limits. This will be phase 1 of a three-phase project to extend the trail to Bellefontaine." more...

Grove City Trail Ribbon-Cutting

"The grand opening of Grove City's newest bike multi-purpose trail on Holton Road opened with bike decorating event, bike parade, and a new bicycle for Noah Dustman, won by his grandmother Lois Strum. The bicycle was donated by Grove City Police Officer Chris Eberhard.

"The ribbon cutting took place on the corner of Holton Road and Meadowgrove Drive with residents and Mayor Richard L. "Ike" Stage, council members Melissa Albright and Greg Grinch. This trail marks the important connection of Hoover Road to Buckeye Parkway, including safe access to Buckeye Woods Elementary School, Jackson Middle School, and Creekside Park.

"We are continually working to improve the connectivity of our trail system throughout Grove City," said Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage. "The Holton Road connector is an important part of the plan to make our city the most walkable, safe and bikable city in the region."

"New Grove City trail maps are available at City Hall, 4035 Broadway."

Source: Columbus Messenger.com

Fatality At Trail Road Crossing

"A former Springfield High School principal died Wednesday after the bicycle he was riding was hit by a truck.

"Thomas Spurgin, 58, was taken by Careflight to Miami Valley Hospital, where he later died. The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. on West Hickory Grove Road at the bike path crossing.

"Sheriff Brent Emmons said Spurgin was riding his bike, along with his wife, Kathy, on the bike path [crossing Hickory Grove Rd] when he was struck.

"Deputies said the man driving the truck was headed west on the road and somehow the couple [and] their bikes crossed into the driver’s path." more...

Pearson Park Trail Construction

9/2/10

"Oregon City Council recently approved an agreement with Quality Control Inspection, Inc., for $49,146 to provide construction management and inspection services during the construction of the Pearson Park Connector Bikeway Project, which is currently underway.

"The 5,300-foot long, 10-foot wide asphalt surface path will extend from Lallendorf to Wynn roads on the north side of Starr Avenue on Pearson Metropark property, according to Public Service Director Paul Roman. The project is funded with a Transportation Enhancement Grant, which pays for 80 percent of construction. The city and the Toledo Area Metroparks will each pay half of the local share for the project. Estimated construction costs for the project is $380,000.

"The scope of the project includes a “zig-zag” railroad crossing of the Norfolk Southern Railroad, drainage, pedestrian ramps, pavement markings, storm culverts, grading, seeding, pavement markings, signage, and maintenance of traffic." more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

Miami & Erie Towpath Improvements

9/2/10

"Hiker, bikers and walkers in the region will notice a difference in a few sections of the Miami and Erie Canal towpath trail starting this week. Heritage Trails Park District has been working in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Transportation to complete a few projects in the area to improve the trail.

"They are both within a half mile of one another at Bloody Bridge,” Heritage Trails Park District Director Allison Brady said. “We have Ohio Department of Transportation funding has helped us to complete a nine car parking area and trail head that is a staging area. For example if someone wanted to hike or bike and didn’t know where to start, the Bloody Bridge parking area would be the perfect place to hike north on the Miami and Erie Canal Towpath Trail or they could hike south.”

"...Looking ahead, Brady said the district is looking at completing the trail from Lock 14 north to Ohio 66. “The stone just stops and goes back to grassy trail,” Brady said. “We have contracted for that trail to continue north to the 66 crossing. It isn’t a long ways to go but we had to make sure we had the funding. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle and we just keep putting pieces together.” more...

Columbiana County Projects Funded

9/2/10

"The county park district and village of Leetonia are virtually assured of receiving state recreation grant money next year to continue projects.

"Columbiana County Commissioner Jim Hoppel reported at this week's meeting the two applications were recommended for funding and their applications are likely to be approved since there is enough money available for both.

"The park district is seeking $26,430 for part of its continuing efforts to expand the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail, while Leetonia applied for $131,240 for expansion of the Cherry Valley Coke Ovens area." more...

Read a related post on this subject.

Barberton Towpath Plans

"...The park district on Tuesday also approved a nearly $2 million plan to complete the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Barberton.

"That project calls for a railroad underpass, a 450-foot bridge over the Tuscarawas River, a small bridge over the canal and a grade crossing at Snyder Avenue.

"The park district needs final approval of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway before the project can proceed, officials said.

Source: Ohio.com

Olentangy Trail Construction At OSU

9/1/10

"...Bicyclists who use the trail to ride from Worthington and Clintonville to Downtown will have to continue to use detours until mid-December, when construction on the trail is scheduled to be done.

"...For bicyclists who use the trail to commute Downtown, having the Olentangy Greenway closed through Ohio State all summer has been like having a chunk of Rt. 315 shut down for drivers. Bicyclists have had to find their way through detours since spring as the university makes $728,000 in improvements to the trail between Woody Hayes and John H. Herrick drives.

"On one hot July day, a troop of Girl Scouts, some in tears, waited near Cannon Drive while their leader tried to figure out how to get back to the trail.

"...Gary Collier, Ohio State's project manager for the trail, said riders should see a big improvement when it opens.

"A new section of path along the river east of Drake Union will let riders zoom through campus without tangling with pedestrians around the towers or traffic on Cannon Drive, he said.

"When it opens in December, he said, "That bike path will be complete from Worthington to Downtown." more...

Highlands Park Bike Path Construction Update

"The Highlands Park perimeter path has been blocked by the contractor at Delaware Drive west of the existing parking lot. The path will be closed for demolition to proceed.

"Contractor plans are to seed the soccer field by September 15th, 2010 and relocate the security fence at that time. The park and remaining path sections will remain open as dead end paths.

" The replacement of this path section will be installed in October.

"We apologize to the inconvenience and recommend that you use our other path loops at Huber Village, Heritage Park or Westerville Sports Complex."

Source: Westerville.org

Athens Trail Connector Receives Funding

"Access to the bike path is expanding in Athens County.

"A bevy of elected officials gathered at the Eclipse Company Store in The Plains on Thursday for the presentation of a $182,163 check to fund improvements to the county bike path and make it more accessible.

"...In Athens, the funds will go toward the construction of .79 mile of asphalt-paved bikeway to connect the existing Hockhocking Adena Bikeway with Athens High School and the unincorporated area of The Plains.

"State Sen. Jimmy Stewart, R-Albany, and state Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Athens, were on hand for the announcement, along with Athens County Commissioners Lenny Eliason and Mark Sullivan, and County Planner Bob Eichenberg.

"ODNR Director Sean Logan presented the check Thursday. He said that his charge as director has been to find ways to connect children with the outdoors and to promote the wise use and conservation of the state's natural resources." more...

See an earlier post on this topic.

Bear Chases Montana Hikers

8/30/10

"...White and Peterson, both graduates of Polson High School, left Ronan to head to Mission Falls to hike to the waterfall. They parked their car at about 11:15 a.m. and hiked up the Mission Falls trail for 20 minutes nonstop at a fast pace. Going somewhere from one to two miles on the trail, White said, the pair reached an open spot where it looked like a place to camp with an open circle of trees and the trail. In that same place, Peterson had stopped with her little brother and sister and seen a bobcat two days before.

"White turned around and saw a full-grown male black bear on all fours walking up the trail no more than 10 feet away. White yelled at it, trying to scare it off, but the bear turned away and started walking down the trail. Peterson pulled out her bear spray and gave it to White before calling her aunt to tell her where they were on the trail. As Peterson started to run away, the bear began to walk towards White, who let the bear get five feet away before spraying it and taking off running." more...

Medina Mulls Trail Funding Options

8/30/10

"Medina has several trail projects it wants to complete, but how to pay for them is a question City Council plans to answer tonight.

"Two main projects in question could be funded through a Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency Transportation Enhancement Grant, for which the city has not yet applied. Council could choose to file jointly with the Medina County Park District for the NOACA grant to link the Reagan Parkway Multi-Purpose Path with the Lake Medina Trail.

"The grant also could help fund the East Smith Road Corridor project, which would add bike lanes to South Court Street along with streetscap­ing, and link the bike lanes to an extended Roscoe-Ewing Trail with a Clean Ohio Trails Grant the city recently was awarded.

"All the grants require a percentage of local matching funding, leaving the city with out-of-pocket costs for each project." more...

"City Council has worked out a $220,000 funding plan to extend the Roscoe-Ewing Trail..." more...

Read a related post on this subject.

Hundreds Honor Fallen Pelotonia Rider

8/29/10

"Hundreds of bicyclists are remembering an Ohio woman who was killed in a charity ride last weekend.

"Some 300 riders, along with friends and family, peddled to Michelle Kazlausky's funeral Saturday.

"Kazlausky worked as a lab technician in oncology and had hoped to raise several hundred dollars for the Pelotonia Tour, a charity ride to fight cancer. Since her death, people have donated more than $28,000 to her campaign fund.

"Authorities say a pickup truck struck and killed the 57-year-old Kazlausky after the driver missed an officer's signal to stop. The incident is under investigation and her death has been ruled a homicide because it was caused by another person."

Source: Dayton Daily News

Read an earlier post on the accident.

11-Year-Old Dies In Bike Accident

8/28/10

A 11-year-old Newark boy died when he lost control of his bike and collided with a pickup truck on Saturday. more...

Granville Bridge Project Receives Grant

8/28/10

"Granville Township has received a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation to fund construction of a bridge linking the T.J. Evans Bike Path and Raccoon Valley Park.

"...The grant would provide up to 80 percent of the cost of the $1.2 million project. The township has agreed to provide the remaining 20 percent of the cost.

"Granville Township applied for the grant on behalf of the Granville Rotary Club, which has done the planning and fundraising work for the project." more...

Wadsworth Bikeway & Public Transport Plan

8/27/10

"...The [Wadsworth] transportation plan includes a blueprint for a citywide system of bike lanes and routes and multi-purpose trails.

“It gives examples of how lanes can be incor­porated on existing streets and off of them,” Kaiser said. “If it’s on a street, we might want to create some differentiation, whether it is brick or pavement, for example.”

"The Bicycle and Trail Master Plan suggests four key routes in the city: an inner city loop, outer city loop, regional bicycle connectors and regional multi-purpose trail connectors.

"The inner city loop would provide connec­tions for cyclists to parks, neighborhoods and schools using residential and park streets as shared roadways where the traffic is slower. The loop would be ideal for basic and intermediate bike riders.

"The outer city loop also would share road­ways to provide connections to other commu­nity destinations, such as commercial areas near Interstate 76. Due to high traffic volume, the route would require an expanded shoulder to incorporate bike lanes.

"The regional bicycle connectors would establish connections to regional destinations such as Medina, Rittman and Lodi." more...

Ohio Bikeways Launches Gmap Video Demos

8/27/10

Bike trails plotted on the Google maps platform abound on the web and have for some time now. Sites that show trails (or are designed to create routes) can offer up a variety of features and embedded content that may include photos or video.

While the interactive platform (Google maps) is often the same, the map functions and features can vary widely for site to site. For those well-acquainted with the interface, moving from one to the next can be fun exploring each of the differing map capabilities.

But not everyone who would like to use these trail maps is a Google maps geek. And that's where the differing configurations can cause frustration and perhaps a small learning curve that's not appreciated.

That's where Ohio Bikeways Gmap 'How-To' videos come in. The demos walk you through various functions and features on the Ohio Trails Gmap, so that most anyone can quickly become a Gmap geek! See the first video demo on the Map Blog.

Funding For NW Ohio Trails

8/26/10

"The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has recently approved 30 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grants that will help Ohioans connect to nature. Grants totaling over $8 million were distributed for the construction of new trails, bridges, bike lands and abandoned railroad and greenway corridors. The trail program will complete regional trails, connect to statewide trails and preserve natural corridors. Investments in trails enhance foot and bike travel, boosts educational opportunities and provides safe, scenic areas while helping Ohioans maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"In Ottawa County, Danbury Township Board of Trustees received $126,343 for Meadowbrook Marsh North Trail. Sandusky Country Pak District received a grant for $375,000 for the North Coast Inland Trail in Clyde and Bellevue. Lucas County received $434,000 for the construction of 1.3 mile pedestrian bike path that will run through the City of Sylvania along the Ottawa River and Ten Mile Creek." more...

Pearson North Trail Construction

8/26/10

"Henry Bergman Co. of Genoa was the winning bidder for the Pearson North Trail [in Oregon, Ohio}. Bergman was the lowest of the six bids received. Work will begin immediately (scheduled to start [Aug. 27]) and be concluded by November 5.

"The trail will be a 1.7 mile loop along Wynn Road and Seaman Road, looping around the Johlin Cabin historical area. There will be six “rest stops” with benches and picnic tables and an elevated trail overlook.

"The total project cost is $228,000. A grant from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund will pay for $205,000 of the total and Metroparks will pay for the remainder out of our permanent improvements budget.

"Competitive bids were received August 13 for the Pearson Metropark Multi-purpose trail construction.

"The scope of work for the project includes earthwork, construction of stone paths and rest areas, wooden deck overlook and trail boardwalk, benches, tables, fine-grading, landscaping, and seeding." more...

2 Parcels Needed To Complete GOLTRG In Warren

8/26/10

"The process to acquire properties needed to complete the missing link of Warren's portion of the Western Reserve Greenway bike trail should begin next month, with construction of the second phase slated for completion in 2012.

"But two properties out of 200-some along the trail could be a problem, City Engineer Paul Makosky said.

"The two parcels along the route were excluded from a CSX Railroad corridor purchase agreement between the city and the Economic Development Rail II Corporation in 2003. The purchase was made with money provided by the Ohio Public Works Commission.

"The two properties in question were purchased prior to the city's railroad corridor purchase agreement.

"...The Warren Greenway is a local component of the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway, a planned 100-plus mile long trail from Lake Erie in Ashtabula County, through Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, to the Ohio River in Columbiana County. He said Warren's portion is a vital link to the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway through the largest metropolitan area along the trail." more...

Grants To Extend The Roscoe Ewing Trail

8/26/10

"...Medina also received two Department of Natural Resources grants which will be used to extend the Roscoe Ewing bike trail closer to the city’s public square.

"Medina was awarded a $479,938 Clean Ohio Trail grant and $109,260 Recreational Trail grant.

"The Roscoe Ewing bike trail, which currently stretches 1.2 miles, will be extended across Guilford Blvd. and hook up with a sidewalk on Springbrook Dr. The trail will later link to a paved path at S. Broadway St. and E. Smith Rd., ending a block from the square.

"It won’t link all the way into downtown,” said Planning Director Greg Hannan. “We are currently looking into funding that would allow us to take the trail from Broadway near the railroad tracks up to the square.”

"Medina will pay $68,000 for the project as a match for the two grants. City officials were originally expecting to pay $177,000 as a match, Hannan said, but the city unexpectedly received both grants to fund the project.

"The extension of the Roscoe Ewing bike path is likely a precursor to several other bike path projects. Medina officials hope to loop the bike path around the entire city and also connect it to Medina County bike paths." more...

4 Miles To Be Added To The GMRT

8/23/10

"Four more miles of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail will be added in Butler County.

"The county was awarded a $500,000 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant from the state this month to complete a two-mile stretch from Rentschler Forest Preserve to Allison Avenue at the old Miami-Erie Canal towpath. The grant was announced at the Monday, Aug. 23, commission meeting.

"A $1 million Hamilton Community Foundation donation — which was the only unfulfilled legacy project from the foundation’s 50th anniversary — will assist in funding the next piece of the trail.

"The donation will also pay for another two miles from Allison Avenue to U.S. 127 in Hamilton. Butler County senior planner Joe Schmidt said the county and city are not paying for the project." more...

Akron, Medina, Portage & Stark Trail Projects

8/22/10

"Akron is getting $173,186 in state funds to connect the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and the Northside Station.

"The money will be used to acquire 2.9 acres and build an 1,100-foot asphalt-paved trail between the rail station for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and the Beech Street Trailhead just north of downtown Akron...

"Medina [will receive] $479,938 to extend the city's Champion Creek Trail by 4,600 feet.

"The city also got $109,260 from the the state's recreational trails grants program for the same project...

"Portage Park District, $348,289 to build the 2.2-mile Berlin Lake Trail in southeastern Portage County.

"The project calls for renovating an old 475-foot-long concrete bridge to cross Berlin Reservoir. The trail will be of crushed limestone.

"It will run from U.S. 224 east of Deerfield Circle south to state Route 14 at the old North Benton Station. It will be on the old Lake Erie, Alliance and Wheeling Railroad line...

"Stark County Park District, $456,000 to develop 4.5 miles of the Plain Center Trail in Plain Township.

"It will run from East Maple and North Markets streets east and then south. It will circle GlenOak High School and run through Schneider Park and will connect with a trail at Plain Center.

"The crushed limestone trail — 10 feet wide — probably will be completed next year, said park spokeswoman Sarah Buell." more...

Little Beaver Creek Trail Receives Grants

8/21/10

"Sean Logan was in town Friday with a check for $120,355 to help efforts to complete the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail.

"Logan, a former Columbiana County commissioner and state legislator, is director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for Gov. Ted Strickland. He and state Rep. Linda Bolon announced the awarding of the Clean Ohio Trails fund grant to the county Park District for the trail during a ceremony at the historic train station.

"The 10-mile bicycle-walking trail currently runs from Lisbon to Leetonia. The grant money will be used to help cover the cost of extending the trail from East High Street in Leetonia to Bertolette Alley in Washingtonville, a distance of about 1.5 miles.

"This will bring the trail within proximity of the Mahoning County line, where the hope is it will eventually link up with a trail the Mahoning County Metroparks is planning to extend south to Columbiana County." more...

Read a previous article on this subject.

Volunteers Track Visitors On The LMST

8/20/10

"For supporters of the Little Miami Scenic Trail, their charge borders on a sacred trust.

"The public must like the 50-mile bike trail, too.

"A first-ever count showed the trail had 10,826 users on two days, one in late July and one in early August.

"That count, made by nonprofit Friends of the Little Miami State Park from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 28 and Aug. 8, found 4,979 users on the trail at Loveland, 2,374 at Milford, 1,315 at Corwin in Warren County's Wayne Township, 1,272 at Morrow in Warren County's Salem Township and 906 at Spring Valley, 10 miles south of Xenia in Greene County.

"The Little Miami Scenic Trail runs from Cincinnati to Xenia along the Little Miami River, Ohio's first National and Wild Scenic River and also the first state Scenic River. The trail had been partially built on an old railroad right of way, bordering a state and federal scenic river for much of its traverse of Warren County.

"Steve Murphy, president of the Friends group, said the count is the first of its kind made on the trail and shows the trail's worth, which he said is renowned worldwide.

"Fifty miles of pavement on a state and national scenic river," Murphy said. "You'd be surprised how people feel about this trail. It's pervasive." more...

Mill Creek & Big Walnut Trails Receive Grants

8/19/10

"A planned 4.4-mile bike trail designed to help revitalize the Mill Creek corridor from South Cumminsville to St. Bernard has received a $405,000 state grant that will enable a one-mile segment to be built along Salway Park in Spring Grove Village next year.

"This bike trail, which is named the Queen City-South Mill Creek Greenway Trail, is an essential component of a regional master plan to clean up and beautify the Mill Creek and to pump new life into the communities that border it.

"The master plan envisions this bike trail eventually being extended south to downtown Cincinnati and north to Butler County, linking with major bike trails at each end and benefiting a host of northern Hamilton County suburban communities." more...

"Gahanna will use about $439,000 in state money for Big Walnut Trail improvements aimed at connecting Pizzurro Park to Morse Road.

"Parks and Recreation Director Tony Collins said the city has been awarded a $73,116 Recreation Trails Program grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and $366,021 from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund.

"The project will include 6,316 square feet of new paved trail, an outlook point, culvert and drainage work, fencings, signs, site furnishings and site preparation."

Source: DispatchPolitics.com

Athens Bikeway On Bridge Opens Aug. 20

8/19/10

"The bikeway on the Richland Avenue Bridge will open to cyclists and pedestrians on Friday, Aug. 20. The bikeway is on the west side of the Richland Avenue Bridge, and flaggers will be onsite to direct cyclists and pedestrians to use this bikeway.

"Shelly and Sands Inc., the improvement project’s contractor, will be removing the barrier wall on the Richland Avenue Bridge and the temporary pedestrian walkway, on Friday, Aug. 20, beginning at 9 a.m. Traffic will be flagged during the removal, which is expected to occur throughout the day. Drivers should expect delays.

"The contractor is expecting to pave the closed portion of Richland Avenue on Friday. They also expect to pave the new bike path on Saturday. Flaggers will direct pedestrian traffic." more...

Euclid To Build Waterfront Trail

8/17/10

"The city of Euclid is the beneficiary of three state grants totaling $600,000 that will improve lakefront recreational access and use.

"First is a $350,000 grant, awarded through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ statewide voter-approved Clean Ohio grant program.

"This money will go toward the planned Euclid Waterfront Improvements Plan/Lake Erie Waterfront Trail. Specifically, the money will be used to buy eight parcels to build a Lake Erie waterfront trail that will connect the city’s Sims Park with downtown Euclid and its Euclid Marina.

"Next, the city will collect $150,000 from the ODNR’s Recreational Trails Program/Nonmotorized Grant Program, which is funded by the Federal Highway Administration.

"This money will go toward the redevelopment of about 4,000 feet of multi-use existing trails within Sims Park.

"Also, the park’s trail head will be rebuilt along with additional parking being constructed." more...

Closing The Gap In The Maple Highlands Trail

8/17/10

"The city of Chardon is pursuing funding that would help close part of the gap in the Maple Highlands Trail.

"City officials seek a Transportation Enhancement Program grant from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency to cover most of the $651,500 needed to acquire property and build two sections of trail. If approved, the grant would fund 80 percent of the cost — $521,200 — and the city would pay the balance.

"The trail now ends on South Street in the city of Chardon and Center Street in Chardon Township. The connection plans are broken down into four sections with the grant application calling for building Sections 1 and 2, from Fifth Avenue to Center Street and from Center Street to Water Street, respectively. The two sections total more than 2,500 feet.

"The next pieces would be from Water to Park, then Park to South Street," Assistant City Manager Randy Sharpe said. Those sections will have to wait because the grant application maximum is $600,000, he said." more...

Rattlesnakes Along Great Allegheny Passage

8/16/10

"The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is acknowledging what some bikers and hikers have already discovered: There are rattlesnakes along the Great Allegheny Passage in western Maryland.

"An agency wildlife expert says there is a rattlesnake den somewhere along the trail's 20-mile Maryland section between the Pennsylvania border and downtown Cumberland." more...

Amtrak Studying Train Service For Bike Trail

8/16/10

"Amtrak is studying whether to put the "rails" back in a section of rails-to-trails land that has become part of the Great Allegheny Passage, a cycling trail stretching from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.

"Somerset County's "Rails to Trails" association built a bike path on abandoned railroad tracks on Rockwood four years ago.

"And now, Somerset County officials say Amtrak is studying putting train stops in towns near the 150-mile bicycle trail." more...

30 Trail Projects Receive ODNR Funding

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

"...ODNR awarded 30 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grants for community projects that will build and maintain infrastructure that allows citizens to conveniently connect to nature. These projects will complete regional trail systems and connects to statewide trails, link population centers with outdoor recreation areas and facilities, preserve natural corridors, and link urban areas to support commuter access and provide economic benefits. The investments help facilitate travel, enhance educational opportunities and provide safe, scenic areas where Ohioans can hike, bike or run and build healthy lifestyles." more...

View a list of the recipients.

Read a related story on some of the SW Ohio projects that were awarded grants.

NE Ohio Trail Grants Awarded

8/12/10

"A newly opened trail along Haley's Run in southeast Akron might be extended.

"The Western Reserve Land Conservancy is getting $8,500 toward a trail addition that would connect Haley's Run Trail to the northeast along Adam's Run, another stream, to Massillon Road, the Little Cuyahoga River and the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. redevelopment area.

"The grant would cover preliminary engineering and resource-restoration work, conservancy spokesman Eddie Dengg said. He said the trail extension along Adam's Run is several years from happening, but it would help create a 55-acre urban greenway near the Goodyear test track.

"That grant and others from the Summit County Trail & Greenway Community Grants were announced this week by the Akron-based Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition that manages the county trail program." more...

Construction Closes GMRT Section

8/12/10

"The Miami River Bike Trail will be closed between Albany Street and Third Street beginning Thursday, August 12th at 7 am. This section of the Miami River Bike Trail will reopen to the public Monday, September 20th at 5 pm.

"This bike trail closure is due to a contractor performing deck demolition in that area. Bike traffic is asked to use the sidewalk along Edwin C. Moses Boulevard as a detour during this closure. Signs will be in place prior to the work zone to alert bike traffic of the upcoming trail closure.

"ODOT has a “Target: Zero” goal for any and all safety hazards. To help ensure the safety of the construction workers as well as the traveling public, bicyclists should remain alert and reduce their speed and while passing through the work zone."

Source: ODOT

Trail Extension Receives Partial Funding

8/11/10

"A bike path extension to The Plains may soon become a reality as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has awarded a Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant to the Athens County Regional Planning Commission.

"The grant, totaling $182,163, will support the construction of a 0.79-mile, paved bike path connecting the existing Hockhocking Adena Bikeway at Eclipse Company Town with Athens High School and The Plains. However, the grant is only a small piece of the funding needed to complete the project."

Source: AthensMessenger.com

Beavercreek Trail Receives Funding

8/10/10

"...The [state] Controlling Board authorized the release of a $204,523 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant to the City of Beavercreek to support the acquisition, engineering and construction of a 4,600-foot path that will connect area housing developments, regional bikeways, downtown Beavercreek, local businesses and schools. The trail will go through two existing parks."

Source: wdtn.com

Holton Trail Ribbon Cutting Aug.19

"The city of Grove city will mark the grand opening of its newest multi-purpose trail on Holton Road with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and celebration focused on bicycle safety on Aug. 19.

"This trail marks the important connection of Hoover Road to Buckeye Parkway, including safe access to Buckeye Woods Elementary School, Jackson Middle School and Creekside Park." more...

Assaults / Robbery Along Alum Creek Trail

"... My husband was pulled off his bike [July 29th] and beaten by two guys hanging around the bike path just north of Livingston at the Alum Creek intersection. African-American males late teens to mid-20’s; one was lounging on the path maybe smoking a cigarette and the other guy moved off the path as he came thru and then knocked into him pushing him over.

"They did not take his bike or anything else – just beat on him. Someone going by continued on but then called 911 – by the time the 6 cop cars came the guys were gone (into the woods there probably as people coming from the direction they went didn’t see them on the trail.)

"It sounds like this is not the first time there has been some incident in that dark little section of the woods." more...

Commentary: When you compare the efforts put forth by this community to deter simple trailside vandalism, it makes one question what local officials are doing regarding the more serious crimes along the Alum Creek Trail?

Cyclist Killed In Washington Township

8/6/10

"Authorities have released the identity of a man who was killed while on a bike in Washington Township.

"Alex Martin, 27, died Wednesday night after he was hit on Far Hills Avenue at Boundbrook Drive. Deputies said Martin was crossing Far Hills Avenue when he was hit by an 84-year-old woman.

"Medics treated the woman for minor injuries. At this time, there is no word on who is at fault.

Source: whio.com

Cleveland Ped Tunnels Closing For Restoration Work

8/6/10

"The long-decaying Lake Avenue pedestrian tunnel under the West Shoreway will close Friday for rehabilitation work, representing the start of the Lakefront West project.

"Then, on Sept. 6, crews will close the West 76th Street tunnel below the West Shoreway and Norfolk Southern Corp. railroad tracks so it too can be rehabilitated.

"Both tunnels provide pedestrian or bicycle access to Edgewater Park. During construction, pedestrians and cyclists can use the recently rehabilitated tunnel at West 65th Street.

"Both tunnel closures will remain in effect through the end of 2010, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation which is administering first phase of the $70 million project." more...

Grove City Moving Forward With Trails Plan

8/4/10

"Navigating by bike will soon be easier in downtown Grove City as officials move forward with plans to construct trails linking the Town Center with nearby parks.

"Monday night, council members approved a $365,000 appropriation to construct the Town Center-Windsor Park trails. Windsor Park lies just southeast of downtown, and can be accessed from Columbus Street and by the newly renamed Babbert Way entrance on Broadway, south of the Town Center.

"The $365,000 represents two grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The city's portion of the project cost will come to $235,430."

Source: Columbus Local News.com

Nona France Trail

8/4/10

"Whitehouse council has approved engineering work on the new Nona France Trail. The 4,800-foot, multiuse trail would connect the South branch of the Wabash Cannonball Trail and Whitehouse's Village Park to the Nona France Recreation Area and Blue Creek Conservation Area.

"It would end at the parking lot being built by the Anthony Wayne Youth Foundation, which manages youth recreation programs on part of the Blue Creek Conservation Area near Whitehouse.

"...Construction will get under way in 2012, Village Administrator Jordan D. Daugherty said.

"Meanwhile, the village is completing work on a depot-styled rest room downtown near the Wabash Cannonball Trail. A depot used to be there along the same rail line, he said." more...

Liberty Township Updating Trails Plan

8/4/10

"Liberty Township is reviewing input from about 20 residents regarding updates to its bicycle-path master plan.

"The residents' main concerns were the safety of pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Rutherford, Jewett and Home roads. The residents weighed in on the discussion at a July 28 bike-path "brainstorming" meeting held by township administrator Dave Anderson and Preservation Parks of Delaware County park planner Ted Miller.

"The original plan was adopted five years ago.

"Anderson said the meeting's goal was to develop ideas such as where small paths can connect neighborhoods, what places people want to be able to reach, how many people likely would use a given path and ways to connect existing bike paths.

"There are a number of gaps (between paths) out there," Anderson said. "I'm looking for ideas on large and small projects."

"Anderson said updating the bike path master plan can help include future paths in grants, new developments or road improvement projects." more...

Cyclists Seriously Injure 3-Year-Old

8/3/10

"State park officers seek witnesses to a biking incident that occurred July 30 at Edgewater State Park [in Cleveland].

"About 6 p.m., two men were riding bicycles on the bike path in Upper Edgewater Park near the playground. One man shouted, "watch out, I don't have any brakes." He then ran into a 3-year-old boy who was walking on the path with his parents.

"The collision broke the boy's femur and cut his face and head. The cyclists kept going.

"The parents could not give a detailed description of the white or Hispanic men. They said one was wearing an orange shirt and the other was wearing a gray shirt.

"Anyone who saw the collision or can identify the men is asked to call officer Steven Bartczak at 216-881-8141 or 216-701-3989."

Source: Cleveland.com

Resevoir Trail To Be Completed Soon

"The Delaware County Friends of the Trail, a nonprofit organization formed in 2000 to promote multi-use trails in Delaware County, is preparing to celebrate the completion of a 0.75-mile segment of trail near Hoover Reservoir.

"The contract calls for it to be finished by October, but we're hoping it will be done by late September," said Dave Bender, president of the Friends of the Trail.

"Bender said the segment is known as the Hoover Scenic Trail, and its two features are a stretch along the reservoir and a prefabricated pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Old 3C Highway.

"The total cost of the project is $542,000, of which $375,000 was provided by a state of Ohio Clean Fund grant. The balance was made up in contributions by Friends of the Trail and several jurisdictions involved in the project, including the city of Columbus and Delaware County, Galena, Berkshire Township and the non-profit organizations Ohio to Erie Trail and Preservation Parks of Delaware County." more...

Triangle Trail Group Working To Close Gaps

8/2/10

"Though the bike trail from Chillicothe to Frankfort is paved, the Tri-County Triangle Trail group is continuing to work to connect it to Washington Court House.

"The group is hoping to hear about the status of a grant in the next few weeks that would allow them to pave a 6-mile portion just west of Frankfort toward Washington Court House.

"We've got a $100,000 matching grant and it's for connectivity so I think we have a good chance of getting it," said Jackie Doles, president of the Tri-County Triangle Trail.

"Once that section is paved, there will be only 11 miles left to be paved between Washington Court House and Xenia. There are many trails in Southwest Ohio that the Triangle County Trail then could connect with." more...

Cyclists To Be Ticketed In Hamilton Township

8/1/10

Cyclists rolling through trail stop signs along the Little Miami Trail in Hamilton Township will face $160 fines in coming weeks.

Read more on Steve Magas blog about his recent encounter with law enforcement there.

Warren & Niles Trails Construction

8/1/10

"Layout, preliminary clearing and excavation work for the [Niles] bicycle rail trail began in May and is expected to continue through the remainder of the year, according to Niles engineering and grants coordinator Mark Hess.

"The $4.9 million project is expected to be completed in June 2011. It will extend from the northern border of Mahoning County to the intersection of state Route 46 and Robbins Avenue primarily following abandoned CSX and Conrail railroad tracks.

"J.D. Williamson Construction of Tallmadge, Ohio, is stockpiling soil, doing some storm sewer work and some other preliminary work for the project," Hess said. "The expectation is to get much of the southern portion of the job, from the Trumbull County line to Niles city limits, black-topped before the end of the year."

"...In neighboring Warren, construction on a 2.24-mile section of its bike trail is expected to start early this month. Burton Scot Contractors of Newbury is projecting phase one of the project will be done in November. This portion of the trail will cost $1.2 million to complete.

"A second phase of the project is not expected to be completed for several years. The city still must acquire some properties to connect to two sections. Ohio Department of Transportation is teaming up with the city to buy the land." more...

Grant Sought For Little Beaver Creek Trail Extension

8/1/10

"A state grant is being sought to purchase an acre of land needed to complete the northern terminus of the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail, which is to link eventually with other bike trails that will connect Ashtabula to East Liverpool.The Columbiana County Park District has applied for a $26,430 grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund to help cover the $40,000 cost of purchasing the land in Washingtonville from Jack Waggle.

"According to park district Secretary Marie Cox, they have been promised another $8,000 grant from the Greater Ohio Lake to River Greenway Trail Coalition. The park district is contributing the remaining money with income earned from renting its garage.The acquisition is key to what is called the Bertolette Alley Connector, the last piece of the plan to connect the bike trail to Washingtonville and Mahoning County. The 10-mile trail currently extends from Lisbon to Leetonia, near the American Legion on High Street.

The park district already has obtained $460,000 in federal funding to cover the costs of extending the trail from Leetonia to Bertolette's Alley, a distance of about 1.5 miles, and has applied for another $160,000 in state funding as part of the project.

"The park district would be required to contribute $32,000 to qualify for all of the other funding.

"If everything works out, the extension could become a reality by 2012, which would bring the trail within 100 yards of the Mahoning County line. The Mahoning County Metroparks is planning to extend its bike trail to link with the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail at this point.

"This is all part of a larger effort to eventually create a Lake Erie-to-Ohio River bike trail by linking trails in Columbiana and Mahoning counties to trails in Trumbull and Ashtabula counties."

Source: SalemNews.net

More Land To Be Acquired For Cleveland Towpath

7/30/10

"Planners have added a piece of land in the Flats that's critical to finishing the Cuyahoga County section of the 101-mile Towpath Trail.

"The Ohio Canal Corridor and the Trust for Public Land announced Thursday that they are acquiring 11 acres along the Cuyahoga River for $4.8 million. The two adjacent properties will accommodate about a half-mile of trail and connect to the proposed Canal Basin Park, a 20-acre park at the site where the Ohio & Erie Canal once tied into the Cuyahoga River.

"This acquisition sends a clear message to any who doubt the future completion of the Towpath Trail in Cleveland," said Tim Donovan, Ohio Canal Corridor director, in a news release. "That message: It's happening. And it's happening now."

"He said that the impact of the purchase will reach beyond the Towpath Trail by serving as a catalyst for a number of public and private developments percolating in the northern river valley. It will spur other bike and pedestrian trails linking to the Canal Basin Park." more...

Chicago Launches Bike Share Program

7/30/10

"It's not every day that you can stroll down a Chicago sidewalk and think you've been magically zapped to Paris.

"But I was cruising down Ohio Street Thursday when — zut alors! There was a row of rental-bike docks that looked a lot like Paris' famous Velib' stations. Half a dozen guys were fiddling with the machines, making sure everything would work on Friday when Chicago debuts its first city bike-share program.

"There are only 100 bikes and only six locations, but if this experiment works, bike-sharing could become a Chicago way of life.

"To find out more, I called Josh Squire. He's the founder of Bike and Roll, which is managing the program." more...

Bexley Passes Bike Helmet Law For Minors

7/29/10

"Another Central Ohio community has taken the step of requiring bike helmet use by children. Bexley's city council passed the measure 6-1 [Wednesday] night.

"The measure requires that children aged 16 or younger to wear a helmet while operating a bicycle within Bexley city limits. Parents can be fined $25 for letting their children bicycle without a helmet." more...

Blacklick Creek Trail Extension Delayed

7/28/10

"A project to relocate part of Shannon Road near Winchester Pike as well as construct a paved recreational path has fallen behind schedule.

"According to Bill Beuscher of Metro Parks, the project - a joint effort among Metro Parks, the city of Columbus, and Franklin County - began the first week of April with Shannon Road being closed April 29. The road was expected to be closed for 90 days and re-open July 29, but unexpected delays arose which slowed progress on the work. Beuscher said the project is now expected to be completed later in August and the project closed out by September.

"..."Heavy rainfall and flooding, since the work area is within the floodplain of Blacklick Creek, saturated soil conditions, high ground water levels, soft soil areas, and buried obstructions, such as old house foundations and concrete slabs under the old roadway (caused delays)," said Beuscher.

"...It is a critical link in the Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail," said Beuscher. "It will provide a safe route to get trail users past vehicular traffic on Shannon Road and Winchester Pike. The project also addressed roadway design issues and improvements worked out with the city of Columbus and Franklin County Engineer." more...

Alternate Routes Sought For Little Miami Trail In Springfield

7/27/10

"A dedicated bike trail through the south side [of Springfield] is likely still a few years off, but the city has taken a first step on that path. City commissioners approved last week a more than $110,000 contract with LJB Inc. to study alternative paths for the Little Miami Scenic Trail from Interstate 70 to Fair Street.

"The trail there goes onto South Yellow Springs Street, then weaves on and off neighborhood streets until it’s close to downtown, where a dedicated trail picks back up.

“There’s that missing leg,” City Engineer Leo Shanayda said.

"A grant from the Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee will pay for the study. It will look at alternative routes, and when one is selected, it will identify the land needed and prepare construction plans.

"The route study will take about six months, Shanayda said, and then he expects to hold an open house to get public input on the proposed alternatives." more...

Jack Hanna Repels Charging Grizzly

7/27/10

"A close encounter with three grizzly bears on a narrow hiking trail in Montana has made a pepper-spray believer out of Jack Hanna.

"The nation's favorite zookeeper still sounded shook up yesterday as he told the tale by phone in dramatic, Hanna-like detail.

"It started Saturday when he and his wife, Suzi, were returning from a 5-mile, late-afternoon hike to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park on a narrow trail with sheer cliff on one side and a steep drop-off on the other. Three hikers from Minnesota were close by.

"They all rounded a corner of the trail and, 30 feet ahead, saw a mother grizzly bear and two large cubs heading their direction on the trail." more...

Read more tips on being bear safe in Glacier National Park.

Trail Detoured To Save Bat Habitat

7/26/10

"In an effort to protect the largest known bat refuge in Maryland, state officials planning a 4.7-mile extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail have decided to detour cyclists around an abandoned railroad tunnel where hundreds of bats winter.

"Tourism interests in the region had hoped the 4,350-foot-long Indigo Tunnel would become a prime attraction for bicyclists pedaling west from the trail's current terminus at Pearre. But biologists discovered its rock walls are home to an estimated 1,400 hibernating bats, including some rare or endangered species.

"State officials said Monday that the 106-year-old tunnel will be fitted with bat gates next spring to keep people out, while allowing the bats to come and go freely. The measure is designed to keep the bats from being disturbed by cyclists and to prevent introduction of disease. Work on the trail extension will begin in 2012." more...

NPS Evaluating Carriage Trail Bridges

7/24/10

"The National Park Service is still looking into options to either repair or replace deteriorating bridges on a popular hiking trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

"It may be the autumn — or later — before the park has fully analyzed remedies for the 3.25-mile Old Carriage Trail in northern Summit County, said Rob Bobel, a civil engineer in the federal park.

"Last December, park officials closed the three steel trail bridges in Sagamore Hills Township after inspections showed they were unsafe. Engineers with the Federal Highway Administration determined that the pedestrian bridges across ravines that are up to 80 feet deep had deteriorated.

"The bridges — Rocky Run (spanning 150 feet), Twin Oaks (spanning 150 feet) and Hemlock (spanning 166 feet) — were built in 1989 by a contractor for $319,400 on the Old Carriage Trail that loops off the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail north of West Highland Road." more....

Boy Scouts Rescued in South Chagrin Reservation

"The Chagrin Falls Fire Department and two rescue squads had to rescue a total of 15 Boy Scouts stranded on a ledge at the Quarry Rock picnic area in the Cleveland Metroparks South Chagrin Reservation Wednesday night [July 14].

"Two of the boys, ages 11 and 17 from the Chagrin Valley area, were injured after they fell off a 40-foot shale-rock embankment and had to be taken to Hillcrest Hospital, according to Metroparks Rangers spokeswoman Dianna Kall and the CFFD. Both boys had non-life-threatening injures, the CFFD said. The other 13 boys were stranded on a ledge above the embankment and also had to be rescued, according to the CFFD.

"...Chagrin Falls Asst. Fire Chief Mark Vedder tells Channel 3 News that the scouts were hiking with full backpacks single-file along a narrow trail.

"As the last two boys of the 15 passed one part of the trail, the trail fell out from under them, Vedder said. That caused them to fall straight down 35-40 feet onto the rocks along the Chagrin River. The rest of the scouts were afraid to contine and stayed on the trail where they were." more...

Dublin Adds Trail & Upgrades

"Metro Place North & South will be getting a facelift with the installation of state-of-the-art Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lights and new bike paths as the City of Dublin [began] a construction improvement project on Monday, July 19 that will enhance and improve the Metro Place corporate community." more...

Kettering To Oversee New Trail Construction

7/22/10

"The City of Kettering will serve as the lead agency for the Southeast Corridor Trail Bikepath Project.

"At its July 13 meeting, the Kettering City Council authorized City Manager Mark Schwieterman to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation to make the city that lead agency.

"According to Schwieterman, the resolution will put Kettering in charge of the proposed bike trail, expected to see construction begin in 2013, that will connect Jane Newcom Park in the City of Dayton to the Iron Horse Bike Trail at the intersection of E. Stroop and Hempsted Station Drive in Kettering.

"The bike trail will utilize both on- and off-street bike facilities.

"The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission also has received federal funding for the project."

Source: TimestoNewsnet.com

Weekday Towpath Closure In Valley View

7/22/10

"The Towpath Trail near Fitzwater Road Bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be closed weekdays from Lock 37 to north of the Pleasant Valley Road Bridge underpass. The closure is expected to last through September.

"The trail will be open weekends beginning at 5 p.m. on Fridays, and will re-close at 6 a.m. on Mondays. Fitzwater Road is located near Canal Road, between Canal Visitor Center and Frazee House, in Valley View.

"The National Park Service is in the process of replacing the Fitzwater Road bridges over the Cuyahoga River and the Ohio & Erie Canal spillway. The weekday closure is required to protect the public from construction activities near and over the trail."

Source: Cleveland.com

Historic Bridge Finds New Home Along Bikeway

7/22/10

" A historic pony truss bridge built on Fairview-Snodgrass Road in Spring Creek Twp. in 1913 has arrived safely at a resting place near its planned new home on the Miami County bike trail.

"The bridge was moved successfully July 9, leaving Fairview-Snodgrass Road and traveling down Statler Road into Piqua.

"In Piqua, the truck carrying the 16-foot wide, 69 foot-long bridge turned south on County Road 25A and traveled to the area of the Job and Family Services Department offices in the county building complex off 25A between Troy and Piqua.

"The bridge may need “some relatively minor repairs” before it is placed over the Beedle Ditch during upcoming construction of the bike trail leg from Lytle to Eldean roads, said Jerry Eldred, county park district executive director." more...

New Towpath Route Through Massillon Planned

7/22/10

"A new section may be added to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Massillon.

"The Stark County Park District and the Ohio Department of Transportation are seeking public comment on a new plan to add 0.12 mile to the trail on the west side of the Tuscarawas River.

"The rerouted section would stretch from the newly renovated Tremont Avenue SW bridge on the north to the Walnut Avenue bridge on the south. The new route would eliminate the use of a Lincoln Way West (state Route 172) bridge with its high volume of traffic. Hikers and bicyclists have to use a narrow sidewalk on that bridge with heavy traffic traveling at speeds of up to 35 mph.

"The project's final design is likely to be completed by December with construction beginning and ending in 2011. The estimated cost of the project, which will include some parking, is $829,000.

"The project, expected to increase safety, is being designed by the GPD Group of Akron and Osborne Engineering of Cleveland. Bids will be sought in early 2011." more...

Read another story on this topic.

Public Meeting For Elmore To Genoa Trail

7/21/10

"Councilman John Lewis said officials met July 9 to discuss extending the North Coast Inland Trail, a popular bike trail, from Elmore to Genoa. There will be a public meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Elmore Historical Society barn to discuss the project."

Source: PortClinton NewsHerald.com

Bike Ban Looming In Missouri

7/21/10

"With the issue of the bike ban in Black Hawk, Colorado, still fresh in mind, Adventure Cycling Association was particularly concerned when we received news about a ban being proposed in Missouri by St. Charles County Council Members last Monday.

"While the Black Hawk ordinance requires cyclists (including TransAmerica Trail riders) to dismount their bicycles and walk .5 miles through town, the St. Charles County ban would affect roads in an entire county, and specifically roads surrounding two Adventure Cycling routes (the Great Rivers Route and Lewis and Clark Bicycle Trail) and one well known long rail-trail, the Katy Trail. In addition, it has the potential of stopping development of three proposed U.S. Bicycle Route corridors (USBR 60, 45, and 66).

"The proposal reads: "Bill No. 3620 — Prohibit bicycles on Highway DD, D, F, Z & 94 from Hwy. 40 to County line until shoulders or bicycle lanes are in place." And while the vote was delayed until August, there was discussion of expanding the affected highways — which would then have the potential of also impacting the Mississippi River Trail." more...

Ohio River Trail Construction Begins

7/20/10

"After 10 years of planning, construction finally has begun on the first leg of a 13-mile bike trail that will run from Lunken Airport to New Richmond.

"Work recently started on the 1.3-mile segment of the Ohio River Trail on the north side of Kellogg Avenue between Sutton and Five Mile roads in Anderson Township. This leg, which cost $1.5 million, runs past River Downs, River Bend and Old Coney. It's being built by the Ohio Department of Transportation for Anderson Township.

"It's really refreshing to see the actual work on this bike trail starting," Anderson Township Trustee Russ Jackson said. "Hopefully, this will motivate others to move forward with their segments of the trail."

"Cincinnati is responsible for the leg of the Ohio River Trail from Sutton Road to Lunken Airport. Cincinnati is building a bike trail from Wilmer Avenue at Lunken east to Carrel Street this year. It will be extended east to Congress Avenue next year.

"The city continues to work with the Ohio River Way, a nonprofit group that sponsors the annual Paddlefest, and other groups to build a temporary bike trail from Lunken to downtown Cincinnati. A permanent trail is years away.

"The Sutton-to-Five Mile segment will be completed by October, said Tom Caruso, Anderson Township trails coordinator." more...

Medina Contemplates 13-Mile Trail Loop

7/17/10

"It could be a dream come to fruition — an approximate 13-mile bike loop winding from north to south through the city of Medina and hooking to other Medina County bike paths.

"But it’s a dream that Medina Parks Director Tim Swanson referred to as “a 50-year plan,” one that must come together in small chunks.

"Medina city council is considering two projects, which would be funded in part by two separate Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) grants, that would extend two sections of the bike trail currently in the city.

"Medina County Park District officials recently approached the city, proposing to install a bike path through the Lake Medina property, connecting the bike trail from Rt. 18 to Granger Road in Medina. The city would then connect the path from Granger to Weymouth Road and then to Reagan Parkway, finally joining the trail to a current bike path in Reagan Park.

"What great possibilities of joining a county trail with a city trail,” Swanson said.

"In all, the County project would extend 1.6 miles. Medina would construct approximately .4 miles of that stretch. The bike path would connect the Lake Medina area to Reagan Park and Northrup Elementary School." more...

Delaware Approves Easements For Trails

7/17/10

"Delaware City Council on July 12 approved an agreement with the county fair board that will give the city easements for two bicycle paths on the county fairgrounds.

"In exchange, the city will participate in the removal of two lowhead dams on the Olentangy River. Bill Ferrigno, city director of engineering services, said the project was likely to be fully funded by the Ohio EPA." more...

TJ Evans Trail Maintenance

7/15/10

"The Newark parks and recreation and street departments will perform extensive maintenance and mowing along the T.J. Evans Bike Trail from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Friday.

"The area of the trail between Cherry Valley Road and 21st Street should be avoiding during those hours, according to a press release."

Source: Newark Advocate.com

GMRT To Remain Open During Bridge Work

"Little York Road between Brown School and Rip Rap roads will be closed to traffic at least two months for the rehabilitation of a bridge over the Great Miami River.

"The $1.2 million project is being funded with an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant.

"...The project involves replacing the box beams on the deck of the bridge. The work will begin in early August with widening of about a quarter mile section of Little York. Litvin said that the road will remain open initially. Signs will be posted prior to its closing.

"...A northern section of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail in Vandalia will temporarily be relocated during the bridge work, but the bikeway will remain open. Once the road work is done, the bikeway will revert to its current location, Litvin said." more...

Huron County Closing Trail Gaps

7/12/10

"Ten miles of trail are now open in three sections along the railroad in Huron County, and volunteers are working to bridge the gaps.

"The nonprofit Firelands Rails to Trails manages nearly 15 miles of former Penn Central railroad property stretching through the county, although a group of park districts own the land. The trail is part of the North Coast Inland Trail System, which so far runs from Walbridge to Lorain.

"By the end of the summer, organizers expect to have a continuous trail running from the east side of Bellevue, near the VFW hall on U.S. 20, to Monroeville, Firelands Rails to Trails president Joe Mantey said.

"But first they need to fix the 225-foot railroad bridge over the Huron River. Construction is expected to begin in the next few weeks to make the bridge safe for trail users. The east end of the bridge will eventually link to the section of the 3.3-mile trail that starts on North West Street in Norwalk and ends at Peru Center Road in Monroeville.

"The $300,000 bridge project is expected to take about nine months. It's being funded by an Ohio Department of Transportation grant and donations from trail sponsors.

"By summer's end, Mantey said he also plans to have a continuous four-mile trail open in Collins." more...

Completing The Great-Ohio-Lake-To-River-Greenway

7/12/10

Vindy.com published a couple of articles on GOLTRG this week. They are:

Metro Parks Takes Over Columbus Bikeways

7/10/10

"Hikers, bikers and joggers will see safer and better-tended trails starting Monday, Franklin County Metro Parks officials say. That's when the agency takes over 45 miles of Columbus pathways along creeks and rivers.

"I really do think there's a big benefit for all, which is one reason we agreed to do this," said Metro Parks Executive Director John O'Meara. "We're going to have unified management. ... The level of care will be more consistent."

"Metro Parks will spend about $650,000 initially to take over maintenance of the trails, which wind their way through the county along city parks, creeks and rivers.

"O'Meara said those using the Blacklick, Scioto, Olentangy and Alum Creek trails should notice more patrols and better maintenance.

"The $650,000 outlay will buy additional mowers and trail vehicles for patrols. Metro Parks also is hiring three new rangers; it had 38. And it created a position, greenways manager, to give the trails the attention they need. Previously, park managers oversaw trails in their area." more...

Vandals Hit Trail Station

7/10/10

"It was probably just a matter of time before the newly renovated train station was vandalized [in Lisbon].

"Vandals this week twice struck at the old Pittsburgh, Lisbon & Western Railway station on South Market Street, with someone emptying the liquid soap from the dispensers onto the floor of the outdoor restroom and smearing it on the restroom walls. The vandals also knocked over trash cans and left bicycle skid marks on the cement floor of the picnic pavilion.

"There's some stupid kids around here going around at night without anything better to do," said county Engineer Bert Dawson.

"The historic train station, which operated from the 1880s until the 1940s, was purchased by the county in the 1990s as part of property acquired to construct a separate engineer's administrative office. During the 2000s, Dawson worked to obtain $815,000 in federal and state funds to restore the train station to its appearance circa the 1930s. The refurbishment was completed this spring, with a grand opening ceremony held April 8 to much acclaim from local preservationists and others.

"The area targeted by vandals is the outdoor restrooms and picnic pavilion at the rear of the train station that serves as a parking lot/staging area for bicyclists using the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail. In addition to tearing open the liquid soap dispensers and making a mess, vandals have also ripped down maps posted on the information kiosk." more...

Great Allegheny Passage Cyclists To Get Train Service

7/9/10

"By this time next year, cyclists will be able to roll on and off Amtrak’s cars at existing train stops between Washington, D.C., and Chicago, including trail towns along the Great Allegheny Passage in Maryland and Fayette County.

"Additionally, progress has been made on the idea of Amtrak providing passenger train service to Rockwood after a fourth meeting in less than a year between Amtrak and Somerset County officials. It was held Friday in Harrisburg.

"Commissioner John Vatavuk summarized the meeting: “We had a great day. It was real productive.”

"The bike service will allow someone who lives in Chicago to jump on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited, get off in Cumberland, Md., and bike through Somerset County to Connellsville in Fayette County. There the biker could board the Capitol Limited for home with his or her bike secured in a rack in one of the refurbished cars.

"This is fabulous news for the trail users and good news for Somerset County,” said Allegheny Trail Alliance President Linda McKenna Boxx, who attended Friday’s meeting." more...

New Wayne County Trail To Be Completed This Year

7/8/10

"By Nov. 15, a bike trail connecting Rittman and Creston will no longer be in the planning stages, it will be a reality.

"The Wayne County commissioners on Wednesday awarded a contract to G.E. Baker Construction of Shreve to pave the trail. Baker's bid came in at $1.69 million.

"We're excited about this," Ted Short, vice president of Rails to Trails of Wayne County, told the commissioners after they introduced the resolution. "It's been eight or nine years (in planning), and we seek completion this year. We appreciate your support."

"Baker's deadline for completion is Nov. 15.

"The commissioners needed to approve the contract because Rails to Trails has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation and received another $400,000 in earmarks from the state's capital fund.

"The group also raised $300,000 in private donations as a local match for the $2.4 million project. The trail will travel mostly along abandoned railroad tracks. The length from start to finish is about seven miles, but a portion of it, about a mile, will be along Atlantic Avenue in Sterling." more...

Marietta River Trail Phase III

7/8/10

"It will take at least two years to complete the third phase of Marietta's River Trail project, extending the pedestrian and bike path from its current terminus at the corner of Ohio and Fourth streets to the east side of Duck Creek near the Wal-Mart complex.

"Project manager Kevin Crock with the city engineering department told members of city council's lands, buildings and parks, finance, and streets committees Wednesday that there are a lot of steps left in the design phase of the trail extension project.

"We're looking at completion of design sometime next spring, and (the Ohio Department of Transportation) bid opening for construction will be mid to late summer next year," Crock said. "So we don't expect completion of construction until at least the spring of 2012."

"...The third phase will also include construction of a bridge to cross Duck Creek that Crock said would likely take four to six months to build, but that's within the total project." more...

Volunteers To Build Park & Trail

7/7/10

"Toledo Free Ride, a volunteer organization dedicated to bringing quality biking areas to Toledo, is announcing the construction of a new mountain bike trail and bicycle park at Jermain Park and Jermain Meadow Park.

"The trail and park will cost the City of Toledo nothing, as trail building will be completed by volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering should meet with the group at the Jermain Park parking lot on Upton near the tennis courts at 9:45am on Saturday, July 10th. Building will occur between 10am and 5pm, and late-comers are also welcome.

"The trail will wind along the Ottawa River for approximately 2.5 to 3 miles, with beginner and intermediate skill level features. It is also designed to not interfere with the environment, and will be a single-directional loop. The bike park will feature dirt ramps and other skill areas ranging from beginner to expert level riders.

"Anyone interested in volunteering, or those who want more information about the park, can e-mail Toledo Free Ride at toledofreeride@gmail.com."

Source: Toledo on the Move.com

Construction Set For Congress-Carrel Trail

7/7/10

"Construction is set to begin on the section of the Ohio River Trail between Congress Avenue and Carrel Street, the City of Cincinnati and Columbia Tusculum Community Council report.

"Prus Construction Company has awarded the contract for the $336,816 project, consisting of a 12-foot trail along the west side of Kellogg Avenue.

"At Carrel Street, the trail will head northeast to Dumont Street, where it will connect with the Carrel Street-Lunken Airport segment. At Congress Avenue, westbound riders can connect to a portion of the trail that runs behind Riverview East Academy and heads toward Schmidt Field.

"...The Congress-to-Carrel segment is scheduled for completion in October."

"A $2.3 million segment of the Ohio River Trail between the Lunken Airport parking lot at Wilmer Avenue is currently under construction. This section, which passes behind the Metropolitan Sewer District plant and the Fulton-Presbyterian Cemetery, will include an interpretive panel describing the neighborhood's history." more...

Indiana Bat Won't Harm Trail Costs

7/7/10

"[Heath's] bike path extension project will not increase in cost as previously feared because of effects on the habitat of the Indiana bat, an endangered species.

"Zoning Chief John Groff told City Council's Community Development Committee on Tuesday that the city must set aside some land as a bat reserve, but the cost remains the same.

"The bike path extension from the Heath City Waterpark to the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center, a three-quarter-mile stretch, will cost the city even less than anticipated. The $160,000 cost was cut in half when the Evans Foundation said it would pay 50 percent, leaving $80,000 for the city to pay toward the $640,000 project." more...

OSU Combating Bike Theft

7/7/10

"As part of the university’s Student Affairs Risk Assessment efforts, Ohio State University is using RFID technology to combat bike theft.

"Coined “Bug Your Bike,” the program gives students the option to obtain a free RFID tag which can be placed on their bikes to prevent theft. Police can then use this technology to positively identify stolen bicycles and to return the property to their rightful owners."

Source: rfidnews.org

Trail Considered Along Former Canal Route

7/4/10

"Officials are investigating the possibility of linking Guilford Lake to the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail by way of the old Sandy & Beaver Canal towpath.

"Mike West of the Columbiana County Park District board said they have begun researching what it would take to obtain the right of way easements needed to resurrect the old towpath as a 5-mile bike trail.

"The Sandy & Beaver Canal linked Bolivar in Stark County to just beyond East Liverpool at Glasgow, Pa., on the Ohio River. The 73-mile canal operated for about four years before going out of business in the early 1850s. The canal no longer exists, but West said you still can make out portions of the towpath where mules pulled the canal boats.

"The portion of the canal towpath being considered is the section from Guilford Lake to Lisbon. West said the trail being proposed would run from the parking lot at the south end of Guilford Lake, heading east across property owned by Salem and several private properties before dropping south and crossing state Route 172 into the county farm land owned by county commissioners. The trail would resume eastward until it connects with the existing bike trail at Furnace Road outside Lisbon.

"West has spoken with Salem officials and county commissioners, who indicated they would have no objection to granting the necessary easement allowing the bike trail to go through their property. He is also in the process of contacting the private property owners.

"This is all tentative upon agreement of the property owners," he said." more...

Innerbelt Bridge Debate Continues

7/4/10

"Creating bike/pedestrian lanes on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge would be safer and more cost-effective than adding a multipurpose lane to the new Inner Belt Bridge, Gov. Ted Strickland and Cleveland officials said.

"Making improvements to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge is a "common sense alternative," Strickland's spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said.

"Because the (Inner Belt) bridge construction is a high priority for both the governor and city hall, the governor does not believe it is fiscally responsible to burden taxpayers with additional costs and a half-year delay," Wurst said in an email Thursday.

"Mayor Frank Jackson supports the governor's view, said spokeswoman Andrea Taylor.

"The comments were in response to a letter Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene Molitoris sent to Strickland this week outlining why adding a multipurpose lane is not possible on the five-lane Inner Belt Bridge, which became a high priority project after it was discovered the current Inner Belt Bridge was deteriorating faster than expected." more...

Read previous stories in this ongoing saga.

US Bicycle Routes Coming Together

7/2/10

"If you're traveling by car or airplane this 4th of July weekend and would rather be packing your luggage onto your bike, you may be interested in the US Bicycle Route System.

"You've probably heard me compare where our high-speed and intercity passenger rail system is today with where America stood 54 years ago when President Eisenhower began implementing the US Interstate Highway network. But America also has a national interstate network of bicycle routes in a similar state of initial development.

"The US Bicycle Route System opened its first routes in 1982. Route 1 runs between Virginia and North Carolina, and Route 76 joins Virginia, Kentucky, and Illinois.

"For more than 20 years, not much happened. But in 2003, AASHTO revived the USBRS with a Task Force on US Bicycle Routes." more...

Wellnes Trails Open In Stow

7/2/10

"A new 1.5-mile scenic path winding through the center of Stow is now open to the public.

"The Akron General Wellness Trails feature signs to provide "fit tips," as well as a rain garden, resting benches, native and exotic plants and an observation deck. The walking paths circle the City Center campus and cross through the Sancturetum, a natural area near Darrow and Graham roads that features more than 600 species of plants.

"Eventually, the city plans to seek donations to build an amphitheater near the path on the City Center campus, Mayor Karen Fritschel said. "It's a big community area, and that's what we're trying to encourage," Fritschel said.

"Akron General Health System provided a $157,000 grant to pay for the walking trails project, Fritschel said." Read more and view a map of the trails.

National Road Bikeway Updates

"One of the city of St. Clairsville’s most notable assets during the past decade has been the National Road Bikeway. Opened 12 years ago on June 26, 1998, the groundbreaking for the major project was held exactly 13 years ago today. Over the years, many improvements have been made to the bike trail, which is used year-round. Floral gardens, a gazebo, a Nature Walk, a mist trestle and more can be found along the 2.6-mile trail.

"Two key features of the National Road Bikeway, the old train bridge over Ohio 9 near Provident... and the tunnel beneath National Road, underwent major renovations during the past year. The bridge received a fresh coat of paint to its steel structure and concrete supports were repaired. Water drainage in the tunnel was recently addressed, the surface of the cave-like interior was redone and protective fencing was added to the exterior of the southern entrance. A combination of grant funds and money from a federal transportation bill was used to complete the work."

Source: TimesLeaderOnline.com

Phase I Complete For Tecumseh Trail

6/29/10

"Debbie Wanamaker was just entering the city’s new Tecumseh Trail bike path off Lake Avenue in New Carlisle when a jogger passed by.

“She asked me ‘Where does that go?’ ” Wanamaker said Friday, June 25, as she and her son, Alex, took their dog, Zeus, for a walk on the trail. “We told her it went to Smith Park and Wot-A-Dog (a hot-dog stand two-miles away). She said “great,” and then passed us on the way to Smith Park.”

"The jogger is among a growing number of city residents who are discovering the newly finished 2-mile bike path that runs from Lake Avenue to the southern part of the city.

"The path — completed this month — is the first of three phases of construction for the only bike path in the south and west portions of Clark County." more...

Columbus 'Share The Road' Campaign

"The city of Columbus on [June 21st] kicked off a campaign to make city streets safer for anyone on the go, whether they are on four wheels or two.

"A campaign aimed at making sure there is room and safety for all on the roads, included the installation of road signs and more than 180 "sharrow"-- a combination of "share" and arrow -- pavement markings, 10TV's Tracy Townsend reported.

"Funded through a $200,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Share The Road push is a reminder to motorists that there are more than just cars using the road." more...

Here are more details regarding funding and implementation of the program.

Completing The Towpath In Summit County

6/24/10

"While the last 19 miles of the Cleveland-to-New Philadelphia Towpath Trail isn’t expected to be completed for another decade, Summit County is likely to soon earn the distinction of being the first county to have its trail sections finished.

"According to Daniel Rice, president and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition (OECC), there are two sections under construction now in Summit County. He expects them to be completed in 2011.

“Summit County has the potential to be the first connected from county line to county line, which is a huge testimony to the commitment of the community,” Rice said.

"One of the two remaining sections is at Bartges Street and Canal Place in Downtown Akron, and work is now under way on that. The other section is near the PPG facility in Barberton." more...

Read a previous post on this topic.

Read a related piece on the 40 continuous miles of open trail along the towpath.

GOBA Cyclist In Critcal Condition

6/24/10

"A Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure rider is in critical condition at a Wheeling, W.Va., hospital after a Wednesday crash in western Washington County.

"He was the second rider to need medical attention after separate morning crashes. Neither crash involved vehicles.

"According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, rider Nicholas Richardson, 18, of St. Marys, Ohio, failed to negotiate a sharp curve near mile marker 10.5 on Ohio 676 around 9:30 a.m.

"He was going downhill and into a really sharp curve. I haven't talked with him yet, so I don't know exactly why, but I imagine he didn't recognize how sharp the curve was," said Trooper Jeff Starling. Starling said Richardson went over an embankment and struck a tree.

"Richardson sustained visible head injuries and possible fractured ribs, according to Starling, who said the rider was conscious at the scene. The teen was initially treated by Beverly/Waterford EMS, who transported him to a nearby field where they were met by a medical helicopter. From there, Richardson was flown to Wheeling Hospital. The hospital reported he was in critical condition in the intensive care unit." more...

Strangers Rescue Victim Of Trail Attack

"A 30-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a woman on a Lawrence bike path [in Kansas] Wednesday.

"Lawrence police said Lawrence resident William Nichols has been arrested on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, attempted rape, criminal use of a weapon and sexual battery.

"Police said they believe Nichols is responsible for groping at least two other women in recent weeks on bike paths.

"Police said Nichols went to the path Wednesday with the intent to attack a woman. Police said he was armed with a knife.

"The victim was not known to the suspect and was apparently chosen at random at the location," according to a news release. If not for two strangers who fought with the suspect, the woman's injuries would have been worse, police said. The two men were identified as Aidan Waugh and Nathaniel Mehl." more...

Underground Bicycle Route Gets 20k Grant

"...the Adventure Cycling Association with help from MTGA and others are developing an Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. This route would be a 400-mile spur from the existing 2,100-mile route running from Alabama, through Buffalo, NY to Ontario.

"Bicycle Retailer magazine is reporting that Adventure Cycling just received a $20K grant from REI to continue this routing effort.

"The 400-mile alternate will run between Oberlin, Ohio, and Owen Sound, Ontario, according to a press release. Highlights on the new route include the historically rich communities of Sandusky, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan.

"Running through northwestern Ohio, southern Michigan, and southern Ontario, the new cycling route will create a cultural heritage corridor centered on the storied Underground Railroad, offering education and recreational opportunities for people of all ages." more...

Missing Hiker Found Alive

6/22/10

"A hiker missing since Saturday in the mountains overlooking Horsethief Canyon [in Riverside County, CA] has been found alive.

"William "Billy" Boyle, 46, disappeared after leaving for a hike around 8 a.m. Saturday, according to Riverside County sheriff's officials.

"Boyle, from the Wildomar area, was with friends and told them he was going to walk a trail that he was familiar with. Deputies say he would often go for a hike in that area and return about an hour later.

"He was reported missing around 5:11 p.m. Sunday after he failed to return. Boyle was found this morning, dehydrated but otherwise okay."

Source: KTLA.com

New Bike Plan For Cincinnati

6/18/10

"Cincinnati would establish a 445-mile network of off-street bike trails and on-street cycling routes under a new transportation plan that will be presented next week to Cincinnati City Council.

"The Cincinnati Bicycle Transportation Plan calls for a 13-fold expansion of what is now a 33-mile collection of poorly connected bike paths all over town. By 2025, the plan would establish more than 330 miles of newly designated street lanes where markings indicate rights of way for cyclists. And it would add about 83 miles of off-street bike facilities, including bike trails and shared-use paths for cyclists and pedestrians. The goal is to establish a “continuous and usable network of improvements” that can help cyclists use city streets for recreation and commuting. The plan can be downloaded at www.cincinnati-oh.gov/bikeplan.

"The cost of the entire network is estimated at about $55 million, said Melissa McVay, a planner with the city’s Department of Transportation and Engineering.

"The department is not seeking a funding commitment from council. Instead, it will ask for approval of the long-term plan, making it easier to incorporate bike projects into the city’s annual road projects and seek state and federal grants for bike improvements. more...

Bainbridge Considers Trail Plan

6/18/10

"Bainbridge Township trustees raised several questions this week about a proposed trail system that would link eight communities in the Chagrin Valley, especially questioning its potential effect on property owners along the route.

""There may be 150 folks out there who are not knowing it'll be in their front yards," Trustee Chairman Jeff Markley said.

"Trustees recently received an update from the Chagrin Valley Intergovernmental Council, a group of area officials who are using $86,000 in federal grant money to conduct a feasibility study about constructing bike and walking trails as alternate forms of transportation. The group is seeking a federal grant to fund the project through the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.

"Bike trails have been discussed for several years in Bainbridge, including a proposal several years ago that would have built trails from major developments to a township recreation center. That idea was scrapped when the recreation center bond issue was soundly defeated at the ballot box. Last year, members of the South Russell Trails Committee approached trustees seeking funding and support for a triangular trail system that would roughly follow Bell Street to the Chagrin Falls line, Washington Street to Frohring Meadows Park, and along power line rights-of-way to Westwoods Park in Russell Township." more...

Read a previous post on the Chagrin Valley Trail plan.

Trail Condition Prompts Community Action

6/17/10

"Broken tree limbs, tall grass and unruly weeds have littered portions of the 70-mile Little Miami bike trail, prompting action from the community.

"Friends of the Little Miami State Park, a non-profit, has set up work crews to clean the popular bike trail that runs from Newtown in the south, then north through Warren County and up to Xenia and Springfield.

"The Friends group formed a year and a half ago to help maintain the trail and eliminate safety hazards that have cropped up because of cuts in state funds. The group has since paved 11 bridges along the trail south of Morrow, and repaired dozens of broken asphalt patches, but they insist more work needs to be done. The group says the worst problem areas are mainly in Warren County and just south of Xenia.

"It's simply a matter of (park managers) not having enough resources to get the job done," said Steve Murphy, president of Friends of the Little Miami State Park. "As of last Friday, state park staff had only been able to spend 24 hours this spring mowing the trail."

"Currently, efforts are underway with the help of crews from nearby state parks to mow and clear the entire 50 miles of trail in Warren, Clermont and Hamilton Counties, but the Friends group and the Adopt-a-Trail program are also asking for the public to help in any way they can." more...

ODOT Still Against Innerbelt Bridge Bike Lane

6/17/10

"Adding a bicycle/pedestrian lane to the planned Inner Belt Bridge [in Cleveland] is still unlikely, the Ohio Department of Transportation has concluded after a three-month study.

"ODOT Director Jolene Molitoris is expected to tell Gov. Ted Strickland next week that a multipurpose lane isn't feasible for the $450 million five-lane bridge that is scheduled to open in 2014.

"Obstacles, including access and safety, stand in the way, said ODOT spokesman Scott Varner.

"But ODOT does have an alternative: It will make the Lorain-Carnegie (Hope Memorial) Bridge -- the designated route for bicyclists to cross the Cuyahoga Valley -- safer by removing sidewalks on each side and creating wide multipurpose lanes in each direction. Barriers would be installed on both sides to protect people from traffic.

"That doesn't entirely satisfy bike enthusiasts like Jim Sheehan, director of the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op. He said that while he welcomes improvements to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, bicyclists still want access to the Inner Belt Bridge, and that fight isn't over." more...

Here's another story on the subject with video and here's a commentary by Green City Blue Lake.

Read previous posts on this topic.

Easement Needed For 'Safe Routes' Path In Logan

"It appears that a railroad easement is needed to extend the next leg of the bike path in the Safe Routes to School Program. That was the message Tuesday, as members of Logan City Council met as a committee to discuss the problem.

“For any group, whether it be the city or Safe Routes [To School] Committee, before they can get any money from the state, they have to have all their property and all their easements in order before they’ll get any kind of money,” explained Seth Riddlebarger, chairman of the recreation committee. “The issue is at the end of the Old Town Creek Trail. There is a railroad crossing we need to connect to for the rest of the project.”

"The project includes connecting the end of the current bike path to Logan High School. A second leg of the path would continue along Front Street to the Logan-Hocking Middle School. Obtaining the easement, however, might prove problematic. “It’s a long, difficult drawn-out process with any kind of crossing over their tracks,” he continued. “We must have that piece to make the project happen.”

"Once the easement is granted, applying for grants for construction on the trail can take place. Getting there is a different story, however." more...

Bear Attack On Alaskan Trail

6/15/10

"A man riding his bicycle to work Tuesday on a city trail was attacked by a grizzly bear, which swatted his ear and bit him on the leg, police said.

"Sean Berkey encountered the bear on the east end of Rover's Run trail at 5:30 a.m. as he headed to work at the Alaska Native Medical Center, where the 45-year-old works as a pediatric pharmacist. He had crossed a wooden bridge when he surprised the sow, who had a cub with her.

"Berkey stopped his bike, and the bear charged. He momentarily used his bike as a shield, said Bruce Bartley, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game." more...

Colorado Town Bans Bikes

"It seems like it shouldn't be possible, but a small mountain town in Colorado has "approved an ordinance banning bicycle riding on almost every street." The historic mining city of Black Hawk, population 118, is a gambling hotbed and popular tourist destination in the mountains just outside of Denver.

"Bicycle Colorado reports that police "are now issuing a ticket to anyone 'caught riding' through town.'"

"Bicycle Colorado recently attended a city council meeting and pressed the matter of the cycling ban, but the council "made it clear that they had no intention of changing their ordinance."

"The ban seems a bizarre measure, but one that City Manager Mike Copp said was passed to "promote safety." When Bicycle Colorado pressed the matter and asked if there had been any crashes or problems in the city, "neither the City Manager nor Police Chief could recall any car/bike crashes." more...

Bike Hub Opens At Riverscape

6/14/10

"The newly renovated RiverScape MetroPark officially opened Monday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"Five Rivers MetroParks said the completion of Phase III of RiverScape will offer more amenities for visitors and to accommodate the needs of RiverScape’s and downtown Dayton’s continuing success...

"...Visitors will now be able to take advantage of some new and some improved features of RiverScape MetroPark, including:...

...* A new bike hub with secure bike storage, showers and lockers. It will provide a central location for downtown commuters going to work or play, as well as a welcome rest stop for recreational cyclists and active families enjoying our regions extensive recreation trail system." more...

Here's a brochure with a map of the new facility.

Towpath Being Completed In Akron

6/11/10

News brief regarding the construction: "Bartges Street, between Pier Drive and South Main Street: Closed until late September for replacement of the bridge over the Ohio and Erie Canal and completion of the Towpath Trail through Akron. Detours are posted. Traffic will be maintained on both sides of the canal to all driveways and side streets."

Source: ohio.com

This report says the work is expected to be completed in the fall of 2011.

Proposed River Greenway Would Include 6 States

"The ORTC envisions an Ohio River Trail & Greenway that would extend from Pittsburgh, Pa to the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois. This trail would encompass the states of PA, OH, WV, KY and IL. In Illinois, the River to River Trail is 150 mile trail beginning in Elizabethtown (Battery Rock) and ending in Grand Tower on the Mississippi River. The trail is open to hikers, backpackers and equestrians. In Indiana, the Ohio River Greenway and the Aurora-Lawerenceburgh Trail are located in Southern Indiana along the Ohio River. The Ohio River Greenway links the Communities of Jeffersonville, Clarksville, and New Albany in Indiana.

"In Kentucky, the Ohio River Trail exists as a wildlife trail. The trail is suited for hiking, nature study and bird watching. In addition to the Uniontown Trail and the Louisville Riverwalk/Ohio River Levee Trail in in Kentucky the Newport-Southbank bridge will connect proposed Ohio River Trail in Cincinnati and proposed River Path in KY. Presently the Ohio River Way is constructing the Ohio River Trail from Cincinnati, Ohio to Maysville, OH. In addition, the Ohio River Trail in Wheeling WV is part of the Wheeling Heritage Trails. The trail runs north-south starting at the city line in South Wheeling and reaches the Pike Island Dam where the trail continues into Brooke County. The Brooks Pioneer Trail connects the The Wheeling Heritage Trail to the Wellsburg Yankee Trail." more...

Public Meetings For Chagrin Valley Trail Plan

6/9/10

"A network of trails in the Chagrin Valley could someday link people and resources from one community to another. That is the goal of the Chagrin Falls region alternate transportation study.

"Two public meetings have been held, and the final one will be at 7 p.m. July 6 at Chagrin Falls High School, 400 E. Washington St.

"The group includes Chagrin Falls, South Russell, Moreland Hills, Bentleyville, Orange, South Russell Multipurpose Trail Foundation Inc., Cleveland Metroparks and Geauga Park District.

"A $68,000 grant is being used for the study. Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency is supplying 80 percent of the grant, and the rest is from money collected from the stakeholders. The study will be completed in August or September, Steve Latkovic, president of the South Russell Multipurpose Trail Foundation, said.

"We are co-sponsors and part of the stakeholders' committee," Mr. Latkovic said. "The process is to understand where the trails will go, what types of trails they will be and a rough estimate of their cost."

"Behnke Associates Inc., of Cleveland, is the design consultant and has submitted a preliminary concept plan." more...

Towpath Closures & Construction News

The Ohio & Erie Canalway web site has compiled a list of links for Ohio & Erie Towpath closures notices and construction news.

Miami & Erie Towpath Section Dedicated

6/7/10

"Approximately 60 people turned out Saturday to help dedicate a new portion of the towpath walking trail along the Miami and Erie Canal. As part of National Trails Day, Heritage Trails Park District held a dedication ceremony at Lock 14 Park for a portion of the trail extending north from the park. Heritage Trails Park District Director Allison Brady said she was pleased with the attendance for the event.

"It was a perfect day for National Trails Day celebration,” Brady told The Evening Leader. “We were pleased with the amount of people who came out for various reasons.”

"Representatives from Dannon, Noble Township trustees and ODNR Division of Park were in attendance for the ceremony.

"“The towpath trail in Auglaize County is part of the Buckeye Trail and we had the coordinator here,” Brady aid. “He came to help us celebrate.” more...

Safety Campaign For Towpath Trail

6/6/10

"Cuyahoga Valley National Park along with Stark County Park District, Ohio & Erie Canalway Association, Cleveland Metroparks, Tuscarawas County Park Department, and Metro Parks — serving Summit County — will launch this summer an Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail safety campaign.

"The campaign is aimed at reducing accidents and improving trail courtesy.

"The theme, “Safe is Sound,” highlights the need for cyclists to give an audible signal when passing. Starting immediately and continuing until Sept. 4, users will see safety stops all along the Ohio & Erie Canalway, on the Towpath Trail, encouraging visitors to be safe." more...

NE Ohio Trail Projects Vie For Funding

6/5/10

"Northeast Ohio might be hearing about everything from a $1.82 million bike trail in the Lake Metroparks in Concord Township to $1.97 million worth of new vehicles for Geauga County's transit system.

"The topics will be among 20 new transportation improvement projects totaling $59 million and subject to approval Friday by the Governing Board of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency...

"...The Concord project calls for planning, construction and extension of bicycle trails adjacent to Interstate 90 and state Route 615 along Concord's Greenway Corridor.

"The corridor would consist of a two-way, 10-foot-wide multiuse Greenway asphalt path stretching from the Ravenna Road parking lot to the parking lot on Girdled Road in Concord.

"The north-south trail would connect to other portions so that it would stretch from downtown Painesville in Lake County south to Chardon, the county seat of Geauga County." more...

Trail Planning In Parma, Seven Hills & Independence

6/4/10

"The grants keep flowing in for the West Creek Preservation Committee, which someday hopes to connect trails in this city to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath.

"The Ohio & Erie Canal Association recently awarded WCPC $60,000. It was one of 13 OECA grants totaling about $600,000 for improvements in the canal corridor. The money will help the WCPC study and design a new trail section. It’s one of two trail legs that WCPC wants to extend east from the West Creek Reservation in Parma. The grant will pay for work on the southern leg, which crosses Broadview Road in Seven Hills just north of Pleasant Valley Road...

"...Meanwhile, the city of Independence hopes to build another trail section that may someday help connect the WCPC’s trail to the towpath." more...

Man Attacks Trail Riders With Hand Saw

"Michael Vandeman faces charges of Assault With A Deadly Weapon after attacking cyclists on a fire trail in California.

"On more than a few occasions through the years CAMBA has been met with opponents of mountain biking who cite the work of Michael Vandemann as evidence that Mountain Biking is a destructive, evil activity.

"It's always been unpleasant to defend our sport to people who feel his arguments were rational, legitimate or even worthy of discussion. To most people it's obvious that his extreme, unfounded opinions should be dismissed as the rambling of a lunatic...

"...Michael Vandeman has now taken his hatred of mountain biking to a dangerous extreme. on June 1st 2010, Vandeman was arrested and charged with Assault With A Deadly Weapon. Multiple reports were filed about a man assaulting cyclists with a hand saw on a fire trail around University of California Berkley.

"The suspects identified Vandeman, and he later admitted using the saw against some cyclists he encountered." more...

Trail Construction In Clinton Township

6/3/10

"Construction might begin within two weeks on the new Clinton Trails bicycle and hiking trail north of Tiffin...

"...The [Seneca County] park district recently agreed on a lease with Clinton Township trustees to create the trail from the northern edge of Tiffin's Schekelhoff Nature Preserve to TR 132. During the planning stages, there had been some consideration to running the trail through Scenic Rivers land.

"Instead, the trail is to follow the road right-of-way, using an existing roadbed and weaving around large trees.

"The roadbed has some added benefits," said board member Carl Miller. "We can put gravel on top of current roadbed."

"Vargo said going off road also would have benefits. "It makes a nicer trail," he said. "It's more pleasing when you can work your way around."

"The 8-foot-wide trail is to have a stone surface suitable for walking, bicycling or wheelchair use." more...

Dublin Trail Reaches Design Stage

6/1/10

"A bike path that would provide access to Historic Dublin from the south via Dublin Road has reached the final design phase.

"Dublin City Council members received an update last week on a multi-use path that will be installed on the west side of Dublin Road from Tuttle Road to Karrer Place. Council gave staff permission to proceed with final plans.

"According to civil engineer Michael Sweder, the final design of the path will be finished this year, with land acquisition planned for next year and construction scheduled for 2012. This path is a great connection to Historic Dublin," he said, adding that the plan is supported by the city's Bicycle Advisory Task Force.

"This is the alignment we hear the most about," said city engineer Paul Hammersmith.

"Council member Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher said she was glad to see the path moving forward. "I do see quite a few people walking in the street," she said. "It's scary."

"Most of the path, estimated to cost $1.1-million, will be within the road right-of-way, but Sweder said the city will need permanent easements from residents in some areas." more...

US DOT Secretary Receives Thanks

6/1/10

"Hundreds of organizations from around the country joined together to thank U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood Friday for his leadership in making bicycling and walking safer and more accessible. Secretary LaHood accepted a thank you letter at DOT Headquarters from bicyclists representing America Bikes, Safe Routes to School National Partnership and Transportation for America and more than 200 national, state, regional and local organizations from every state in the nation.

"The Washington Area Bicyclists Association, a signatory on the letter, joined the group to present a thank you poster from local bicyclists, many of whom attended the event.

"Secretary LaHood has raised the profile of bicycling and walking as an important component of our nation’s transportation system—which will improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, create more livable communities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create more opportunities for Americans to be more physically active. The US Department of Transportation’s new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation recommends that state and local governments give equal priority to walking and bicycling as other modes of transportation and ensure safe, convenient and interconnected transportation choices for people of all ages and abilities." more...

Huron River Greenway Reopens

6/1/10

Steven Myers sends word that the Huron River Greenway in Erie County is once again fully open to the public.

Shaping The Columbus Bike Plan

5/30/10

"There are no prices attached yet to the 12 ideas packed into Columbus' proposed new Downtown plan. And there really aren't plans in the plan, either, its author insists. "Ideas are not proposals," said Keith Myers of MSI Design, the company hired to shape the document that will guide Downtown development efforts for the next 10 years.

"The new plan comes with no firm timetables, either, but that hasn't stopped city leaders and Downtown development officials from creating their own lists of priorities. The plan won't be official until it's approved by the Downtown Commission, which will consider it in June, and then the City Council.

"Based on interviews with Mayor Michael B. Coleman and a half-dozen others - people who helped shape the plan or who will help make its ideas a reality - here's a possible ranking of items on the emerging to-do list: ... more...

More Details On Proposed Towpath Route Through Harshaw Site

Michael Scott, who penned a previous article on this subject, provides more details on the complexities of the proposed route. more...

Morgana Run Greenway Expansion Project

5/27/10

"The project implements one piece of the Vacant Land Reutilization Plan for Slavic Village, which was developed by Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC). The project calls for an extension of the Morgana Run Trail using existing City Land Bank lots. The goals include providing a wider swath of greenway parkland into the Model Block, while simultaneously decreasing the City’s carbon footprint involved with vacant lot maintenance." more...

31 New National Recreational Trails Designated

"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the designation of 31 trails in 15 states as national recreation trails, adding more than 716 miles of trails to the National Trails System. The announcement comes in anticipation of National Trails Day on June 5, when trail dedications and other activities will take place at new and existing trails.

"From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the great outdoors," said Salazar. "These new national recreation trails, built through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, will create new opportunities for fitness and stewardship while creating a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren." more....

Report Says Trail Dispute Settled

5/25/10

"There has been a sudden change in the dispute over ownership of a portion of the Great Guernsey Trail.

"Judge David Ellwood of the Guernsey County Common Pleas Court ruled earlier this month that a section of the trail was not the property of the Community Development Corporation, but became the property of a private landowner when the CSX Railroad pulled up its rails around 1994.

"Now, the C-D-C and the property owner have reached a settlement, with the property being sold to the C-D-C for an undisclosed price.

"There are no other deeds in question regarding the new section of the trail, which runs from East Cambridge to Lore City."

A related article that provides more details can be found here.

Source: publicbroadcasting.net

Developers Plan 'Bicycle City'

5/25/10

"Soon there will be a subdivision where your car is not welcome. Developers plan to build a bicycles-only community in Lexington County, near Gaston [South Carolina]. Those developers — from Ohio and the Lowcountry — think their Bicycle City will be the first subdivision of its kind in the nation.

"It will have no asphalt. It will have miles of trails and ponds for boating. It will have eco-friendly homes. And residents and their visitors will have to park their cars outside the community and bike — or walk — to their homes.

"Developers have spent nearly $1 million to buy 140 acres about 15 miles south of Columbia, according to land records. They also have hired community designer Ozzie Nagler, planner of Harbison and the Three Rivers Greenway.

"It could become an eco-tourism destination,” said Joe Mellett, a Cincinnati-based Internet marketer and one of the developers. Mellet and one of his co-developers will present their concept to Lexington County Council at a meeting tonight." more...

Bike To Capitol Promotes '3-Foot Law'

5/24/10

"Over the weekend, State Senator Teresa Fedor and a group of supporters rode in the fourth annual Bike to the Capitol, a three-day 160-mile cycling trip from Toledo to the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. On the third day, Sunday May 23, Columbus area cyclists joined Senator Fedor in Worthington Hills Park for the last leg of the journey to the Statehouse.

"...This year, Senator Fedor's primary cycling initiative is Senate Bill 174, which would require Ohio drivers to allow at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicycle on the road. Fedor urged voters to contact their senators in support of the three-foot passing bill, which would "make the streets safer for the over 1 million cyclists in Ohio."

"15 states have already passed a three-foot law," said Chuck Smith, President of the Ohio Bicycle Federation. "We want to be the 16th." more...

West Toledo Rail Loop May Become Bikeway

5/24/10

"-Nearly 10 years after the last train used it, the railroad track that runs along Douglas Road near the University of Toledo and then cuts across several West Toledo neighborhoods is being torn up -- a victim of consolidations in the railroad industry that have left certain tracks with no purpose.

"But it could still be years before local transportation planners' goal of converting the former Toledo Terminal "Back Side" line into a pedestrian and bicycle trail is realized.

"The Trust for Public Lands is negotiating to buy the right of way from CSX Transportation Corp., which in February received permission from the federal Surface Transportation Board to remove 4.15 miles of track between a point along Laskey Road near Jackman Road known as Temperance Station and a junction called Vulcan near Dorr Street and Westwood Avenue.

"We're trying to get the negotiations completed this year," said Warren Henry, transportation director for the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, which has worked with the trust on the trail conversion. After that, Mr. Henry said, it likely will take several years to get federal money to build the trail, which would connect at its south end with the University/Parks Trail, built during the 1990s along another former railbed." more...

Rumble Strips Coming To Rural Ohio Roads

5/24/10

"Six-inch-wide rumble stripes to be ground into the edge lines on rural roads in Ohio this year are meant to decrease accidents, but could cause problems for bicyclists.

"The rumble stripes may be difficult to ride over and may not leave enough pavement on the road's shoulder for riders wary of pedaling in the traffic lane with speeding vehicles, cyclists say.

"The Ohio Department of Transportation is spending $3.6 million to cut grooves 3/8"-inch deep into the pavement on the white line that divides the road lane and shoulder on about 1,600 miles of state roads.

"The stripes are narrower and shallower than rumble strips milled into pavement on the shoulders of interstates. But they have the same function: Creating noise and vibration when vehicles drive over them to alert motorists that they are veering off the roadway, said ODOT spokesman Scott Varner." more...

Cyclist Hit In Whitewater Township

5/24/10

"The name of a man hit while riding his bike ion Whitewater Township late Sunday night, has been released.

"Hamilton County Deputies say Donald Scheidt was hit in the 5500 block of State Route 128 near Morgan Road. Scheidt was hit when the rearview mirror of a pick-up truck hit him, throwing him from the bike.

"Scheidt was taken to University Hospital by Air care. He is listed in serious condition."

Source: WLWT.com

Patrols Along Muskingum County Trails

5/22/10

"Bikers and walkers on the Muskingum River Trail might be sharing the route with law enforcement officers soon.

"With the help of several local organizations and businesses, four mountain bikes have been donated to the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office for patrolling the separate trail sections between Dresden and Ellis Dam, Zane's Landing Park up to Riverside Park and the Collegial Woods Trail near Ohio University Zanesville.

"Sheriff Matt Lutz said the Public Safety Bicycle Patrol will be comprised of reserve or auxiliary deputies who will ride the trail at unscheduled times." more...

10 Great Bike Trails

5/21/10

"In the past quarter-century, thousands of miles of rail lines have been converted to paths. They're perfect places for exploring, especially during May, which is National Bike Month, says Jennifer Kaleba of the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (railstotrails.org). The paths are usually easy to ride, as rail lines were engineered to avoid steep grades. Many have attracted bike rental shops and other services geared toward cyclists. Kaleba shares some favorite trails with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY..." more...

Gahanna's Bikeways Plan For 2010

5/19/10

"...During a hearing on the bikeway master plan, Tony Collins, the city's parks and recreation director, said the city could improve trails this year by adding signs and shared-lane designations on roads.

"The city updated the bikeway master plan in 2009 and determined inexpensive ways to implement some ideas. It was updated again recently. Collins said the city does not have a lot of money to build more trails, which could cost $30 to $40 per linear foot. The city could spend about $5,000 to add signs, which would direct cyclists and pedestrians to trail links and recreational areas, he said.

"Gahanna has nine miles of multi-use trails. City officials want to add one mile of multi-use trail this year, in addition to creating 3.6 miles of shared bicycle lanes on local roadways with proper lane markings and raising awareness of routes by adding signs to another 26 miles of shared routes. The plan also shows future connections of proposed bicycle paths and connections to other trails in central Ohio.

"Janet Gibson of Walnut Woods Court said she and seven of her neighbors do not oppose the bikeway master plan but are requesting that a portion of the trail - a stretch that could be extended behind their homes on the north side of the Stonybrook United Methodist Church - be moved."

Source: This Week News.com

Read an earlier post on the Gahanna Master Plan.

Guernsey Trail Gets Historical Markers

"Volunteers showed up to help with placing 14 of the historical railroad markers on Saturday, May 15 on the Great Guernsey Trail. Markers were constructed as a Scout project for Eagle Scout candidate Daniel Barr. Boy Scout Troop 508, Scout fathers, Lore City Mayor Richard Carpenter and his wife Sharon assisted with the project." more...

The Guernsey Trail also made new recently regarding a land ownership case along the corridor. the story.

Radioactive Site Blocking Towpath

5/19/10

"The Towpath Trail is at the crossroads. Planners of the ambitious and nearly complete hiking and bicycle trail are facing three uncomfortable choices as they try again to stitch together the final few miles through a downtown Cleveland industrial area along the Cuyahoga River.

"Their preferred route is still blocked by the lurking presence of a parcel on the northeast corner of Harvard Avenue and Jennings Road where uranium was once refined during World War II.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have said that the former Harshaw Chemical site won't be fully cleaned up until about 2016 at the earliest, but once it's done, it should be OK for a bike path.

"But trail planners -- a consortium of the city, Cuyahoga County and the Ohio Canal Corridor -- desperately want to open the full length of the trail long before that.

"...Some towpath followers were excited last week when The Army Corps had given trail builders the OK to safely build on one 6-acre Harshaw parcel on the east bank of the Cuyahoga River just north of Harvard.

"But that only matters to trail planners if they can use the other Harshaw parcel. Otherwise, it would be a bridge to nowhere, said Stanley Kosilesky, chief deputy engineer for the Cuyahoga County Engineer's office." Read more and view the video.

Read a previous post on this subject.

Sharrows Hit The Road In Columbus

5/16/10

"To kick off Bike To Work Week today, the city’s Share The Road initiative took another step forward with the unveiling of the first bicycle sharrow pavement marking on North High Street. Mayor Michael B. Coleman, City Council President Pro-Tem Hearcel F. Craig, Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy, Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Chester R. Jourdan, Jr., and Consider Biking Executive Director Jeff Stephens uncovered the first of 189 sharrows that will be installed on High Street between Nationwide Boulevard and Morse Road this spring. The sharrows, in addition to 54 Share the Road signs installed on High Street in the fall of 2009, remind cyclists and motorists that they, by law, must share the road legally and safely." more...

Read another article on this topic.

Changes Coming For Cleveland Cyclists

5/16/10

"Two-tired Cleveland commuters soon will have a place to rest their bikes and bones. Regulations taking effect June 16 require secure bicycle racks to be installed at many parking lots and garages in Cleveland, even if they're not open to the public.

"And the Bike Rack -- a parking station with showers, lockers and repair services -- should open downtown in late summer.

"We're still early in the process, but the whole idea is to make Cleveland a more bicycle-friendly place," city Planning Director Robert Brown said.

"The regulations, approved by the City Council two years ago, mainly apply downtown because they cover facilities that charge for parking. The rules require one bicycle space, 2 feet wide and 6 feet long, with a securely anchored bike rack or locker, for every 20 automobile spaces, with a maximum requirement of 24 spots." more...

Trail Builder Seeks New Trial

5/16/10

"An attorney representing the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation has filed a request for a new trial after Guernsey County Common Pleas Court Judge David A. Ellwood ruled the agency doesn’t own a part of the current Great Guernsey Trail.

"After a trial before the judge, Ellwood ruled a 4.53-acre parcel of land belongs to George D. Tolbert and not the CDC, as previously believed.

"The reason we filed for a new trial is some of the information given during the trial was inaccurate,” said CDC Board President and Guernsey County Commissioner Steve Allen.

"We want to take advantage of the legal process with correct information to determine who is the owner. If it is determined that Mr. Tolbert is the legal owner, we will respect that decision.

"The trail is a benefit to everybody in Guernsey County with exercise and time spent with family. It’s also a medical benefit being able to walk on the trail, and it’s all at no cost. The trail is an asset for Guernsey County.

"We will take all avenues possible to maintain the trail,” concluded Allen." more...

Read an earlier post regarding the court case.

Dublin Planning Beyond Recreation Trails

"May is National Bike Month - and the city of Dublin, led by Dublin's Bike Advisory Task Force (BATF) - is joining other bicycle friendly cities across the country in recognizing National Bike to Work Week, May 17-21, and National Bike to Work Day, May 21.

"For years Dublin has placed a high priority on its recreational assets, in particular parks and green spaces. As Dublin continued to grow, the city also has incorporated bikeways and walkways into its master planning.

"Today, Dublin is taking a more focused look at biking, beyond purely recreational benefits. Biking is increasingly being viewed as an important means of transportation, as providing great benefits for the health and wellness of our community, and for enhancing our economic and environmental sustainability.

"Retaining and attracting a talented work force is among the most significant factors in predicting the near- and long-term economic success of a region. The demographic studies are very clear - these talented young workers consider a variety of lifestyle factors in choosing where to live and work. Bike-ability is one of those key factors.

"That is why earlier this year Dublin City Council appointed the BATF to develop a community work plan to increase bicycle accessibility. There was tremendous interest from residents to serve on BATF, and the members selected represent many facets of Dublin, including our youth, corporate citizens, community residents and leadership from Dublin City Schools. They all share a passion for cycling and are committed to creating a commuter bike culture in Dublin." more...

Upper Arlington - OSU Connector Meeting May 17

5/14/10

"The City of Upper Arlington and Ohio State University are examining the possibility of constructing a new Multi-Use Path (MUP) for pedestrians and bicyclists along Kinnear and Waltham roads.

"There is concern among cycling and pedestrian advocates in Columbus, Upper Arlington, and the university that a number of residents along Waltham plan on voicing their objections to this plan at the Upper Arlington Council meeting on Monday, May 17th. In other words, we're going to have NIMBY involvement.

The advocates encourage other cycling and pedestrian advocates to join them at the meeting, which is to be held at 7:00 pm at the Upper Arlington Municipal Building (3600 Tremont Road, downstairs), and to voice their support for the plan." more...

Canton Trail Plans

"Biking and walking trails have sprouted up throughout Stark County in recent years. But trails have not been as common in the city of Canton. In 2001, a short stretch was constructed in the Mahoning Road NE area — the Stark Electric Railway Trail. At the moment, the stretch essentially is an isolated neighborhood trail, stretching 6,000 feet along Mahoning Road from the city limits west toward Cook’s Lagoon. A quarter-mile loop trail for pedestrians was added later.

"Plans call for Cook’s Lagoon on Mahoning to serve as the trailhead for a trail along state Route 153 linking Canton and Louisville before ultimately reaching Alliance. “These all take time and money,” said Robert Fonte, director of the Stark County Park District.

"But more trails are on the way in the city, including the West Branch Trail and East Park Trail." more...

Army Engineers Ok Harshaw Site For Towpath Trail

5/13/10

"Towpath Trail planners received the go-ahead Wednesday from the Army Corps of Engineers to extend the path into a 6-acre section of the former Harshaw Chemical Co. property. The land, on the east bank of the Cuyahoga River off Harvard Avenue, is mostly wooded and in a low-lying area. Engineers said that their evaluation and assessments concluded there are no risks to using the land for recreational purposes.

"Andrea Kolhoff, a project engineer for the Army, said the Harshaw site once processed uranium between 1944 and 1959 near the Harvard-Denison Bridge, which is on the other side of the river, and that's where most of the contamination is.

"The trail can be extended because the project "presents no dangerous impact," she told about 50 people who attended a meeting at the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation. "The risks are well below established limits," she said. "There is no imminent threat to human health or the environment."

"Planners want to cross the Harshaw site to extend the trail north to downtown Cleveland. The trail now stops at Harvard." more...

Bolivar Towpath Planning

5/11/10

This short article compiles a number of brief sound bites from Bolivar Mayor Rebecca Hubble from various village meetings regarding the towpath and its path through town.

See a previous story on the Bolivar Towpath.

Judge Rules Against Guernsey Trail Builder

5/9/10

"The Guernsey County Community Development Corporation was recently denied ownership of a four-acre property along the Great Guernsey Trail after a landowner objected to the CDC’s claim that it owned the property.

"Guernsey County Common Pleas Court Judge David A. Ellwood ruled the 4.53-acre land belongs to George D. Tolbert and denied a request by the CDC for injunctive relief to stop Tolbert and others from posting no trespassing signs and placing logs across the former rail bed.

"At the center of the case was a 100-foot by 19,070-foot strip of land that ran through the property owned by Tolbert and was formerly used by railroad companies as a right-of-way for tracks. The railroad stopped operating in 1992 or 1993, and pulled up the tracks in approximately 1994.

"The CDC contended that the land did not then revert to the previous owner, and was instead available for the CDC to purchase through a quit-claim deed with the railroad company.

"Tolbert testified during the trial that he believed the land went back to the property owner when the rails were taken up. Tolbert purchased the property with Larry Able for $8,000 and has paid the real estate taxes on the strip of land for more than 20 years.

"Daniel Speedy, CDC director, testified that the Community Development Corporation and its quit-claim deed from the railroad was to only receive whatever rights the railroad had at the time.

"The court used the easement and right-of-way granted by Zadock Davis in August 1852 and recorded on Sept. 18, 1931, in making the final ruling." more...

Canal Basin Plan Approved

5/7/10

"Downtown Cleveland: [Friday], the Cleveland City Planning Commission, by unanimous vote, adopted the Canal Basin District Plan.

"...The centerpiece of the Canal Basin District Plan is the proposed Canal Basin Park, which will include the current Settlers Landing Park and expand it to a new 24 acre signature park for the city. In addition to the park, the plan coordinates necessary linkages to nearby neighborhoods and from the last phase of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

"This plan is significant because it builds on our city's legacy of the Emerald Necklace," said Tom Yablonsky, Vice President of Downtown Cleveland Alliance. "In that spirit, the Canal Basin District Plan proposes a dynamic and comprehensive framework of trail investments that build upon the proposed Canal Basin Park. Together, the park and its trail linkages will become the northern terminus of both the Towpath Trail and the 110 mile Ohio & Erie Canalway. The plan provides the vision for access to world-class parks for Downtown and Cleveland's most central neighborhoods, access that Cleveland's surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs have enjoyed for decades."

"The Canal Basin District Park Plan identified and evaluated all possible trail linkages that could connect Canal Basin Park to adjacent Downtown amenities and nearby city neighborhoods..." more...

Ohio Supreme Court Won't Review Trail Case

5/6/10

"The Ohio Supreme Court might have thrown the third strike to Licking Township residents fighting construction of a bike path on land they claim to own.

"The state's highest court announced Wednesday it will not review the Jan. 5 ruling of Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals, which had paved the way for the Thomas J. Evans Foundation to build a six-mile bike path from Heath to Hebron.

"The January ruling upheld an April 29, 2009, decision by Licking County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Marcelain that the foundation is sole owner of the property used for a scenic railroad and proposed for the bike path.

"I'm surprised they refused to hear it," Licking Township Trustee Joe Hart said Wednesday. "As a trustee, the township has pretty much stayed (neutral) on it."

"The dispute between South Fork Road residents and the foundation reached a boiling point on July 30, 2008, when residents staged a sit-in on the proposed path as Shelly Co. paving equipment moved within a quarter-mile of the protesters, crossing East Irving Wick Drive in Heath.

"The project has been halted ever since. It is not known when construction might resume." more...

Cleveland Mayor Inspired By Chicago Bike Culture

5/6/10

"Back in 2002, Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell went to Chicago and was blown away by a thriving bike culture and a massive, well-organized bike advocacy group there. Mayor Jane decided it was time for Cleveland to get serious about cycling and walking as part of a healthy transportation system, and asked her planning director Chris Ronayne to form an advisory committee.

"The committee's purpose would be to establish citywide policies for bicycle and pedestrian-related improvements— and to recommend and review projects that advance those policies—while ensuring that community concerns and ideas are incorporated into the process. In addition, the committee was asked to help craft the bicycle- and pedestrian-related elements of Cleveland's new comprehensive plan."

"Last week, the mayor’s bike/ped committee met for the first time since August 2008 to review the progress being – and still to be – made in Cleveland.

"Since Campbell’s time, the bike community has organized the annual Cleveland Bike Week – a chance to bike commute with a group and to celebrate cycling at a bunch of events. Cleveland Bike Week 2010 starts May 15 and rolls to the 23rd, with the official Bike to Work Day on May 21. RTA is making it a multi-modal day offering a free pass to anyone who arrives by bike to the train or bus. The area’s big three – ClevelandBikes, Ohio City Bike Co-Op and Walk + Roll – and ‘the bike community’ will provide breakfast downtown and an after work party on E. 4th for those biking to work. Go here for more details." more...

Regional Trail Link Envisioned Along Ohio River

5/6/10

"...I rode the Montour Trail frequently, and I rode the trails in Ohio, and I had been thinking that we ought to connect the two," Dr. Troia said.

"As planned, the trail would trace the riverfront from the Montour's trail head in Robinson through Coraopolis, Moon, Crescent, South Heights, Hopewell and Aliquippa to Monaca. It would cross the Rochester-Monaca bridge, go north along the Beaver River through Rochester Township in New Brighton, cross the historic Fallston Bridge and go down the far bank of the Beaver through Fallston, Bridgewater and Beaver. It would then follow the north bank of the Ohio through Vanport, Industry, Midland, Ohioville and Glasgow.

"The council has gotten supportive resolutions from most of the municipalities involved and has the support of the Beaver County Planning Commission. A grant from the state Department of Community and Natural Resources helped fund a feasibility study of the southern part of the trail - from the Montour Trail through Monaca.

"That study is about two-thirds done, and the council is applying for a grant to study the rest. The involved communities also contributed toward the study, as did private individuals." more...

Driver Jailed For Running Down Cyclist

"A 67-year-old Naperville woman who ran down a teenage bicyclist last summer in the [Chicago's] downtown and then drove home with the bike impaled on her car has been sentenced to jail.

"Mary A. Rehm, of the 500 block of East Bauer Road in the Maple Terrace neighborhood, will begin serving her sentence May 10 in DuPage County Jail in Wheaton, according to records on file in DuPage County Circuit Court. Rehm pleaded guilty to a felony charge of aggravated battery in a public place. That followed an agreement between her lawyer and prosecutors from the DuPage County state's attorney's office.

"...A 17-year-old youth from Lisle told police he and a friend were riding their bikes about 4:16 p.m. that day near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Washington Street. They were in the northbound lane of Washington Street and trying to turn west onto Jefferson Avenue, police said last year.

"The teen that evening told The Sun how he suddenly found a car behind him with a woman -- later identified as Rehm -- angrily honking her horn at him.

"Then the lady floored it -- intentionally floored it -- and I jumped off the bike and she hit it," the teen said. He was not injured." more...

Wheelchairs Plunge Into Canal From Bike Trail

"Authorities say two children were rescued after their wheelchairs rolled into a canal in western Ohio during a class field trip. Authorities say the wheelchairs rolled off a bike path in Piqua Friday and down an 8-foot embankment, tossing the children into the canal.

"Piqua police Lt. Jason Preston says a boy and girl were taken evaluated at a hospital but didn't appear to have any serious injuries. Preston says the children, whose names weren't released, were 11 or 12 years old.

"People were holding the children's heads above water when emergency crews arrived about 11 a.m.

"Authorities aren't sure what caused the wheelchairs to plunge into the canal."

Source: nbc4i.com

Bat Habitat May Affect Trail Cost

5/4/10

"Increased costs for a bike-path extension from Heath City Waterpark to the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center drove Heath City Council members batty Monday night.

"The three-quarters of a mile path to be constructed next year likely will cost more than the original $640,000 price tag because trees that will be cut down might provide a habitat for the Indiana bat, an endangered species.

"Zoning Chief John Groff told the Community Development Committee the environmental consultant found 30 trees along the route of the bike path that could house the bat.

"We may have to put funding into an Indiana bat bank to buy land somewhere else, like for wetlands," Groff told committee members. "The city is required to mitigate this." more...

Dog Problem Along Little Miami Trail

5/4/10

"Residents who live along the Little Miami Bike Trail near the Countryside YMCA said that irresponsible owners are letting their dogs run loose along the trail, leaving unsightly messes they’d rather not deal with.

"Bill Cloughessy, who lives along Leather Leaf Lane and whose backyard borders the bike trail, spoke about the matter Tuesday, April 27 to Lebanon City Council. “There are lots of people not picking up their dog’s excrement on the trail,” Cloughessy said. “It’s unhealthy, unsanitary and causes diseases.”

"Perry Furbush, a neighbor of Cloughessy’s on Leather Leaf Lane, agreed unleashed dogs and owners who don’t take responsibility to clean up their dog’s waste can be a problem, although not as much along the trail as the nearby park area the trail passes. He agreed with Cloughessy that too many trail users let their dogs run without leashes, especially when others are around." more...

Greenway Link Left Out Of Road Project

5/4/10

"The Columbiana County Parks District made another attempt to have the Greenway bike trail incorporated into the proposed intersection project at state Route 14 and Washingtonville Road.

"At the regular Village Council meeting Monday night, Tom Butch, a Parks District representative, requested council encourage the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to include the two blocks of East Street immediately south of state Route 14 in the project, which will provide turning lanes on 14 and a traffic light at the intersection.

"Council approved last month the proposed final design plan, which did not include any work south of 14 despite the strong push by the parks district and other stakeholders. The two blocks were ignored in the final plan in large part because road width and right-of-way issues, particularly concerning the End Zone sports bar on the corner.

"Councilwoman Renee Jackson stated that she did not wish to delay the project any longer than it already has been. "The light is my priority," she said. "It's been a battle between one and the other (ODOT and bike trail)...but I want the light to go in."

"Council made no indication that it would request ODOT revisit the issue, with several members noting the issue has already been researched at length." more...

This report contradicts an earlier post that the project would incorporate the trail via widened sidewalks.

Athens Bike Plan

5/3/10

"The Bicycle and Pedestrian Subcommittee recommended a plan to the city that would create more options for non-motorists in the city. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan would include street completion, neighborhood connectors, crossing improvements and off-road trails. More guided and named routes, more secure bike parking and side paths are part of this plan.

"City council has been working on this plan since October 2008. In spring 2009, the plan was put on for bid for consultants. City Council started conducting surveys, recruiting volunteers and talking to residents. City Council appropriated $20,000 to make the plan, but that amount does not go toward implementation, City Planner Paul Logue says. Implementation could cost up to $100,000 which Logue hopes will be covered by grants."

Source: Athens Midday

See a related story with video.

Read an earlier report on this subject.

Growing GOLTRG

5/3/10

"Construction on two sections of the Trumbull County portion of the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway project is expected to begin this summer.

"Mark Hess, Niles city engineering, grants and development coordinator, said all the pieces are in place after nearly 10 years to get a 4 1/2-mile stretch there completed by June 2011. Niles officials met last week with managers of J.D. Williamson Construction company, who plan to begin work on the nearly $5 million project by the middle of this month.

"Warren Mayor Michael J. O'Brien recently announced the first phase of the Warren Greenway Bike Trail should begin later this summer. The city is getting the final environmental approvals and this portion of the project should be completed before the end of the year.

"Construction of restrooms and landscaping for the bike trail in Warren began last week at North End Park on Comstock S.E. It is expected to be completed in June, Paul Makosky, an assistant city engineer, said. A pavilion already is in the park." more...

Dayton Earns Bronze

5/1/10

"Dayton is joining Columbus as the only cities in Ohio to be designated as “bike friendly.” The League of American Bicyclists today, May 1, will give Dayton and 15 cities across the country a bronze award for their efforts to promote bicycling.

"Troy was one of two Ohio cities to get an honorable mention.

"Dayton city leaders hope the honor from the league will lead to better things to come.

"Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said the bronze designation his city received last year provided a “rallying point for the community” to encourage more bike riding and a healthier active lifestyle. It also had an economic payoff, he said.

“Being part of the elite number of bike-friendly communities nationwide has given Columbus an edge over competitors for wooing potential businesses, events and residents who give biking a high priority,” said spokesman Dan Williamson. “A bikeable community is a quality of life issue, and it helps us attract young professionals and businesses who want to employ them.” more...

Read another post on this subject.

Franklin Metro Parks Trail Patrols

4/27/10

"The next time you are enjoying a walking trail in one of the Central Ohio Metro Parks, you may notice someone walking along with you.

"A new effort is aimed at keeping you safe while biking, exercising, or just enjoying your parks, CrimeTracker 10's Angela An reported Tuesday.

"Columbus police officer Ron Zaleski rides the trail from Antrim Park on the city's northwest side to the city's downtown every day, looking for suspicious people." more or view the video.

Bluffton Trails Plan

4/27/10

"A bikepath and walkway completely encircling Bluffton? Maybe. Eventually. The Bluffton council official launched a Pathway Steering Committee focus on that reality on April 28. The group will begin to meet and discuss the long-term plans and logistics of constructing a bike and pedestrian pathway throughout and around the village of Bluffton.

"...The long-term dream envisions a bike and pedestrian pathway that encircles the entire village of Bluffton. Mitch Kingsley, Bluffton council member, said he hopes that this could be completed in 10 years, however, that is being optimistic. The community of Bluffton can benefit in a couple ways through the pathway, Kingsley said.

“For the many people who like to walk and bike, this pathway would enhance their access to recreation, nature and beautiful scenery,” Kingsley said. “It also enhances the community by producing less carbon emissions, by encouraging more people to travel without using a vehicle.” more...

Towpath Grant Held Back

4/27/10

"Last month we reported on the controversy surrounding the land deal that would establish the Towpath Trail in Cleveland’s industrial Flats (“Who Sold Out the Towpath?” March 10).

"The story revealed how the project has become overrun by accusations of fraud and conflicts of interest — time-honored traditions symbolic of all Cleveland development projects. The mudslinging has stalled completion of the popular trail, which winds from just north of New Philadelphia toward downtown Cleveland — but ends a few miles short of Lake Erie.

"Now it appears the project won’t be pushing forward anytime soon: A new report released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources found an appraisal used in the pending transaction lacked “credibility and reasonableness.”

"The appraisal in question is one of two that make up the $11 million figure submitted by the Trust for Public Land and the Ohio Canal Corridor, two groups pushing for the Towpath Trail’s completion. The latest review says the market value in the appraisal is wrong.

"In light of its ruling, the Department of Natural Resources has held onto $500,000 it was set to fork over for completion of the project.

"Dave Vasarhelyi from the Trust for Public Land’s Cleveland office says appraisals used for these types of deals are often rejected, and that his appraiser will have a chance to respond to the ODNR review. “By all means, it does not mean the project is dead,” he says."

Source: Cleveland Scene

Ohio Bicycle Federation Helps Jailed Cyclist

"There's good news to report about Reed Bates and his on-going struggle with the law enforcement authorites and court system in Ennis, Texas. Bates has been arrested and jailed three times for riding his bicycle on the road, despite the absence of any law forbidding the practice. Authorities have charged him with several offenses, but the central one seems to be obstructing traffic.

"Bates received some very welcome assistance from the Ohio Bicycle Federation, courtesy of Dan Carrigan and Fred Oswald. They introduced a motion to provide Bates with some much-needed money for his defense and the measure passed without opposition! The OBF apparently recognizes the necessity of maintaining legal access to our nation's streets and roads, access that is critical to all cyclists. There's a popular misconception that bicyclists must stay out of traffic, a misconception that is reinforced by the police and the courts in far more communities than benighted little backwaters like Ennis." more...

Stavich Trail Ribbon-Cutting

4/25/10

"A grand opening celebration for the refurbished Stavich Bicycle Trail is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 22 at the trail’s beginning on West Washington Street in Union Township, [PA] less than a mile south of U.S. Route 224.

"John Kwiat, vice-president of the Lawrence County Cycling Club, said his group is sponsoring the event because few people were aware of the official ribbon-cutting for the trail, which took place late last fall.

"Kwiat said there will be free hot dogs and beverages as well as free bike-safety checks. Lawrence County commissioners are planning to attend.

"Lawrence County has a 25-year lease with Penn Power for the seven miles of the 10-mile trail that lie in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania portion recently underwent resurfacing, drainage work and bridge replacements with state grant money." more...

Aberdeen Awarded Trail Funding

4/24/10

"The village of Aberdeen and Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington Middle School received good news this past week regarding a proposed mile-long walking and bicycling trail in that village.

"Former Aberdeen Village Councilman J.R. Lawrence reported in an April 1 telephone interview he had learned the previous day the Ohio Department of Transportation was awarding the remaining $225,000 for that project.

"At a ceremony held April 23, 2009, in front of RULH Middle School in Aberdeen, representatives from Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 in Chillicothe had announced that village and school, as partners, would receive up to $250,000 to help construct the proposed trail." more...

Heart Of Ohio Trail Paving

4/23/10

"On Thursday Floyd Browne Group of Delaware was chosen by the Knox County Commissioners to be the engineering design consultant for the paving of a mile-long section of the Heart of Ohio Trail. It won out of a field of six firms which responded to the Request for Proposal from the Knox County Park District.

"KCPD director Kim Marshall said that the project, which will pave the bike trail from Simmons Church Road to Bishop Road, a distance of 0.95 mile, is being supported by two voter-approved sources: A total of $383,500 from the Clean Ohio Trail Fund (administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources) and a 25 percent match from the local parks levy passed in 2008. The project involves no county general fund money. Marshall said that the levy passed with pledges to improve existing parks and build new ones, and to pave the Heart of Ohio Trail, which runs from Mount Vernon to Centerburg." more...

Culvert Replacement Along Towpath

4/23/10

"WHAT: Culvert Installation

"WHERE: About 50 yards south of Crystal Springs in Lawrence Township [Canal Fulton area] along the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

"WHY: “This area has been subject to a lot of washouts,” said Mark Lambert, trail maintenance crew leader for the Stark Parks. “Hopefully it will eliminate draft flow over the trail,” Lambert said. “There will still be flooding up there. We’ll always have flooding.”

Source: IndeOnline.com

Grove City Bike Plan

"Grove City officials plan to add about two miles of bicycle paths to the town center area by the end of this year. The project is estimated to cost about $600,000, but the city won't pay even half of that.

"The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded the city $365,000 in grant money for the project.

"Dameyon Shipley, ODNR recreation services manager, said Grove City's bike project received $365,000 in grant money because the project "fit the priorities" of the plan to connect bike paths throughout the central Ohio region. "It incorporates everything we want to see, and it's all inclusive for what we want," Shipley said.

"The project calls for the addition of four types of infrastructure that will encourage people to travel by means other than a car between Windsor Park, Park Street Elementary School and the town center.

"The project involves two types of bike paths -- what officials call bike routes and bike boulevards.

"Kim Conrad, Grove City parks and recreation director, said the bike boulevards transform existing alleys into paths that are "more bicycle and pedestrian friendly." She said alleys are scheduled to be improved with signs, road markings, fencing and speed humps to change them into bike boulevards." more...

CAMBA Earns 'Top Trails Partner' Award

4/22/10

"The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) received the Ohio State Parks 2009 “Trail Partnership Of The Year Award” for the group’s efforts to build and maintain mountain biking trails at West Branch State Park in Portage County. CAMBA representatives Craig Wood and Mark Reed accepted the award from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) during a recent park managers’ conference at Hocking Hills State Park.

"CAMBA is the first recipient of this new statewide award to recognize volunteer groups helping to build, improve and expand trails in Ohio State Parks. CAMBA volunteers have contributed 5,941 hours over the past eight years to develop more than 7 miles of single track mountain bike trail at West Branch." more...

Bridge Work May Affect SKT

4/22/10

"Suburban Maintenance and Construction Inc., under contract of West Central Ohio Port Authority, has begun repair work on several railroad bridges in the city of Urbana. Work is being completed on the following railroad bridges: Gwynne Street, Pindar Street, West Light Street and College Way/Muzzy Road.

"Full daytime road closures are possible and notification will be given in advance of these closures. In addition, one-lane road closures with traffic maintained are possible during the project. Work will also be taking place on the bridge that passes over the Simon Kenton Trail bike path between North Russell Street and Miami Street. Path traffic will be maintained, but a closure of this section of the path is possible."

Source: The Urbana Daily Citizen

Freedom Secondary Trail Environmental Work

4/21/10

"[Summit County Park Commisioners] hired the Floyd Browne Group of Akron for $20,050 for Phase 2 and Phase 3 environmental work on the proposed Freedom Secondary Trail that will run 8.5 miles from Akron through Tallmadge to the Kent-Tallmadge border. That work covers the trail from Southwest Avenue in Tallmadge to Akron's Northside Station."

Source: Ohio.com

New Carlisle Trail Nearing Completion

4/20/10

"City Public Works Director Howard Kitko told New Carlisle City Council at their Monday evening meeting that the final paving of the Multi-Use trail is expected to be completed within the next few days. “Everybody’s looking forward to getting it paved and striped so we can have a grand opening,” said Kitko. Council member Paul Shakro asked if it would be ready for the 5K run/walk on Saturday and Kitko said that they did expect the trail to be usable."

Source: New Carlisle News

For more on this new trail, visit the Miami Valley Trails web site.

1-Mile Trail Section Planned Along Hoover Resevoir

"In December 2009, Columbus City Council approved an ordinance for the development of a one mile section of the Ohio to Erie trail along the west side of Hoover Reservoir. The mile-long dedicated trail will directly connect Columbus to the regional trail network of Delaware County, and complete a key segment of the Ohio to Erie trail. Utilities Committee Chair Eileen Y. Paley is introducing ordinance 0542-2010, which authorize[s] the city to grant Delaware County a perpetual bikeway/walkway easement unto certain city property. The project will provide unique access for visitors to the west side of Hoover Reservoir and increase safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. The pathway is part of a network that will join Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland."

Source: Columbus City Council

Washingtonville Road Project Makes Room For Trail

4/20/10

"The proposed road project at state Route 14 and Washingtonville Road is back on track. Representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) visited the regular Village Council meeting Monday night to update the council on the project that will align Washigntonville Road with East Street, provide turning lanes on state Route 14 and install a traffic signal at the intersection.

"Most notably, the project now calls for 8-foot sidewalks north on both sides of Washingtonville Road and minimal work south on East Street, eliminating any inclusion of the Greenway bike trail on the part of ODOT.

"The project was set to move forward in December, with no work scheduled on East Street, but council requested the bike trail be incorporated with the street at the urging of several 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)." more...

SW Ohio Trail Projects Update

4/18/10

"...One big project for trail users is a $1.9 million project to bridge the last major gap in the Great Miami Recreational Trail. The project, coordinated by Five Rivers MetroParks, will add 2.6 miles of trail from the northern edge of Taylorsville MetroPark at the northern Montgomery County border up to Kyle Park in Tipp City.

"With that link, the trail will run continuously — except for temporary closures for bridge and I-75 construction — from Troy down into Butler County.

"Another significant missing trail link will be filled in by the city of Xenia this summer, when it builds a 3-mile, $970,000 section from downtown at Washington Street out to the Jamestown Connector at Bickett Road. In addition, engineering for a tunnel for the trail under U.S. 35 is almost complete, said Nimfa Simpson, Xenia city planner.

"The project will complete a connection to the fourth regional trail through the city, Simpson said, along with the Little Miami Trail, the Ohio-Erie Trail and the Creekside Trail.

"The city also just finished bike and pedestrian improvements downtown on Detroit Street, as well as a 3,000-foot connector to Creekside Trail along Towler Road from a neighborhood in western Xenia." more...

Read a related story on the Riverscape Bike Hub that will be completed in June.

Teen Attacked On Canadian Trail

4/17/10

"A Kanata mother whose teenaged son is still recovering from a brutal November attack sought advice from a councillor and the city’s emergency services leaders at a sparsely-attended community safety meeting Saturday afternoon.

"Her son, then 17, was biking home from work on a secluded bike path Nov. 8 when “all of a sudden he got hit on the head,” his mother, Marilyn, said to a room of about a dozen people at the Mlacak Centre. She withheld her last name so as not to identify her son.

"The blow knocked him off his bike and two males began kicking him, she said.

"The males stole his backpack, cellphone, iPod and bicycle. A 16-year-old was arrested less than a week later." more...

Greenway To Reopen Soon

4/17/10

"Lord knows they paid for it -- with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees -- so county residents had better explore every inch to get their money's worth.

"Save for 700 contested feet, all parts of the Huron River Greenway will be open to the public this summer.

"Erie MetroParks officials said recent court decisions in the park district's favor have spurred them to open the entire trail, which traverses a former railroad path running parallel to the Huron River.

"The park district first acquired the land in the 1990s, a move sparking years of legal battles from residents who said they're the rightful owners of the trail.

"In recent months, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a case from some of the residents because they didn't meet the statute of limitations. Other cases on the issue have seen some movement as well." more...

Campsites Reserved For Hikers & Bikers

4/16/10

"Five primitive campsites will be again available this summer at the Stanford House in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for long-distance hikers and bicyclists on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and the Buckeye Trail.

"The sites first opened in 2009.

"Drive-up use is not permitted.

"The sites are available from May 28 through Oct. 31. Reservations are available by calling the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association at 330-657-2909, ext. 119, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Reservations need to made at least three days in advance.

"On Saturdays and Sundays, sites can be reserved by visiting the Trail Mix store at 1565 Boston Mills Road, across the street from the park's Boston Store Visitor Center." more...

Changing The Transportation Model In America

4/15/10

"...According to the Associated Press’ Joan Lowy, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood — who’s already made headlines by declaring war on texting-while-driving and speaking out on Toyota’s woes — recently said the federal government is going to give bicycling and walking the same importance as motorized vehicles in transportation planning and the selection of projects for federal funding. “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized,” he wrote in his government blog.

“The new policy is an extension of the Obama administration’s livability initiative, which regards the creation of alternatives to driving — buses, streetcars, trolleys and trains, as well as biking and walking — as central to solving the nation’s transportation woes,” Lowy reported." more...

Lancaster Sensory Trail

4/15/10

"Two years ago, a local, multi-agency group led by the Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities envisioned a picturesque walking trail near Forest Rose School in Lancaster that was unlike any other.

"It was a trail that would have everything from life-size musical instruments to a boardwalk through a wetland to a wheelchair-accessible treehouse. The trail would not only be a fun place for the students at Forest Rose to spend their time, but the entire community could enjoy it as well.

"On April 22, Fairfield County DD will celebrate the completion of the first phase of that project it helped envision in 2008, now known as the Lancaster Sensory Trail." more...

Reynoldsburg Constructing Park Trail

4/14/10

"Reynoldsburg City Council approved authorization Monday for Chemcote Inc. to build a multi-use trail in Civic Park.

"Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department director Jason Shamblin said construction of the trail should begin sometime in June.

"Shamblin said the construction contract is for $248,940. Jim Miller, the city's director of engineering, said the total project, including construction, inspection and engineering costs will cost about $325,000. The project is being paid for through a $425,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation, money that is part of $18-million worth of federal economic stimulus money dedicated to infrastructure projects throughout central Ohio." more...

Improving Cycling & Ped Infrastructure In Athens

4/11/10

"...ATHENS HAS THE SECOND-HIGHEST number of pedestrian commuters and the 11th highest number of bicycle commuters of all communities nationwide with similar populations of 15,000 to 20,000, according to the 2000 Census. Amherst Center, Mass., had the highest number of pedestrian commuters. Data collected by Bikes at Work Inc. shows that most people walk in Athens. While nearly half of Athens residents do not use a car for their commute, only 3 percent of those, or about 600 people, used bicycles.

"Late last year, the city spent $20,000 on a contract with Greenways Collaborative, a small, non-motorized transportation consulting firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., to develop a bicycle and pedestrian plan. According to the plan drafted by Greenways Collaborative, the on-road and off-road facilities are not cohesive. Transfers between on-road and off-road facilities are not logical or convenient.

"The plan, which suggests improvements for Athens' non-motorized facilities and infrastructure, aims to double the number of bicycle commuters. However, the plan does not identify a set time frame to accomplish this goal." more...

Trail Patrol Volunteers Needed In Sandusky County

"The Sandusky County Park District is seeking people for Volunteer Trail Patrol.

"The volunteer position is open to people who enjoy being out on the North Coast Inland Bike Trail and would like to assist the park district by providing public assistance and giving notice of maintenance needs.

"Applicants must be at least 16 years old, able to pass a background check, own a bicycle in good operating condition and be able to patrol on bicycle or on foot for two to four hours at a time per week.

"Applications are available at the park office, 1970 Countryside Place, Fremont, or at the White Star Operations Office, 901 S. Main, Gibsonburg. Applications are due April 20. For more information, call Ken Frost at 419-637-2900 or e-mail kfrost@sanduskycounty parks.com."

Source: The News Messenger.com

Suicide Victim Found On B & O Trail

4/10/10

"A walker discovered the body of a 22-year-old man Friday morning near the Richland B&O Trail.

"The man seemed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

"We got the call about 7:15," Richland County Sheriff Steve Sheldon said, declining to give the name of the passer-by.

"The man's body was next to Bogie's Bayou, about midway between Millsboro Road and Marion Avenue. A couple of bottles of pills and a can of beer were on the bench next to the man. Mansfield police and the county coroner's office also responded."

Source: Mansfield News Journal.com

Miami & Erie Canal Towpath Construction

4/9/10

"Construction is continuing on a local trail system that links the area to state and national systems.

"Heritage Trails Park District Director Allison Brady said crews are working on the towpath trail near Lock 14 Park. The project involves a mile of trail that goes north from Lock 14 Park and could eventually cross Ohio 66.

“This is the continuation of a trail project that we started two years ago,” Brady said. “That portion was completed last summer and dedicated on National Trails Day in June. When we got that project done, we still had some money left over.”

"The park district received a grant $94,000 grant from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund for the initial portion of the project. Brady said the group received permission to use the remaining funds to continue work on the crushed stone path north of Lock 14 Park." more...

Property Acquired For Trail Link

4/9/10

"...Mount Vernon closed on a deal to acquire 3.116 acres of land at the east end of Foundation Park. The property, which cost $15,000 per acre, will include the abandoned railroad and give the city an opportunity to hook up the Kokosing Gap Trail with the Heart of Ohio Trail sometime in the future."

Source: Mt. Vernon News.com

In a related article, a proposed move of a section of the Heart Of Ohio Trail concerns a local resident.

Grading Google's Bike Directions

4/9/10

"After first providing us with driving directions and then taking on turn-by-turn for public transportation and pedestrian travel, Google has tackled the bike commute. The beta version of Google’s bike-friendly directions offers some great routes for two-wheeled transportation as long as riders have brains under their helmets.

"We asked cyclists from all over the United States to try Google Bikes‘ suggestions for their daily rides. More than twenty of you got back to us with very detailed reviews. Some of you even sent in screenshots of the maps themselves, which earns you a collective A+ for effort. We hope you offered similar advice to Google on their “Report a Problem” link — that’s the only way to make the beta better.

"Most of you had pretty positive experiences checkered with the sort of faults expected from a beta release. Sure, Google helps novice riders find their way around a new town, but if they’re not paying attention they might end up as hood ornaments or in the custody of Secret Service agents.

“I’m delighted to say that the route from my house to the high school where I work was right on the money,” said Leslie Ogden of Ventura, California. “There are other ways of getting there, of course, but Google’s was perfectly acceptable!”

"That seemed to be a consensus among readers who gave Google an A for effort, but a B- for execution." more...

Learn more about Google's 'Bike Drections.'

Blacklick Trail Being Extended

4/8/10

"Work has begun on extending the Blacklick Trail bicycle path at Three Creeks Metro Park. The project, expected to be completed this fall, will connect the trail to existing paths that will enable cyclists, runners, and walkers to travel the five miles from Three Creeks to Pickerington Ponds.

"According to Steve Brown, Metro Parks chief landscape architect, the Blacklick Trail is being extended north from its current end point just south of U.S. Route 33. An 880 foot long bridge will carry the path over U.S. 33 and across to the west side of Blacklick Creek. The bridge over the highway is needed because there is not enough clearance to go under U.S. 33 at Blacklick Creek.

"From there the path will follow Blacklick Creek until it crosses the waterway again just south of Winchester Pike where it will connect to an existing path that reaches the Winchester Pike/Ebright Road intersection.

"Next the trail will go under Winchester Pike at the road bridge and follow Shannon Road, finally connecting to an existing path north of Shannon Road that leads to Pickerington Ponds. As part of the project Shannon Road will be straightened as it approaches Winchester Pike." more...

Columbus Capital Improvements Includes 7.3 Mil For Bikeways

4/8/10

"City officials announced the proposed capital improvements budget Thursday that includes bikeways, resurfacing, sidewalks and parks and recreation improvements.

"Mayor Michael Coleman announced the $130 million budget proposal Thursday on Strawberry Farms Blvd., an area that will be improved by a resurfacing project.

“Our greatness lies in our neighborhoods, and we must continue to invest in them,“ Mayor Coleman said. “By investing in our streets, parks and bikeways, we will strengthen our infrastructure, increase our quality of life and create jobs in the process.“ Read more and view the video.

More Funds For Granville Bridge Project

4/8/10

"Granville Village Council played the opportunist Wednesday in pledging funds that could leverage a generous state grant toward construction of a pedestrian bridge linking the T.J. Evans Bike Path to Raccoon Valley Park.

"The council's $92,000 commitment put the Granville Rotary Club in position to apply for a state grant that would pay for up to 80 percent of the $1.2 million project.

"The Ohio Department of Transportation determined the project met eligibility requirements for Transportation Enhancement Program grants that fund pathway projects, clearing the way for the club to apply for a grant.

"The club already had lined up $148,000 in support but needed the additional $92,000 to equal the required 20 percent local share." more...

Read an earlier post on this subject.

Public Input Wanted For Cincy Trails & Bike Lanes

4/7/10

"[Cincinnati] city developers are planning a network of bike trails and lanes around Cincinnati and are see[k]ing public input.

"The plan released this week includes over 130 miles of bicycle lanes and 100 miles of shared lanes. It also includes 23 miles of the Ohio River Trail, a downtown connector to the Little Miami Trail, and the 3 mile Queen City - South Mill Creek Greenway Trail.

"Comments can be made by visiting the city's website.

"There will be an open house on May 5, 2010, at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center at 3711 Clifton Avenue. Where you can learn more about the draft plan, fill out a comment card or speak with a member of the project team." more...

Canalway Grants Include Trail Funding

4/6/10

"Three projects in Stark and Tuscarawas counties were selected to receive matching grants from the Ohio & Erie Canalway Assn.

"The Camp Tuscazoar Foundation in Tuscarawas County will receive $46,117 for the addition of an RV park at Camp Tuscazoar.

"Bethlehem Township trustees in Stark County were awarded $10,000 for Phase I of the Nav-Beth Park Trail.

"The city of Canal Fulton will receive $9,333 toward its Historic Downtown Revitalization Plan." more...

Bolivar Residents Unhappy With Towpath Plan

4/6/10

"About 20 residents attended the Bolivar Village Council meeting Monday night, and most attended to express concerns about a proposed Towpath Trail through the village.

"Paul Noll, a property owner, presented a petition with about 50 signatures opposing the trail. Noll said he has talked to people who would be affected if the trail is built.

"Everyone is in different stages and many have questions,” Noll said. “Most don’t want a trail past their houses. You (council) should have taken a poll.”

"Mayor Rebecca Hubble said council will take the petition under advisement while property owners contact their attorneys as Noll suggested. “We are looking at this and want to be fair to the residents,” Hubble said. “It is our desire to have something nice for everyone and it is good for the village. The trail will not be funded by the village but through grants.”

"Noll said it will be shared roadways and sidewalks and he doesn’t want this to be a bad thing for the village.

"Village Solicitor Richard Fox said council has only approved the trail alignment and the ability to apply for grants. He said the project is “up in the air” unless funding is received. Councilman Richard Lebold said plans have been in motion to construct a trail for the past 10 years."

Source: TimesReporter.com

Restored Railway Station Finds Home Along Bike Trail

4/5/10

"When property on South Market Street [in Lisbon, Ohio] was acquired in the 1990s to build a separate home for the Columbiana County Engineer's Office, an old train station was part of the deal.

"Located across South Market Street from where the engineer's office complex would be built stood the former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad station. County Engineer Bert Dawson recalled looking at the crumbling train station and thought it would be a shame to raze the historical structure.

"We had to do something or end up with a slag parking lot," he said. "It would have been a shame to tear it down." Dawson opted to do something, and now five years and $815,000 later, the train station has been restored to its original appearance. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday.

"...The train station will serve as the southern terminus of the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail. To the rear of the station are a pavilion, picnic tables, outside public bathrooms and a bicycle air pump for trail users. Vending machines are to be added later. The county park district, which oversees the bike trail, is to be given use of some space on the second floor for offices and board meetings." more...

Here's a related story on the grand opening of the restored building.

Missing Boy Found On Bike Trail

4/2/10

"A massive search has ended for a missing 7-year old boy who was last seen at his home [Friday] morning, April 2.

"Warren County dispatchers confirmed at 1 p.m. that Zach D. Pilmore was found on or near the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail by Grandin Road.

"The boy was last seen at 8:15 a.m. at his home in the 5500 block of Appaloosa Circle wearing a white shirt, blue jeans and no shoes, according to Hamilton Twp. police." more...

Read another report on this story with video.

Sheffield 'Safe Routes' Project

4/2/10

"A $500,000 project by the Ohio Department of Transportation to build walkways at Sheffield Middle and William Barr Elementary schools will help about 1,400 students of the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake Schools get to school safely.

"An additional $50,000 will be spent in Sheffield for enforcement, education and encouragement activities, according to an ODOT news release.

"The funding is part of a campaign to promote safety and fight childhood obesity, now running at about 17 percent among Ohio schoolchildren.

"The project earmarks $250,000 to build a 1.4-mile sidewalk/bike path along Harris Road that will connect the middle school with French Creek Nature Center, part of the Lorain County Metro Park system, and a scenic bikeway on U.S. Route 6, also known as Lake Road.

"Another $35,000 will cover half of the cost of walkways between Knollwood School, Sheffield Middle School and Brookside High School.

"A third portion of the project, costing $200,000, will create a loop with the Lake Erie bike trail, Knollwood Elementary, Sheffield Middle School, Brookside High School and Metro Parks system." more...

Adena Schools Awarded Funds For Bike Path

4/2/10

"A bike and pedestrian path from the village library to Adena schools will be constructed with a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation. The village will receive $212,000 to fund the project through the District 9 office in Chillicothe.

"Safety has been a concern as many students walk to school from the village, and school officials have been working with the state to find a solution.

"Kathleen Fuller, spokeswoman for District 9, said the path will be a shared-use path -- for both pedestrians and bicyclists -- along County Road 550. She said the project should be started before the end of the school year. ODOT will try to complete the project before the district resumes classes after summer break.

"The state announced the grant as part of a record $11 million handed out to make getting to school safer for students in 41 Ohio communities.

"In District 9, areas in Adams, Brown and Lawrence counties also received money for improvements."

Source: Chillicothe Gazette.com

Bainbridge Considers Trail

4/1/10

"Bainbridge Township trustees may reconsider a bike trail plan that was scrapped several years ago after a resident recently brought the subject up during a meeting. "I'm here to beat the drum for this," Vincent Opaskar told trustees on Monday.

"He said he is an avid cyclist who is interested in getting Bainbridge's support for the Chagrin Valley Intergovernment Council's attempt to get federal grant money to connect eight communities with walking, bike and horse trails as alternate forms of transportation.

...Several years ago, trustees, led by former Trustee Sam Desiderio, studied building a series of walking and bike trails that would have connected several developments to a proposed township recreation center. The plan was scrapped after voters soundly rejected a bond issue that would have paid for the $22 million center." more...

Beaver Closes Trail

3/31/10

"The Lake Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) will close for approximately three weeks starting Monday, April 12. Park staff will rebuild a section of the trail that was damaged due to flooding caused by a beaver.

"Please respect all closure signs for visitors and park staff safety. At this time, visitors will notice flagging and an orange safety cone placed at the damaged area. Visitors are cautioned to be careful when using this section of the trail and to avoid damaged areas.

"The Lake Trailhead is located at Kendall Lake, 1000 Kendall Park Road, Peninsula 44264."

Source: wkyc.com

Gahanna Working To Be Bike Friendly

3/30/10

"City officials would like to improve bicycle and walking trails this year by adding signs and shared lane designations on roadways.

"This is a crucial service," Gahanna parks and recreation director Tony Collins told the city's planning commission last week. "If we don't improve the quality of life here, we won't be able to continue to provide services."

"Collins said companies looking to build are attracted to places with a high quality of life, and bicycle trails are considered as a positive amenity. He mentioned Dublin's success with bike trails -- more than 96 miles of internal bicycle paths, according to Dublin's Web site.

"It's not a nicety; it's an essential service," he said.

"Gahanna updated the city's bikeway master plan in 2009 and determined inexpensive ways to implement some of the plan's ideas. Collins said the city does not have a lot of money to build more trails, which could cost $30 to $40 per linear foot. The city could spend about $5,000 to add signs, which would direct cyclists and pedestrians to trail links and recreational areas.

"Gahanna currently has nine miles of multi-use trails. The city's goal this year is to install one new mile of multi-use trail. The city also intends to designate 3.6 miles of shared bicycle lanes on local roadways and to add signs on 26 more miles of shared routes to help make trails more visible for residents. Shared roadways, sometimes called sharrows, usually include a designated bicycle lane on a roadway and signs alerting motorists to the presence of bicycle riders." more...

Residents Wary Of Grove City Trail Plans

"A two-mile bike path that would connect Hoover Road to Harrisburg Pike via Fryer Park could create big problems for Orders Road residents, they told officials at a public hearing Monday night.

"Grove City and Jackson Township officials sketched out a proposed alignment, following up on a 2009 hearing that announced plans for the path. It would connect to an existing bikeway that dead ends into Fryer Park, include a signalized crossing at Haughn Road and cross three streams. It would cut across 28 properties, including the park and the Brown family farm. Estimated cost is $1.2-million, and construction could begin late this year or in 2011.

"Our concern is not getting a kid killed on Orders Road," said Dave Burris, Jackson Township trustee. The speed limit on two-lane Orders is 45 mph, but he said many people drive much faster than that.

"Bike path plans generally met with approval from residents who attended the public hearing at the township hall. But some residents of Orders Road found fault with the particulars." more...

Warren & Niles To Close GOLTRG Gap

3/29/10

"After years of planning, Warren will open the most urban part of the 100-mile Great Ohio Lake-To-River Greenway through the city this year.

"Niles will complete the 4.5-mile section from the Mahoning-Trumbull County line in Austintown to Robbins Avenue in Niles.

"Trail advocates say completing the two sections is important mainly because it brings the trail — a potential recreational and tourist attraction — two steps closer to completion.

"But it might also create in Warren an opportunity for riders to experience something they won’t see in most other parts of the trail: industrial, residential and commercial parts of a city." more...

Several Trail Extensions Planned For Central Ohio

3/29/10

"Some central Ohio communities want their bike paths and trails to connect people to places, not lead to dead ends.

"In Knox County, for example, the Mount Vernon City Council has voted to negotiate to acquire about 3 acres of abandoned railway along Foundation Park to eventually connect with the Kokosing Gap Trail. That path is part of the Ohio to Erie Trail, which aims to connect Cleveland to Cincinnati.

"The idea is to put all of this together, and make that linkage," said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis. Funding would be both public and private.

"In nearby Gambier, the Village Council recently approved spending about $175,000 from state grants to create a milelong addition to the Kokosing Gap Trail to give bicyclists better access to the village center.

"Grove City has two major projects to connect its neighborhoods with parks and pools.

"And Hilliard hopes to direct the popular Heritage Trail through the city and beyond." more...

A First Look At The Tallgrass Trail

3/28/10

"Trail enthusiasts and supporters of the Marion County Park District braved burrs and briars on Saturday to get a sneak preview of what will become the Marion Tallgrass Trail.

"The Friends of Prairie Parks, a volunteer support group for the park district, led the hike through the trail's first three miles. The trail, which runs along a former Erie-Lackawanna railroad corridor, will run 12 miles from Holland Road west to the Hardin County line.

"While there is much work to be done on the trail and millions of dollars needed to complete it, the walk was a victory lap of sorts for supporters who at times didn't expect to get this far.

"We're delighted to be where we are now," said Dan Sheridan, a local cyclist and a member of the park district's board of trustees." more...

Rail Trail Development In Belmont & Guernsey Counties

3/26/10

"Imagine stepping onto a trail in Barnesville and walking without interruption all the way to George Washington's estate in Mt. Vernon.

"It's a real possibility. The path is completed from Mt. Vernon to the Wheeling area, with active plans to stretch it farther west across Belmont County to the Great Guernsey Trail and beyond.

"...Currently, the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation is in the land acquisition process of the project. The CDC is purchasing land, previously owned by rail companies and now in the possession of mostly private landowners.

"It's a lengthy and sometimes in-depth process. The CDC has to speak and negotiate with each landowner. Who actually owns the land isn't always clear and can result in a comprehensive search through old records.

"The acquisition phase is probably the toughest because we have to put all the pieces together," said Dan Speedy, executive director of the Guernsey County CDC." more...

A Response To The Recent Towpath Controversy

Ohio Canal Corridor Statement on the Clean Ohio Funding and Land Appraisal Processes

"-The unfair and unfounded accusations regarding the development of the Towpath Trail are threatening to derail what Cleveland Scene magazine in its March 10 issue calls "one of the most ambitious park projects in state history."

"-The process followed to decide the funding awards from the Clean Ohio Fund was no different than it has been in the past five years. That process allows for members of the Natural Resource Assistance Council (NRAC) to submit project grant proposals for funding and to score all projects, including their own.

"-Ohio Canal Corridor is proud that the combined scoring of all 11 voters of NRAC ranked the Towpath Trail project at # 2. It was a very competitive round and the request for the Towpath Trail represents the single largest grant in Clean Ohio Fund history.

"-Following the adoption of the scores by NRAC members, two grantees protested, singling out Tim Donovan's scoring. However, if Tim Donovan's scores were omitted from this process, the Towpath Trail proposal would still receive full funding, slipping from # 2 to # 3. If the high and low score was deleted for each grant proposal, the Towpath Trail ranking remains # 2." more...

a previous post on the controversy.

Ohio-to-Erie Trail Progress Report

3/26/10

Highlights from the Ohio-to-Erie Trail newsletter, Winter 2010:

Franklin County: On November 3, 2009, ground was broken on construction on the last link along the Alum Creek Trail to connect downtown Columbus with Galena in Delaware County.

Franklin & Madison Counties: Work began on the 9- mile Camp Chase Trail between London, Ohio and I-270 in Franklin County. Initial work involved brush clearing and route engineering.

Knox County: With the decking of 11 bridges complete, the 16-mile Heart of Ohio Trail was officially opened. The next step is paving the trail.

Wayne County: 9-miles of right-of-way was purchased from Norfolk Southern for $350,000 after almost a decade of negotiations. The corridor extends between Orrville and Clinton, OH.

Delaware County: The trail bridge over Big Walnut Creek in Galena is finished. Also, the bidding process for a 1-mile section just south of Galena has begun.

Akron: Completion of the trail route through downtown Akron is set for summer 2010, with the trail passing alongside the Akron Aeros Stadium.

Cleveland: For the last 4 miles of trail in Cleveland, there are two projected routes with expected completion by 2014. The route from Harvard Rd north will go through the Flats. An alternate route will travel west from Brecksville and link with the Rocky River Trail, which will then extend north to Lake Erie.

Cincinnati: Cincinnati and Hamilton County are in various stages of completion of the final 9.6 miles of trail from Newtown to the riverfront in downtown Cincinnati. Private donations are being solicited for the 4 miles from Lunken Airport Trail to Friendship Park using the Oasis Light Rail Line right-of-way. Projected cost for the 4 miles is $4.5 million. $1.5 million has been raised from private donors.

Little Miami Trail Updates: The Friends of the Little Miami State Park was founded in November 2008 on the principle that trail safety was its primary objective. In June of 2009, with the help of Ohio State Parks, FLMSP paved 11 of the 15 bridges along the trail and replanked the other 4.

The Ohio-to-Erie Trail Needs Your Help!

Contribution for the project are down, particularly from corporate and foundation contributors. Please consider making a contribution to help close the remaining gaps in the trail. All contributions are tax deductible and can be mailed to:

The Ohio To Erie Trail Fund
118 Graceland Blvd # 146
Columbus, OH 43214-1530

Or visit the Ohio-to-Erie Trail web site to make a donation.

Grove City Developing Trails Plan

3/23/10

"Last October, leaders from the city of Grove City and Jackson Township held a public forum to discuss the construction of a leisure path along Orders Road and to gather the community's input on the project.

"Overall, residents expressed approval of the leisure trail, but brought up a few concerns such as traffic, traffic signals along busy streets, and the path potentially being seen from their backyards.

"On March 22, the city and township held a second informal public meeting to discuss where the project stands, and to gather even more input from the community.

"Jackson Township Administrator Mike Lilly said the leisure trails, which will be a part of a larger initiative to establish multi-use trails throughout Grove City, would be broken up into two phases." more...

Mayor Targets Drivers For Bike Safety

"[Albuquerque] Mayor Richard Berry recently got on board with a new bike safety campaign that aims to help drivers see the road from a bicyclist’s point of view.

"The campaign, called “Easy to Miss,” includes a Web site, a billboard and displays at malls and the airport — all to raise drivers’ awareness of bikers. [The] site includes the top ten things that drivers should know about bicyclists. According to the site, over 100 people are killed each year in Albuquerque from accidents.

"Chris Ramirez, City of Albuquerque communications director, said he hopes the campaign will decrease bike accidents and increase motorists’ awareness of bikers." more...

Commentary
While many bicycle advocacy groups focus on educating the cyclist on proper road travel, not much is done to educate their counterparts behind the wheel on how to properly 'share the road.'

Motor vehicles dominate roadways, so drivers' participation and education through sharing programs are vital to achieving safer roadways that can be enjoyed by all.

Programs like 'Easy to Miss' are sorely needed to fill the educational void that exists today. We commend their efforts and encourage others to follow their lead by developing similar programs in their communities.

Woman Attacked On Wisconsin Trail

"The Janesville Police Department said it's investigating an assault on a bike trail that occurred [March 12th].

"Police responded to a report of an assault on the Kiwanis Bike Trail near Main Street and Palmer Drive around 1 p.m. Friday.

"An 18-year-old woman told police she was tackled from behind and struck in the face by a man. Police said the woman had minor abrasions but did not need medical attention.

"The attacker was last seen running westbound from the scene. Police said a K-9 search did not result in locating the attacker." more...

Land Sought To Connect Trails

3/23/10

"On Monday, [Mt. Vernon] City Council gave the administration approval to enter into negotiations to buy land to further develop Foundation Park. The four parcels total 3.116 acres.

"The land lies adjacent to the park, on the eastern edge of what is called East Lake. It involves the abandoned railroad bed that runs from Centerburg to south of The Station Break.

"As part of the development of Foundation Park, we felt we needed the land to join the Kokosing Gap Trail with the Heart of Ohio Trail,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis.

"Mavis said the land has been appraised, and the money is available for the purchase.

Source: Mt. Vernon News

Sw Ohio Trail Projects Summary

3/21/10

"The quest to complete a five-mile bike/hike path extension from downtown Hamilton to the Rentschler Nature Preserve in Fairfield Township has encountered more snafus than Indiana Jones' search for the Holy Grail.

"It's emblematic of bike trails throughout the region - slowly growing, slowly but surely being linked together.

"The roadblocks facing the Hamilton bike path - money and legal and bureaucratic issues - have been formidable enough to delay the project for nearly 10 years. But with a recent commitment from the Hamilton Community Foundation to provide whatever money is needed to finish the extension, the project is moving forward. Construction will begin next year. The entire extension may be finished in three years."

more about bike trail development on the Little Miami, Miami 2 Miami, Mill Creek and Ohio River Trails.

Extending The Simon Kenton Trail

3/20/10

"As National Bike Month approaches, the Simon Kenton Pathfinders are organizing a long list of activities they hope will help raise money to maintain the local bike path.

"Members of the organization said that a project to extend the Simon Kenton Bike Path could begin by early fall. The trail, which opened in 2001, runs more than 16 miles from downtown Springfield, crosses the Buck Creek Trail in Clark County and runs north to the Urbana YMCA in Champaign County.

"The extension would take the trail from the Urbana Station Depot to Urbana’s northern corporation limit near Grimes Field. Eventually, the goal will be to extend it to West Liberty and Bellefontaine." more...

Kent Projects Updated

3/19/10

"The big picture framework tying together the four major redevelopment projects planned for downtown Kent has become a little clearer.

"City officials updated members of Kent’s planning and zoning boards, along with a handful of residents and members of Kent City Council, on the four primary redevelopment projects planned for downtown Kent. The projects updated Tuesday night included:

  • "Extension of the Esplanade, Kent State University’s on-campus section of The Portage Hike and Bike Trail, through multiple connections to Haymaker Parkway and on to existing and planned trails along the Cuyahoga River. Construction will begin in 2012 with the path opening in the fall of 2012.
  • "...Construction of the Kent Central Gateway, PARTA’s transit center, will include 370 parking spaces with solar power and geothermal heating. The center is slated to open in fall 2012." more...

an earlier post on this subject.

Groundbreaking On Road / Trail Project In Lorain

3/19/10

"Mayor John Hunter and county and state officials broke ground yesterday for the widening of Colorado Avenue from Lorain's east corporation line to just west of Abbe Road.

"The $4.4 million project will begin Monday and is expected to be complete by November. It is completely paid for by Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. To celebrate this long-awaited construction, Hunter was joined by State Rep. Joe Koziura, County Commissioners Lori Kokoski and Ted Kalo, and Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Stacy, among others.

"Hunter said the road will be widened to three lanes, which will provide a center two-way left turn lane. The project will also include a bike trail along the south side of Colorado Avenue from Harris Road to connect to the Lorain County Metro Parks trail near East River Road. A traffic light will be added at the intersections of Lake Breeze and East River roads.

"Traffic will be maintained or detoured as needed. For up-to-date construction information, visit www.buckeyetraffic.org."

an earlier report on this subject.

Source: The Morning Journal

Chagrin Valley Trails Study

3/18/10

"Village Council has accepted a grant to study the expansion of hiking and biking trails in the Chagrin Valley. The $85,000 study will look at trails in the region and identify ways in which they might be connected to trails in surrounding communities.

"The grant is for $68,000 and will be administered through the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative planning grant program.

"The $17,000 local match will be shared by Chagrin Falls, South Russell, the South Russell Trails Multipurpose Trails Foundation, Moreland Hills, Orange and the Cleveland Metroparks. Chagrin Falls has committed $4,000 to the study.

"The overall goal is to create a “network of alternative transportation routes,” according to Greg Hopkins, co-chair of the village’s ad hoc hiking and biking committee.

"Councilwoman Janna Lutz said the study is the first step in the process and must be completed before any actual planning or construction of future trails." more...

Cosmetic Changes To Marietta Trail

3/17/10

"Some trees planted during construction of the second phase of Marietta's River Trail are already scheduled to be transplanted.

"Several Gingko trees planted along the trail by the Lafayette Hotel are not desirable at that location," said city development director Mike Stocky. The trees line the trail between Ohio Street and the parking lot on the south side of the hotel.

"We'll be moving them," he said. "They're nice trees, but not for that location near the Lafayette.

"...In addition to moving the Gingko trees, Stocky said the city will also make some changes to a section of board fence installed along the trail on Ohio Street near the Williamstown Bridge. The 4-foot-high fence was designed to prevent bicyclists from running off the trail and over the river bank, but it also blocks the view of the river for anyone seated on a park bench located near the fence.

"We'll leave the fence there, but will modify the railing so it doesn't interfere with the view," Stocky said." more...

Missing Madison County Trail Link Discussed

3/16/10

"Acquiring the right-of-way for the next stage of the county-section of the bicycle trail was the talking point Monday morning, March 15, between the park board of Madison County and Madison County commissioners. The section of the Ohio to Erie Trail in question lies on the former Pennsylvania Railroad road bed — the basis for the rest of the trail through the county — from Wilson Road to Jeffersonville-Kiousville Road. That section contains a spur which remains active in the rail transport of grain from the Gallivan grain elevator.

"The park board is seeking easements along that track of 35-feet in width on which to place a 12-foot wide strip of asphalt. Initially the easements were sought on the south side of the track, part of which is owned by Camp Chase Railroad and Gallivan Grainr.

"According to Steve Studenmund, strategic planning and land acquisition manager for Metro Parks of Columbus and Franklin County, talks about the aforementioned easement have not gone well."

Source: The Madison Press

Uhrichsville / Dennison Unveil Trail Plan

3/15/10

"Uhrichsville and Dennison may soon add a system of hiking and biking trails to its list of local attractions. At a town hall meeting in Claymont Junior High Monday night, Uhrichsville Mayor Rick Reiger and Dennison Mayor Teri Edwards unveiled an ambitious plan to build an interconnected system of trails that would extend throughout the two communities.

"Edwards, Reiger and members of the Twin City Recreational Committee presented a tentative map of the proposed trail and invited feedback from residents.

"Reiger said the Panhandle Passage Trail, which will span about 4 to 4 1/2 miles, will connect with other cities. It will be part of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail which extends from [Dover] to Cleveland.

"Edwards said the trails would better serve residents’ recreational needs and would attract visitors to the community." more...

Trail Buidling Stalls In Columbus

3/14/10

"After a ceremonious kickoff almost two years ago, the city of Columbus has made little progress on its plan to add 50 miles of bicycle projects, including new trails.

"Plans to spend tens of millions of dollars by 2012 building bike bridges, trails, lanes along roads, and other improvements largely have gone nowhere, even though voters approved a bond issue in November 2008 that city officials said would help finance the projects.

"The recession caused the city to scale back the plans, said Public Service spokesman Rick Tilton. "We haven't had any money to do it," Tilton said.

"Of the $18.4 million in bonding authority voters authorized in 2008, only $210,000 in bonds has been issued, said Rob Newman, with the city Finance Department. No money has been spent.

"The city did not take on new debt last year given its budget problems, said Dan Williamson, spokesman for the mayor's office. The 2009 capital-spending plan included no new road work, equipment purchases, park improvements or building projects." more...

See a another story (with video) on this topic.

The Story Of The Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge Controversy

3/12/10

"A narrative tells a lot, not only ordering what has happened prior, but also relating things in a way to portend what could enfold. Given recent positive events, perhaps it's time to re-visit how the argument for a bike-ped path has evolved, and then to a larger extent: in what kind of context did this particular issue’s evolution play out.

"We will begin in and around 2005 during which time public concern was growing that ODOT was not listening to community input regarding design of the Innerbelt. In a letter dated late 2005 to ODOT, the late Congresswoman Tubbs-Jones states she has worries that constituent issues are not being addressed, and that the “bridge proposal cannot and should not be considered a done deal”. Echoing her sentiments, Congressman Kucinich, in a letter dated July 2006 says there is little documentation to the effect of why ODOT is leaning to one particular bridge or another. Further, Kucinich bemoans the logic previously given that “the public can’t be provided with…technical documentation because ODOT is too busy listening to the public”. more...

another post on this subject.

Regional Trail Signage For Central Ohio

"Central Ohio Greenways (COG) is a collaborative in central Ohio whose mission is to help communities build and expand their trail and greenway networks. The group is run by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), Franklin County MetroParks, city of Columbus and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Midwest Regional Office. In working with the numerous jurisdictions that attend COG's quarterly meetings, the group decided that a clear, concise and professional signage program for the region was needed.

"While each participating community realized that signage was needed and that consistent regional standards were important, the cost of quality signage was prohibitive to many. So with MORPC's lead, COG took on the challenge and funded the professional design services necessary to create a sign template, which is now available to all jurisdictions in the area. With design costs taken care of and the template available free of charge, each community now only had to find funding for manufacturing and installation.

"The first of the newly designed COG signs have been installed by the city of Columbus Parks and Recreation Department along the Alum Creek Trail. The unique color and design of these signs will brand the entire trail system throughout the region, thus allowing users to quickly identify the trails and know they are in the Central Ohio Greenway network.

View a photo of the new signs on the story source page.

Commentary

The central Ohio or Columbus area, is the 2nd Ohio region attempting to provide improved trail signage for users. The southwestern Ohio (Miami Valley) area began the first such program in 2008.

SW Ohio bikeway signs include nearby facilities and associates numbers with various trails. In that regard, it is probably the most comprehensive system to date. The Central Ohio signs appear to cover the more basic 'destination & distance' parameters.

Though differing regional signage will still prove helpful on the trail, a more universal or state-wide approach should be considered at some point. Learn more about navigating Ohio bikeways.

Olentangy Trail Detour Through April 19th

"A 1.5 mile segment of the Olentangy Trail will be closed, between Pacemont Avenue and Patterson Avenue, from January 26 to April 19. A detour will be posted beginning from Pacemont Avenue to High Street, south to North Street, to Neil Avenue, then west on Patterson Avenue to return to the trail. From the south, the detour will route from Tuttle Recreation Center at Patterson Avenue, east to Neil Avenue, north to Dodridge Street, east to High Street, north to Pacemont Avenue, then west to return to the trail.

View a map of the detour.

"The closure is due to a sewer improvement project.

"Additional questions or concerns can be directed to gjzonders@columbus.gov or 645-2441 (Recreation and Parks)."

Source: parks.columbus.gov

Gahanna Updating Bikeway Plan

3/12/10

"...Tony Collins, director, said the Bicycle Advisory Committee will present an updated Bikeway Master Plan to the Planning Commission on March 24.

"Both the 1999 plan and the 2010 update include a route designation along Clark State Road from Hamilton Road beyond Hannah Park to Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road," Collins said. "This section of road is designated a 'National Scenic Byway' and also connects many city and township residents to neighborhoods, schools and parks. However, that section of the road is very dangerous for cyclists, joggers and walkers."

"Collins said that road section is classified for "experienced users only."

"Throughout the years, a recreational trail has always been on the wish list but often thought impossible due to funding and other coordination concerns," he said. Collins said the joint collaboration of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city and Jefferson Township could move the recreational trail project forward.

"Last week, a new grant opportunity was identified, the National Scenic Byways Discretionary Grant, through the Ohio Department of Transportation," he said." more...

Piqua Bike Route Project Coming In 2014-15

3/11/10

"Garnsey Street/Commercial Street Corridor Bike Route Neighborhood Connector Project was awarded $421,462 in CMAQ funds. This project will enhance the Garnsey Street/Commercial Street corridors to establish a shared roadway/designated bike route connecting the Southview neighborhood to the Great Miami River Recreational Trail, the P.A.T.H., and Mote Park. The total project cost is estimated at $624,721."

Source: piquaoh.org

Completing The NCIT In Huron County

3/10/10

"...In other business, Firelands Rails-to-Trails President Joe Mantey told council the organization received a grant to rehabilitate the bridge over the Huron River. Work on the bridge will go out to bid in April, work will begin in the summer and completed in the fall.

"Mantey also told council the North Coast Inland Trail [in Huron County] should be completed by the end of 2010. The trail currently encompasses 10 miles in three sections: two miles in Collins, a little more than three from Norwalk to Monroeville and five miles to Ohio 4. The last four to five miles toward Bellevue is unfinished.

"In other trail business, the Donald E. Morrow Park has been dedicated and Firelands Rails to Trails is planning to create the park west of the 1850s depot. The depot will become trail headquarters and the Railroad Heritage Center, a museum of Huron County's railroad history."

Source: dailyme.com

Granville Trail Projects

3/10/10

"The Kendal at Granville retirement community and the Granville Rotary Club both will shoot for portions of an $11 million pot of state money available for pathways projects.

"The Ohio Department of Transportation has ruled that both are eligible to apply for Transportation Enhancement Program grants that would provide up to 80 percent of the cost of their proposed projects.

"Rotary has proposed a $1.2 million bridge connecting the T.J. Evans Bike Path and Raccoon Valley Park. Kendal’s plans are for a $2 million pathway linking it and the Spring Valley Nature Preserve to Granville.

"Granville Township has agreed to submit applications on behalf of both projects by the May 1 deadline." more...

another story on this subject.

News Flash! - Google Maps Launches Bike Directions!

3/10/10

Last November we reported that Google had begun incorporating bikeway maps into their map platform. At that time, however, the trails had not been interfaced with their mapping tools.

Today Google has released a beta version of their 'Biking Directions.' You can now find the best route from point A to B by bike! The platform uses bike trails and more bike-friendly roads as suggested routes for your next cross-town or cross-state trip.

See the video below for an overview and user tips. Go here to try it out!

Towpath Controversy In Cuyahoga County

3/9/10

"No public undertaking in Cleveland provokes the same righteous enthusiasm as the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The 101-mile recreational pathway — which, when complete, will connect Cleveland's lake shore to Central Ohio — is a key feature of one of the most ambitious park projects in state history. The trail stirs the hopes of cyclists, naturalists, history buffs, hikers and, of course, politicians.

"An eager public has waited patiently; organizers of the Towpath Trail have spent almost two decades collecting money and buying land for the pathway, which runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and along the Cuyahoga River. But, while slow, the project had encountered remarkably few obstacles or controversies — until recent months — in the six-mile stretch inside Cuyahoga County." more...

Lancaster Trail Funding Shortfall

3/9/10

"Several members of the city council expressed hesitation toward funding a $60,000 shortfall in the city's bike-trail development.

"Law Director Terre Vandervoort proposed a plan at Monday's city council meeting to use $50,000 of the city's pre-pay natural-gas fund, which provides Lancaster about $500,000 a year for the next 15 years. She said the remaining shortfall could be paid for with a grant from the Fairfield Foundation.

"If we don't receive additional funding, we will have to adjust the route to use the streets," Vandervoort said. The current plans develop the route in wooded areas owned by the city behind commercial properties, including Kroger near Pierce Avenue." more...

North Country Trail Seeks Funding

3/9/10

"You might wonder how National Trails get their money. National Trails receive federal dollars. But not all trails are created equal. Although the North Country Trail is the longest of the trails, its current funding level of $928,000 is the highest it has ever been. On this budget the National Park Service supports 3.5 employees and shares the balance with the North Country Trail Association. The NCTA (with membership and grant monies added) has 5 full-time and 3 part-time staff." more...

Coleman Wants Columbus To Be Bike City, USA

3/9/10

"Funds allocated for future bike paths in Columbus will help the city further its goal of having trails along all four major stream corridors within the city.

"Mayor Michael Coleman announced at his State of the City address Feb. 24 that the city is putting aside $6 million in its capital budget for bike trail improvements. It's all part of the Bicentennial Bikeways Plan, the city's continued effort to make Columbus a more bike-friendly town by 2012, Coleman said during his address. "We are determined to make Columbus Bike City, USA," Coleman said.

"One major aspect of the trail expansion is connecting all trail portions along Alum Creek. Only about five miles of the trail is completed now, and the goal is to complete all 21 miles, said city Recreation and Parks Director Alan McKnight.

"When it's done, it will go from Westerville all the way down to Three Creeks, which is a park that we jointly operate with Metro Parks on the South Side," McKnight said.

"About two additional miles of the trail is already under construction, McKnight said, although contracts were awarded late last year, so work has been slow because of the snowy winter weather." more...

another article (with audio file) on this subject.

Governor Chimes In On Cleveland Bridge Project

3/9/10

"Gov. Ted Strickland has jumped into the fray over whether to add a bike lane to the planned Inner Belt Bridge project, ordering the transportation department to study whether such a multipurpose lane is even feasible.

"The Ohio Department of Transportation has said it already studied whether to add a lane for bicyclists and pedestrians and had decided against it for various reasons -- cost, maintenance and user safety, among them.

"But at the direction of the governor, we will take a renewed look," said Scott Varner, ODOT spokesman.

"What would potentially be the narrowest lane across the $450 million bridge has drawn the biggest debate for politicians." more...

See a previous post on this topic.

Road Improvements Include Bike Path In Grove City

"The southern part of Grove City will become safer for bicyclists and walkers in the next two years, officials say.

"Council members have approved a $604,610 appropriation that will help pay for improvements to White Road at Interstate 71. The project will include repairs to the supporting structures under the two bridges that carry Interstate 71 over White Road, as well as the construction of a bicycle path that will run alongside White Road in that area.

"The Ohio Department of Transportation will pay for the bridge repairs, and Grove City will pay 100 percent of the cost for the path and the accompanying retaining wall. The appropriation will cover the entire estimated cost of the city's portion of the project.

"City Administrator Phil Honsey said the project would benefit numerous people who use the road as it is now, putting themselves in peril as they share the narrow roadway with motor vehicles. "There are a lot of people -- joggers, cyclists -- who use that dangerous roadway because it is one of only four places to cross the freeway," he said.

"Council members also passed a resolution to support a green frame plan, the purpose of which is to equip the city with features that are friendly to visitors, particularly pedestrians. Among the features that could be added to the Town Center landscape are brick sidewalks, bump-out parking and more trees." more...

Towpath Trail Public Meeting

3/8/10

"Plans to extend the Towpath Trail from Steelyard Commons to north of the I-490 bridge in Cleveland will be discussed at a public meeting [today]. The northern end of the trail currently ends at lower Harvard Avenue in Cleveland, but has a one mile stretch that's been completed to Steelyard Commons.

"Ohio Canal Corridor Director Tim Donovan says planners need the public's approval for the proposed path through Cleveland's near west side.

"Donovan says the final phase of the trail will extend it all the way to Canal Basin Park, an urban park in the Flats. The plans for the final phase will begin within the next two months. Donovan expects to break ground in 2012 and the trail will be open in 2013.

"The public meeting will be held at OLA/St. Joesph Center in Tremont from 4:30-7:30 p.m."

Listen to a short audo clip about the meeting.

a follow up report on the meeting.

Tuscarawas Considers Trail

"Tuscarawas Lions Club President Joe Krocker presented a proposal for a hike and bike trail to Village Council on Thursday. Krocker’s proposal included a map showing the trail and how it could offer more exposure to sites in the village including the Snyder’s Landing Boat Launch. The trail would be approximately one mile long but Krocker noted that this could be expanded outside of the area and possibly connect to other trails being developed.

"Council agreed to form a committee to review the proposal and Krocker suggested they speak with Dan Rice of the Ohio & Erie Canal Coalition to get a better idea on a timetable and costs. The Lions would assist with fundraisers for the project that would encourage community recreation and physical fitness. Village Administrator D.J. Meek said some grant applications could also be submitted." more...

Completing The NCIT In Sandusky County

3/6/10

"The Sandusky County Park District is working to complete the North Coast Inland Trail. Park Director Steve Gruner said the last phase is just under five miles long, from Clyde to Sandusky County Road 177 on the east side of Bellevue.

"He applied for grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for $1.9 million. With the grants, the park district would have to come up with $125,000. He said he'll learn next week whether the district can submit a full application for the funds.

"Gruner said the park district bought land from Sandusky County Road 260 to 177 in the mid-1990s with the idea of developing it for the bike trail." more...

2007-2035 TMACOG Transportation Plan

3/6/10

The Toledo Metropolitan Council of Governments is seeking public input on their new transportation plan.

"...TMACOG kicked off its "On the Move: 2007-2035 Transportation Plan" hearings Friday afternoon at the downtown Toledo library. The bulk of the plan covers Lucas and Wood counties in Ohio, but crosses into Michigan to include Bedford, Erie and Whiteford townships. Maps displayed showed a future bike path along Memorial Hwy. in Ottawa Lake and a high-speed rail line crossing Monroe County from Toledo to Detroit.

"TMACOG’s Keith Streiffer said the project list on the books now will expire soon. The new plan will be updated by mid-2011 and provide the area with an overall blueprint for transportation funding for years to come. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) covers the rest of Monroe County and follows similar procedures in updating its plans. It recently completed one such update.

"This plan could look very different than what it does right now," he said. "People have to provide input. They have to tell us what they want."

"...For a list of future public hearings in northwest Ohio, to comment on the plan or to view maps associated with the plan, visit www.tmacog.org." more...

Missing Trail Link Scheduled For 2012 Construction

3/4/10

"Dayton and Kettering are stepping up their timelines to complete one of the biggest missing links in the region’s bikeways system: a route from downtown to the southeastern suburbs.

"The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission on Thursday, March 4, unanimously approved almost $2 million as early as 2012 for two projects that will hook up with the existing Iron Horse Trail at the northern city limits of Centerville and run north to the University of Dayton campus.

"Don Spang, executive director of the MVRPC, said the so-called Southeast Bikeway Corridor is his agency’s top priority, because it’s one of the last remaining gaps in the regional bikeways network.

“It’s also in one of the highest density areas of the region, so it would probably be one of the highest-used bikeway components in our system,” Spang said." more...

Additional Funding An Issue On Barberton Towpath

3/4/10

"...Council members also raised concerns about a $100,000 increase the committee recommended the week before for the Ohio & Erie Canalway Corridor, which would provide funding to complete a portion of the Towpath Trail in the Barberton area, as requested by Tim Crawford (D-District 7).

“I cannot see us spending another $100,000,” said Nick Kostandaras (D-District 1). “This is not in the best interest of our finances.”

"Gloria Rodgers (R-District 3) said she’s concerned about funding projects that are just in one district. “I don’t think this is a priority at this time,” she said.

"Crawford defended the additional funds, which were to be added to $125,000 originally slated for the project. “This is an economic situation, not a district situation,” he said. “If you look at where most of the development of the Towpath has been spent, it has not been in District 7.”

"Council members considered putting the legislation, which had already been through the required three readings, on time. But Brunot said holding up the legislation could hold up the Engineer’s Office as it gets projects started.

"Council then amended the legislation to reflect the reductions and adopted the resolution by a vote of 10-1, with Crawford in opposition."

Source: akron.com

Drunk Driver Gets 1 Year For Dayton Bicyclist's Death

3/4/10

"A drunken driver has been sentenced in the crash that left a 12-year-old boy dead in Dayton last summer.

"DaQuan Sales was on his bicycle on Elmhurst Road in Dayton last June when he was hit and killed by a car driven by Antwonne McGuinnis. Police said McGuinnis was intoxicated and driving without a license. On Thursday, a judge gave him the maximum penalty for the boy’s death, which is one year in jail.

"A grand jury never indicted McGinnis for Sales’ death.

"On Thursday, News Center 7 talked with Magistrate Collette Moorman, who sentenced McGuinnis, and she said she would like to see tougher laws in Ohio for drunken drivers who are involved in crashes that leave people dead."

Source: whiotv.com

Senator Brown Joins Growing Chorus Against ODOT Bridge Plan

3/4/10

"U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote to Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH) [Thursday] urging him to include a bicycle and pedestrian path in construction plans for the replacement Innerbelt Bridge in downtown Cleveland. The project, recently described as “Ohio's largest single infrastructure project ever,” will be partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

“With a strong and growing bicycling community in Cleveland, a sizeable carless population, and new development in nearby neighborhoods, it would be penny-wise and pound-foolish to build this bridge with only cars and trucks in mind,” wrote Sen. Brown. “We can only do this project once, and it is critical we do it right.”

"Brown praised the work of the Ohio Department of Transportation under Gov. Strickland’s administration, noting its unprecedented approach to supporting different modes of transportation." more...

a previous post regarding this topic.

Students Raise Funds For North Ridgeville Trail

"Two North Ridgeville High School students are enjoying success in their goal to extend the quarter-mile trail through South Central Park, and establish a safe place for recreation in the city.

"At Tuesday night’s meeting, City Council agreed to seek two grants to help fund the project, which is estimated at $200,000. One grant would pay 80 percent of the cost and the other would pick up 75 percent of the project’s pricetag. Council is applying for both grants to increase chances of obtaining funding.

"Cross country runners Caitlyn Tipple and Morgan Rogers hope to earn their Girl Scout Gold Award by extending South Central’s trail by nearly two miles, where it would wind through the park’s wooded area, around the lake and through the playground.

"They began working on the project in July. So far, they raised about $6,600 through various fundraisers, according to Recreation Director Missy Williams. The girls have about a year after graduation to complete the project and still be eligible for their gold awards." more...

Levy Renewal Would Benefit Trails In Orange Township

"If approved by Orange Township voters, a three-year, 1.5-mill parks levy renewal on the May ballot will raise $1.5 million to aid in the construction of new park trails.

"Orange Township Maintenance and Parks Director Beth Hugh said the parks levy would cost homeowners about $15 annually per $100,000 in property value.

"Four applications for grants also have been submitted for the Orange Township parks fund. The grants, if approved, will generate another $1 million and change.

"...At present, there are 6.2 miles of existing trails in the township's parks with 4.5 more miles up for construction in 2010. In 2011, 1.2 additional miles of trails may be added, with 4.3 more miles in 2012 and 6.3 miles in 2013.

"The grants applied for include two from the Clean Ohio Trail Fund, one from the Recreation Trails Program, and one from the Land and Water Conservation Fund." more...

Active Community Transportation Bill Proposed

"For the past several years, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has been working closely with local, state and national partners around the country on the Campaign for Active Transportation.

"Building on the successes of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, the ACT Act would establish a competitive active transportation investment fund, to invest in walking and bicycling improvements in targeted communities around the country.

"These resources would enable communities to build interconnected systems—allowing people to travel between the places they work, live, play, learn and shop without needing car. If the act is passed, the U.S. Department of Transportation will administer a competitive fund, which will invest in communities that best make the case for resources to shift large numbers of trips from driving to walking and bicycling.

"The two billion-dollar program, with funds set aside within the Surface Transportation Program, will allow dozens of communities nationally to improve their walking and bicycling networks." more...

Tallgrass Trail Facility Nearly Complete

3/4/10

"The new trailhead facility and shelter at the Marion Tallgrass Trail passed building code inspection on Wednesday.

"Architect Tom Schifer of Jester, Jones and Schifer was on hand as the project designer and manager to put together a list of final touches. Aaron Wiegand of GP Wiegand Construction Inc. reviewed details of what needed to be done yet as funding comes available.

"It is beautiful! I'm ready to move in, but we have to wait until we get operations funding to do that," Park Director Karen Kelley said in a news release. "But for now this facility and shelter will be a place we can put on programs and let the general public enjoy while we construct the trail." more...

Dublin Public Meetings On Alternative Transportation

"The City of Dublin is hosting two public input sessions as part of its ongoing Multi-Modal Transportation Study (MMTS). The sessions will feature stations where residents can give their thoughts and opinions on the current and future viability of alternative means of transportation in Dublin.

"The sessions will be held on Tuesday, March 9 and Monday, March 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Community Hall at the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road.

"The study is being coordinated with the Bicycle Advisory Task Force (BATF) to ensure that its recommendations are incorporated into future transportation initiatives in Dublin. Both the MMTS and BATF were created by the City Administration in response to the 2008 City Council goal of evaluating multiple modes of transportation for possible implementation in future capital improvement programs.

"For more information, contact Jonathan Papp, a planner with Land Use and Long Range Planning at 614-410-4683 or jpapp@dublin.oh.us."

Source: dublin.oh.us

Big Walnut Trail Bridge Completed

"Galena's Big Walnut Creek trail bridge is finished, but it's not yet accessible, village officials reported in a Feb. 23 press release.

"Village leaders recently bid out the approach and trail work, with the $69,000 contract going to W.B. Republic, Village Council approved. The work, to begin this spring, includes 815 feet of trail leading up to the bridge completed by the Righter Co.

"The entire project has been made possible with a grant of up to $148,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant, $8,000 from Delaware County Friends of the Trail and $23,631 from Galena."

Source: Columbus Local News

Here's another article on the bridge.

RiverScape / Dayton Bike Hub Construction Enters Phase 3

"Five Rivers MetroParks is excited to announce the commencement of Phase III of RiverScape MetroPark, a project that will offer more amenities for visitor comfort and accommodate the needs of RiverScape’s continuing success. Known for breathtaking landscapes, interactive fountains and free entertainment along the banks of the Great Miami River, RiverScape MetroPark has become a favorite outdoor gathering place in downtown Dayton. For almost nine years, this downtown hotspot has offered a cool getaway right in the middle of the city with free concerts, educational programming and the community’s favorite festivals amid the scene of floral landscapes, hanging baskets and relaxing swings.

Plans for RiverScape Phase III include:

  • A pavilion with a stage and covered seating for festivals, community events, free entertainment or just a relaxing lunch with friends. In the winter, the pavilion will house the ice rink, allowing for expanded hours.
  • A new bike hub with secure bike storage, showers and lockers will provide a central location for downtown commuters going to work or play." more...

Design Coming For Freedom Secondary Trail

2/26/10

"Metro Parks, Serving Summit County on Wednesday hired an engineering firm to design a new bike-hike trail from Akron through Tallmadge to Kent.

"The Floyd Browne Group of Akron will be paid $275,010 to design the Freedom Secondary Trail that gets its name from the old rail line. The firm will design the initial phase of the project from Southwest Avenue in Tallmadge northeast to the Kent-Tallmadge border, a distance of 41/4 miles. That section will include one bridge, six street crossings and retaining walls in some places.

"The park district will later seek a firm to design a quarter-mile connector trail to Kent's trail along Middlebury Road next to the Cuyahoga River and the rest of the main trail from Southwest Avenue in Tallmadge southwest to the Northside Station near downtown Akron. The total distance of the Freedom Secondary Trail will be 8 1/2 miles, when completed.

"The park district also agreed to vacate a portion of Stanford Road on the border between Boston and Sagamore Hills townships as part of a still-developing project with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to relocate the Bike & Hike Trail." more...

Southern Extension Of Little Miami Trail Coming in 2012

2/26/10

"Before work can begin on extending the Little Miami Scenic Trail, the public gets its chance to voice its opinions and concerns.

"During [Thursday] night's public meeting at the Newtown administration building, those involved in the project offered site plans and provided information to interested area residents.

"The project will extend the trail from the Little Miami Golf Center to Clough Pike [Rd.], which intersects with state Route 32. The trail will run through Short Park.

"The $2.6 million project will mostly be paid for through federal funds and is expected to begin in 2012." more...

State Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Greenway

2/26/10

"The Ohio Supreme Court ruled [yesterday] in favor of the Erie MetroParks in one of a handful of cases regarding land ownership of the Huron River Greenway.

"The case could have resulted in proceedings to determine property valuations, MetroParks attorney Thomas Young said.

"Ten residents named in the lawsuit did not file it within the required four-year time frame, and the statute of limitations had run out, according to the court.

"The residents filed the case in January 2009.

"In 1995, the property in dispute was turned over to the Erie MetroParks board, according to court documents. Residents argued they acquired the property through the Milan Canal Company, which then was taken over by Key Bank. Lawyers for the parks argue the canal company never owned the property; therefore, the bank and residents had no claim to it." more...

Here's another article on this subject.

Marietta Acquiring Property For Trail Extension

2/25/10

"...Krivchenia has agreed to sell the lot, with an estimated 170 feet of Ohio River frontage, to the city which would maintain the property as a permanent green space that would also provide a riverside right-of-way for the third phase extension of the city's River Trail hiking and biking pathway.

"This route will not affect any neighbors in that area, and if we have to (route the trail) another way it will cost $93,000 of our own money," said Mayor Michael Mullen.

"The city plans to pay for the property with a $161,700 Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission." more...

Great Guernsey Trail Flys In Under The Radar

A well kept secret in Guernsey County is no longer under wraps. The Great Guernsey Trail is open for use, according to the Guernsey County web site.

It's not often that a completed Ohio rail trail materializes without some regional or state-wide press during the development process. But that appears to be the case with the Great Guernsy Trail. Preliminary web searches failed to find more than a few articles on a project that's been in-the-works for several years. Here's what we do know:

The trail is paved and extends roughly 6 miles from just east of Cambridge, Ohio to the city of Lore, in southeastern Ohio. The county web site lists the bikeway length at 12 miles, however, the map they provide correlates closer to the 6-mile length reported in this post from July '09.

If you've visited the new trail, send in more details and we'll pass them along.

Source: Our thanks to Dean Gledhill for breaking the news.

Trail Dispute May Go To Ohio Supreme Court

2/24/10

"Licking Township residents fighting against construction of a bike path on land they claim to own have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to consider the case.

"The residents, represented by Powell attorney John G. Neal, filed a notice of appeal Feb. 17 with the state Supreme Court. The court is not required to hear the appeal, however.

A three-judge panel from Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 5 to uphold Licking County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Marcelain's April 29 ruling that the Thomas J. Evans Foundation is sole owner of property proposed for a 6-mile bike path from Heath to Hebron.

"The residents did not say at the time of the Court of Appeals' decision if they would appeal further. The residents contend in the recent filing that the case qualifies as one of public or great general interest.

"This case involves the age-old dispute between average citizens and a corporation seeking to claim land bought and paid for by those average citizens," the residents state in the filing. "All of the appellants involved knew of the railroad right-of-way across their respective properties, but no one ever expected to be divested of the railroad portion of their lands so that a corporation could develop the property for public use as a bicycle path or public walkway." more...

Ohio River Trail Earns Bikes Belong Grant

2/24/10

"...In Ohio, $10,000 will help Ohio River Way, Inc. pave a segment of the Ohio River Trail to link downtown Cincinnati to Lunken Airport. This path offers views and serves both recreation and transportation needs. The path could serve up to half a million people."

Source: Cycling News.com

Lakewood Awarded Funds For Transportation Study

2/24/10

"The City of Lakewood has been awarded $50,000 from NOACA’s Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative Program to undertake a study of strategies to improve the pedestrian access, traffic movement and the streetscape on the eastern end of Madison Avenue.

"...The study will include an assessment of pedestrian and bike access and the aesthetics of the streetscape of Madison Avenue between Clarence Avenue and West 117th Street. In the long term, it is hoped that implementation of the study recommendations will help to transform the eastern end of Madison Avenue into a pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly destination that attracts businesses, workers, residents and visitors from throughout the community and the region, thereby strengthening the commercial district and improving the values of the neighborhood’s housing stock." more...

Kucinich Continues Fight For Innerbelt Bike Lane

2/23/10

"Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) met Tuesday with members of the Cleveland Planning Commission, including director Robert Brown, to discuss the path forward to ensure that plans to replace the I-90 Innerbelt bridge include a separate roadway for bikes and pedestrians.

“The State of Ohio should be encouraging opportunities for the people of Cleveland to cross the Cuyahoga River in a way that is good for public health, good for the environment, good for businesses, and good for communities,” said Kucinich.

"The current Innerbelt Bridge does have sidewalks and people can walk across it. Plans for the new bridge would include a lane that was separate from traffic for safety reasons.

"Kucinich says cities are moving toward being more liveable, walkable, bikeable and sustainable. This, he says, would help Cleveland become a more modern, 21st century city."

a previous post on this subject.

Source: WTAM.com

Wadsworth Adds Trail To Master Plan

2/19/10

"...The [city] council also added a multipurpose-trail plan to the parks and recreation master plan.

"When implemented, the plan will connect Valley View, Holmesbrook and Muhl Parks on the city's west side by bicycle and pedestrian trails."

Source: Ohio.com

Trail Helps Park District Win Award

2/18/10

"...Centerville-Washington Parks joined Miamisburg and Bellbrook-Sugarcreek as the only Miami Valley park districts to receive ratings of outstanding or better for 2009.

"Centerville-Washington Parks’ outstanding rating came for their Iron Horse Trail Paving Project. The trail, a paved bike and walking path, begins at Hempstead Station Road in Kettering and goes south 1.9 miles, mostly through a wooded corridor in Centerville, past Iron Horse Park and terminating at Interstate 675.

"Carol Kennard, director of the park district, said the trail was a joint effort of Centerville, Kettering and the park district, and relied in part on grants from Clean Ohio Trails, Bikes Belong, Washington Twp. and the Yeck Foundation. The trail is part of a larger multiuse trail system that was approved in 2005." more...

Oregon Trail Project Gets Rolling

2/17/10

"After five years, construction is readying to begin on a paved bike path through Pearson North, which directly will connect the existing Starr Avenue bike lane and Oregon Municipal Complex bikeway.

"Oregon City Council last week approved a contract with Norfolk Southern Railway Co. for up to $30,040 to design and construct a specialized safety crossing over the railroad track. The project will be bid out in March, said Paul Roman, Oregon's public service director and acting city administrator.

"...Mr. Roman said planning for the Pearson North bike path along Starr Avenue and connecting to the existing bikeway at Starr Avenue Extension began about five years ago, when Toledo Area Metroparks negotiated a land swap with Toledo Edison Co. It took a couple of years to negotiate the crossing with the railroad, he said.

"Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments is the primary source of funding for the bike path construction project, and Oregon and Metroparks will split the rest, Mr. Roman said. Oregon's total share of the project will be about $100,000, and Metroparks will do the maintenance, he said." more...

Pickerington Trail Plans

"One goal of the Pickerington city council is to create safe routes to school for local students. City Engineer Greg Bachman's plan for bicycle paths fits the bill.

"Last summer, Pickerington conducted a phone survey to determine the needs of its residents. From the results, council formulated a "strategic plan" listing priority projects.

"Providing children with safe routes to school was a priority, Councilman Brian Wisniewski said. "There is hardly any busing within a mile of the schools," Wisniewski said. "It's an obvious safety issue." Students must trespass through yards or walk along streets as they travel back and forth to school, Wisniewski said.

"Bachman combined the strategic plan's goal for safe routes to schools with the 2006 Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan for bike trails.

"Five trails are envisioned," Bachman said. "The trails are primarily orientated east-west in order to connect Pickerington neighborhoods to the Diley Road multi-purpose trail and to Pickerington Ponds Metro Park." more...

Kent To Build Multi-Modal Center

2/17/10

"The city of Kent is set to receive $20 million in federal stimulus money to build a new multi-modal center as part of the Kent Central Gateway project.

"The transportation facility will serve as a stop for the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority, and will also serve walkers and bike traffic. City officials said it will house restaurants, shops and a parking deck.

"The plan to build the multi-modal center has been in the works for a couple of years. The city, PARTA and Kent State University have been working together on the plan which is designed to link the University to the center of town.

"Beyond the $20 million for the center, additional projects are slated. There are plans for a hotel and conference center, corporate facilities and restaurants." more...

Stow Applies For Trail Grant

2/17/10

"The city applied for a $41,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that, if approved, would create a 2,000-foot bicycle trail.

"It would start at the end of the existing trail that ends at the Staybridge Hotel property and would extend north to Hampshire Road, then intersect with the Metro Parks Bike and Hike Trail."

Source: Stow Sentry.com

The Potential Of Portland's New Bike Plan

2/16/10

"[Monday] on the Streetsblog Network, member blog Portlandize published a great post summarizing the economic benefits of better cycling infrastructure. The piece serves as a response to those who might have their doubts about Portland's ambitious new Bicycle Plan for 2030.

"Just passed unanimously by the City Council, the plan will spend $600 million over 20 years to build more than 700 miles of new bikeways, with the goal of increasing the share of bicycling trips to 25 percent of total trips by 2030. Mayor Sam Adams is currently working on a plan to raise $20 million to kick start the initiative.

"It's a huge step for a U.S. city. Portlandize's Dave Feucht explains why he thinks it will be money well spent, an investment that will provide a multifaceted and direct economic return to Portland's citizens:" more...

Bridge Rescued For Katy Trail

"A rusty Missouri River railroad bridge that came to symbolize the battle between historical tourism and modern transportation has been saved from demolition due largely to federal stimulus funds.

"Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that Union Pacific Corp. has agreed to give the old bridge to the central Missouri city of Boonville, which hopes to convert it for use by hikers and bikers on the Katy Trail State Park.

"The 78-year-old bridge, which hasn't carried a train in a couple of decades, had been targeted to be torn by Union Pacific so that its steel could be used to build a much-need, second railroad crossing over the Osage River east of Jefferson City. But last week, the federal government awarded Missouri $31 million in railroad stimulus funds, three-fourths of which will be used to help build a new Osage River bridge. That alleviated the need for the steel from the old Katy bridge, said railroad spokesman Ben Jones." more...

Cleveland Lakeshore Ped Tunnels To Be Renovated

2/14/10

"...The Ohio Department of Transportation will spend almost $3 million to upgrade the two tunnels and another pedestrian tunnel under the Shoreway at Lake Avenue. The renovation, which includes ramps so the tunnels are accessible to people with disabilities, will begin this summer as part of the first phase of the $60 million Lakefront West project designed to transform the West Shoreway into a tree-lined boulevard.

"The tunnel rehabilitation is sorely needed, said Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone, who represents the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. The West 76th Street tunnels are dark and dank. The south end of the Shoreway tunnel is overgrown and the north end by Edgewater Park is full of sand, debris and water.

"The tunnels will become welcoming, safe and navigable for pedestrians, bikers and people with strollers, according to the plan recently presented to the Cleveland Planning Commission by Paul Volpe, president of City Architecture, which is doing the work for ODOT.

"The biggest impact will be between the tunnels south of the Shoreway. The 24-foot grade drop from the railroad tunnel exit to the West Shoreway tunnel entrance will be removed and a switchback ramp will be added, Volpe said. The ramp will provide views of the lake across the road and include vine-covered retaining walls, places to sit and extensive landscaping.

"A path from the tunnel's exit at Edgewater Park will be extended to existing multiuse paths, and landscaping will prevent sand from blowing in. The project will also have public art." more...

Mississippi Likely To Enact '3-Feet' Law

"A law requiring motorists to give 3 feet when passing bicycle riders on Mississippi roads appears headed to passage.

"Nearly identical House and Senate bills -- entitled the John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act -- have passed their respective houses and are headed to the other chambers for action.

"Currently, 14 states require a 3-foot gap for bicycle riders. They are Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

"Five other states, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Virginia are considering 3-foot laws, and at least two others -- Iowa and Washington -- have bills in committee that were introduced last year." more...

No Sidewalk In ODOT's I-77/Ohio 7 Plan

2/13/10

"It's unlikely that a sidewalk will be included in a $4.5 million project to replace nearly a half-mile of pavement along Ohio 7 at the I-77 interchange this year - and that's a matter of concern for Marietta City Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward.

"It's very unsafe there - I've walked it. The only place to walk is on the berm of the road," he said. "And it's really dangerous for bicyclists."

"The nearly half-mile project, from north of Acme Street to the Duck Creek Bridge, is scheduled to go out for bids by May and includes lighting and signal upgrades, as well as approach repairs to the bridge. But many people also walk or bicycle through the corridor to access the Wal-Mart shopping plaza. Vukovic noted that there is also an apartment complex in that area.

"I would think that ODOT would be keenly aware that pedestrians use that roadway regularly to get to work or go shopping at businesses in that area," he said." more...

Feedback On CVNP Trails Coming In

2/12/10

"The Cuyahoga Valley National Park has 160 miles of trails for hiking, bicycling, skiing and horses.

"But trail lovers in Northeast Ohio want more, including mountain biking and a water trail along the Cuyahoga River for canoes and kayaks between Akron and Cleveland.

"Other suggestions include paving the limestone-topped Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail to improve safety, developing an improved trail from Blue Hen Falls to Buttermilk Falls in Boston Township, requiring bicyclists to walk their bikes on the wooden boardwalk across the Beaver Marsh on the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Falls and developing a hike-only trail through the old Coliseum grasslands in Richfield Township."

"...To submit trail suggestions, go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/cuva. Click on Trail Management Plan. Comments can also be mailed to: Superintendent, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 15610 Vaughn Road, Brecksville 44141." more...

Extending The Little Miami Trail South Of Newtown

2/11/10

"A meeting to discuss extending the Little Miami Scenic Trail three miles south of Newtown will be conducted at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Newtown administration building.

"The open house-style meeting will discuss the extension of the trail from the Little Miami Golf Center to Clough Pike, which intersects with state Route 32.

"Ross Hamre, planning director for the Hamilton County Park District, said $2.6 million project, $1.9 million of which will be paid for with federal funds, will run through Newtown's Short Park and is expected to begin in 2012. Hamre said there will be some land acquisition involved for easements along the trail, some of which have already been completed.

"Kevin Brill, of the Hamilton County Park District, said once the public meeting is completed, the district will enter into the two-year design process with the state department of transportation before beginning the phase of the project.

"The Little Miami Scenic Trail, one of the longest paved trails in the U.S, now runs from the Little Miami Golf Center [north to Springfield where it becomes the Simon Kenton Trail and continues] to Urbana at its northern end for a total of about 85 miles."

Source: Cincinnati.com

Opposition To ODOT's Bridge Plan Continues With Music Video!

"In case you are living under a rock, Cleveland needs a new bridge on Interstate 90. Despite requests from citizens and public figures, ODOT has no intention of even considering a pedestrian lane or bike path for our new bridge. If we want to make Cleveland a more sustainable city that is built on dense urban neighborhoods and connectivity, rather than the past standard of flight to the suburbs and single car commuters, we need to think in a more progressive way.

"Of course, I am left to think that perhaps ODOT is really not invested in Cleveland as much as they are in the status quo and getting paid. It’s not like adding a pedestrian and bike lane on a freeway bridge is a completely new idea. There are multiple cities across the country who have done it already. ODOT’s argument is a concern over safety and maintenance. They also say that there are plenty of other places to cross the river by foot or bicycle that are safer and more convenient. Really? I wouldn’t call the Lorain-Carnegie bridge a safer byway than I-90 with a separate lane with a concrete barrier. I would say that the spokeperson from ODOT who had the nerve to say such a thing has not been on a bike in the Near West side anytime recently.

"I say go over their heads and send your thoughts to the governor himself, or maybe your state rep or senator. Isn’t this an election year? Make your voice heard." more and view the music video.

a previous post on this subject.

Road Project Includes New Trail In Elyria

2/11/10

"...The project involves widening Colorado Avenue to three lanes from Root Road, at the eastern edge of Lorain, to Abbe Road in Sheffield Village, which is approximately 2.7 miles. Culverts will be extended or replaced with upgrades of drainage systems."

"Carney also said the federal stimulus dollars provided enough for an 8-foot wide asphalt bike trail to be constructed along the south side of the road between East River and Harris roads for future connection with the proposed Lorain County Metro Parks trail system." more...

New Trail For Boardman Park

2/11/10

"A $148,000 state grant will help separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic within Boardman Park [in Boardman, Ohio]."

"Dan Slagle Jr., park executive director, said the grant covers half the cost of a roughly 4,000-foot-long trail to be installed. “It will be a sidewalk that runs parallel to our main road,” he said.

"The trail will wind along Main Drive and branch off into two sections. One section goes to the park’s community center, where pedestrians can access the park’s other trails. The other piece goes to the Maag Outdoor Theater and circles around the Bicentennial Rock, ending across from St. James Meeting House.

“It goes back into the woods and connects to the existing nature trails,” Slagle said.

"The money came from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ recreational-trail program." more...

Whitehall To Build Park Trail

"...The final phase of the renovation of Lamby Lane Park will begin soon and this phase truly matches the desire of our community," said Wolfe, adding that the new restrooms, pavilion and walking trail that will be constructed at Lamby Lane Park are precisely the amenities residents requested in surveys.

"But the most significant event for the recreation and parks department, Wolfe said, will be the acquisition of the former U.S. Armory Building adjacent to John Bishop Park. The city is finalizing an application with the National Parks Service to obtain the facility.

"We are working with the Parks and Recreation Commission to develop detailed plans (about) how to best utilize (the facility)," he said." more...

CVNP Trail Meetings Begin Feb. 11

"Cuyahoga Valley National Park has announced three dates for the first public input session for the new Trail Management Plan (TMP) and Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The dates are Thursday, February 11th from 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm and Saturday, February 13th 10:00 am-noon. CAMBA strongly encourages all mountain bikers to attend!"

"...This is the perfect time to let your voice be heard. We strongly encourage all interested trail users, including mountain bikers, to understand the process and get involved in a creative and productive manner. The park wants to hear your IDEAS. What’s most important are what the park refers to as “substantive comments”. That means that you tell the park not only that you want trails for off-road cycling, but WHY you want trails for off-road cycling. For example, maybe you think there are a lot of health benefits or maybe you think it makes the region a better place to live. Think creatively and don’t be afraid to express your opinion!" more...

Learn more about the Trail Management Plan.

FMCPT President Steps Down

"It started with a meeting in a London man’s living room. A decade later, Madison County has 16.5 miles of paved walking and biking paths and is part of the cross-state Ohio To Erie Trail.

"The London man is Wayne Roberts, who on Jan. 20 stepped down as president of the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails, the all-volunteer group he started in 1999.

“I first learned about the Ohio To Erie Trail in a newspaper article. Jim Campbell from Springfield’s Parks and Trails gave a talk about the trail at a women’s club meeting in London,” Roberts said. “From there, I started inquiring around the county to see if anyone was involved with a group to assist with the trail coming through Madison County.”

"When he didn’t find such a group, he started his own. Since that time, the resulting Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT) has worked in tandem with the Madison County commissioners, who make up the county’s park district board, and grant writer Julia Cumming of the Madison Soil and Water Conservation District." more...

Kucinich Not Taking (ODOT's) No For An Answer

2/6/10

"U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, frustrated that the Ohio Department of Transportation has dug in its heels and won't consider a multipurpose lane on the new Inner Belt Bridge [in Cleveland], wrote the administrator of the Federal Highway Administration on Friday, asking him to ensure the lane is included in bids for the span.

"In his letter to Victor Mendez, Kucinich wrote that he heard Ohio "cannot veer from its path toward the current plans to exclude bikes and pedestrians. . . . The issue of bike and pedestrian access to this signature bridge must not be swept under the rug due to a bureaucratic snafu."

"Kucinich, a Democrat from Cleveland, sent the letter in response to comments made earlier in the day by Craig Hebebrand, the bridge's project manager, to Cleveland Planning Commission members. Hebebrand said the three design/build teams that will bid this year on the $450 million bridge project can't include an alternate bid to add a multipurpose lane." more...

Follow this ongoing story below.

ODOT (Again) Says No To Bridge Bike Lane

2/4/10

"Activists hoping for a bicycle lane on the new Cleveland Inner Belt Bridge had their idea rejected Thursday by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

"In a statement released by the department's attorney, ODOT said no to the request made by several groups that had enlisted the aid of Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative to create a bike lane on the new bridge over the Cuyahoga River. ODOT has refused for years to consider a bike lane on the bridge, and Thursday reiterated its stance.

"The department said that there are available alternative bike routes; there are safety and maintenance challenges of having a bike lane on the bridge; and the bridge's estimated cost, $450 million, prevents ODOT from designing one." more...

a previous post on this subject.

Granville Still Weighing Path & Bridge Options

2/3/10

"A proposed pedestrian bridge linking the T.J. Evans Bike Path and Raccoon Valley Park will get a shot at making a list of projects eligible for state funding after all.

"The Granville Township trustees agreed last week to sponsor the Granville Rotary Club's application for state Transportation Enhancement Program funds toward construction of the bridge. That will allow the club to submit a letter of interest that will determine its eligibility to apply for a TEP grant. The grant could furnish up to 80 percent of the estimated at $1.2 million cost of building the bridge.

"The club needed backing of a public body in order to request eligibility for the grant. At its Jan. 20 meeting, Granville Village Council voted to submit a letter of interest for TEP funds for a pathway on Burg Street but turned down a proposal to do the same for the bridge project." more...

a previous post on this subject.

Monroe City Council Considers Trail

2/3/10

"One member of the Monroe City Council is seeking to better connect neighborhoods. Councilwoman Suzi Ruben says she’d like to have a bike trail in the city as part of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail System in Butler and Warren counties.

“There have been a couple of attempts to try and do something off and on, but it’s a pretty big challenge and it takes some money. If we can get some grants that might be helpful,” she said.

“The real problem is getting across Ohio 63 and getting across Ohio 4. That’s going to take a bridge or something like that. At least if we can connect in with the trail, that’s a good start. Ideally, it would be nice to do both of them at some point.” more...

Will High-Speed Rail Utilize Bike Paths?

Commentary

Federal funding for new rail projects -- light and high-speed -- has some wondering if a few Ohio bike paths residing on old rail corridors will be converted back to rail use.

The very definition of railbanking is to preserve corridors for potential future rail use. However, this does not mean a re-conversion is practical or desirable. Many considerations come into play such as:

  • The cost of conversion (tearing up asphalt, removing bike/ped structures, etc.)
  • Pursuing eminent domain to close gaps along the corridor that the bikeway may not own
  • Possibly compensating the trail builders/managers for $$ invested, or the expense of relocating the trail alongside the rail, when/if practical
  • Dealing with the inevitable bad press when popular trails that are heavily used cannot be relocated and are simply closed

That's not to suggest that railbanking is a false premise or a waste of time, but rather a number of conditions must exist to make the re-purposing of these corridors viable.

We happened upon an article where a Knox County Commissioner asked an ODOT rep about the possibility of the Kokosing Trail being re-purposed for rail use:

2/1/10

"...Will you take our bike path for that [the proposed 3-C rail line]?” Commissioner Bob Wise asked, referring to The Kokosing Gap Trail from Mount Vernon to Danville, the Mohican Valley Trail from Danville to Brinkhaven, and the still-being-constructed Heart of Ohio Trail from Centerburg to Mount Vernon.

“I would be very surprised to see that happen,” Wyant said, noting that most of the language about reversion to eminent domain in old railroad rights of way is language left over from contracts established over 100 years ago. She said building new railroads would likely be quicker than adapting older roadbeds."

Source: Mt. Vernon News

Tasered Cyclist Files Lawsuit

2/1/10

"If a civil rights lawsuit against various county law enforcement agencies is not settled out of court, it will take 18 months before a jury gets to weigh in. That’s when the suit of Anthony Patrick will come to trial before Judge Michael Bennett in U.S. District Court, Western Division, in Cincinnati.

"In August 2009, a suit was filed by Patrick, a Huntington, W.Va.-based construction firm owner, charging his civil rights were violated when he was Tasered and arrested in the village of Chesapeake [Ohio] one year earlier.

"Patrick and a juvenile were biking through Chesapeake as part of an endurance ride through Lawrence County before returning to Huntington. As they came through Chesapeake, they contend they were stopped and Tasered by Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputy Charles Hammonds and Dennis Gibson, then a village patrolmen and now Chesapeake Police Chief.

"Patrick, then 37, was arrested and taken to Lawrence County Jail where he was charged with obstructing official business, resisting arrest, attempted assault on a police officer and operating a bike on the road.

"A year after the incident Patrick filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court naming current Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless, Hammonds, then Chesapeake Police Chief Russell Bennett and the village as defendants.

"The trial is set for July 18, 2011."

Source: Ironton Tribune.com

Columbus Cyclist Prevails In Court

"[On January 14th] I defended a young man named Michael in Franklin County Municipal Court. Michael had been cited for "taking the lane" on High Street, i.e. riding in the center of the lane, rather than to the right side of the lane.

"Experienced cyclists like Michael know that this is the safest way to ride on narrow city streets--riding to the right side of a narrow lane invites motorists to pass in the lane which can have deadly consequences. The Columbus traffic code was amended within the last 2 years to specifically address this issue, but it seems law enforcement officers are either unfamiliar with the new law or unwilling to apply it.

"On the evening of December 2, 2009, Michael was riding south on High Street between Nationwide Blvd and Spring St. It was 10:30 at night and raining. Michael was riding in the middle of the lane. A police officer pulled up next to him and directed him to move over to the right side of the lane. Michael refused and said he didn't feel safe there and that he had the right to ride in the middle of the lane. The officer slowed, pulled in behind Michael, turned on his flashing lights and cited Michael under Columbus City Code Section 2173.04(A)..." more...

a previous post regarding this incident.

Akron Stimulus Funds Include Towpath Work

1/30/10

Excerpts from a report on stimulus funding for road and bridge work in the Akron, Ohio area:

"...The stimulus projects include improving Frank Boulevard, South Main Street and Hilbish Avenue, rebuilding the Bartges Street bridge over the Ohio & Erie Canal and extending the Towpath Trail from the AES building to the trailhead south of Bartges.

"...Bartges Street bridge over the Ohio & Erie Canal: Replacement, with a twin span over the waterway and future towpath. Cost: $3.1 million, with multiple funding sources, including stimulus. Cost for the Towpath Trail extension from the AES building to Bartges: about $3.3 million, also with multiple funding sources, including stimulus." more...

CVNP Trail Management Plan

"This [CVNP] Plan is needed as a strategic tool to guide the future course of trail management and development in Ohio’s only National Park. The park’s original 1985 plan is outdated and largely implemented. Regional trail networks have blossomed across Northeastern Ohio, increasing demands for additional trail connections, new trail uses and expanded recreational opportunities. The broad purpose of the TMP [Trail Management Plan] is to identify management objectives and strategies to guide the development, protection, management, operations and use of the trail system within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park over the next 15 years to meet new challenges and opportunities."

Learn more about the trails plan and the upcoming public meetings to be held February 11 & 13th at the Happy Days Lodge in Peninsula, Ohio.

Akron Man Pleads Guilty In Cyclist Fatality

1/30/10

"An Akron man pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide Thursday, explaining in Summit County Court that he had spent the night drinking before he struck and killed a man on a bicycle on Oct. 13.

"Charles Wilson, 36, faces a maximum of eight years in prison for the death of Lawrence Yelding, 58, of Akron. Police said Wilson's drove a pick-up truck through a stop sign on East Miller Avenue, then struck a utility pole and Yelding's bicycle.

"Wilson told the court he got out of the disabled truck, which he took without permission from a friend, and ran away after seeing the badly injured Yelding on the ground." more...

Ohio River Trail Survey

1/29/10

"A survey of the 4 mile segment of the Ohio River Trail was completed in 2009 by Hamilton County Park District and The Ohio River Way from downtown to Lunken.

"The purpose of the survey is to identify the pinch points in the 50ft. wide corridor that will require retaining walls and new bridges when it is re-constructed for passenger rail and to explore where a permanent trail can be located compatible with rail.

"This is an important ingredient in obtaining Federal Transportation Authority (FTA) approval for the temporary trail. In addition, The Ohio River Way will be working with the Eastern Corridor Transportation Improvement District to insure that their next round of studies include the evaluation of a permanent trail in the Oasis Corridor as a part of the multi-modal transportation plan." more...

States Considering 3-Feet Law

1/29/10

"Bicycle advocates in state legislatures are once again promoting bills that require motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing.

"Currently, 14 states require a 3-foot gap for bicycle riders. They are Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

"This year, lawmakers in Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Virginia are considering 3-foot laws. At least one other state, Washington, has a 3-foot passing law in committee from last year." more...

Athens County Seeks Funding For Trail Extensions

1/28/10

"Grants will be sought for several bike path extensions in Athens County, officials say. The county is putting forth two proposals, and the city of Athens also is applying for funds.

"...Eichenberg said the county’s top priority is extending the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway to Athens High School and The Plains, since it would require less local match money. The .79-mile extension would tie into the bikeway at Eclipse Company Town and connect to North McDonald Street in The Plains, thus tying the bikeway into that community’s street system.

"Eichenberg said the path would be built parallel to Johnson Road along the county’s 60-foot right-of-way, leaving a safe buffer between the bike path and the busy road.

"...The second county project would connect the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway on East State Street to County Road 24A (South Canaan). This path would run parallel to Route 50 near Holzer Clinic. The total length of the extension would be 1.53 miles and would cost $1.13 million to construct. After ODOT and ODNR grants, the local match would be $86,476.

"The city of Athens is applying for a grant from ODNR to extend the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway from the West State Street Park across the Hocking River to connect to the abandoned railroad bed that is being developed into the Moonville Rail Trail. The extension would be approximately 1,000 feet and cross a former railroad bridge over the Hocking River.

"...The Moonville Rail Trail is not yet complete, but it would follow the former railroad base. The goal of the Moonville Rail Trail Association is to extend the trail from Red Diamond, which is near the village of Zaleski, through the hills of Vinton County to Athens County near Grosvenor, just west of the city of Athens. The group has been planning to connect to the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway since 2001." more...

a previous story on this subject.

Road Project Includes Genoa Trail Realignment

1/28/10

"Big changes are expected for the intersection of Freeman Road and state Route 3 [in Genoa Township]. During the Genoa Township trustees meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21, Township Administrator Paul Wise announced the $323,700 project was approved by the Ohio Public Works Commission.

"It will include a new traffic signal and turn lanes at the intersection, and realignment of the Genoa Trail along the east side of Route 3.

"The project is slated to start in September and be completed in early 2011. Due to the status of the project, Wise said it could qualify as "shovel ready" and be eligible for stimulus funding that would pay for 100 percent of the project." more...

Monroe Township Finalizing Trail Design

"Trustees said the final design change details are being reviewed for the south section of the recreational trail before the project’s acquisition phase is closed.

"This is the last segment in Miami County of the south part of the [GMRT] bike trail that extends down into Montgomery County, said Mary Lou Wilson, the township’s special projects administrator."

Source: Dayton Daily News

Granville Bridge Project Soldiers On

1/28/10

"A proposed pedestrian bridge linking the T.J. Evans Bike Path and Raccoon Valley Park will get a shot at making a list of projects eligible for state funding.

"The Granville Township trustees agreed Wednesday to sponsor the Granville Rotary Club's application for state Transportation Enhancement Program funds toward construction of the bridge. That will allow the club to submit a letter of interest that will determine its eligibility to apply for a TEP grant. The grant could furnish up to 80 percent of the estimated at $1.2 million cost of building the bridge.

"The bridge would provide a way for children and families to walk or ride bikes to the park. It also would help create a pathway loop for recreational use." more...

a previous post on this topic.

Miami 2 Miami Trail May Extend

1/27/10

"Construction of a two-mile stretch of the Miami 2 Miami Bike Trail that would go through Fairfield Township could begin later this year. It is dependent on receipt of a $500,000 Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant the Butler County Department of Development is applying for.

"The Great Miami River Recreation Trail was first planned in 1976 to go between Piqua and Fairfield. Butler County sections already exist in Fairfield, Hamilton and Middletown, said Joe Schmidt, senior planner with the county development department.

"There is a gap between Hamilton and Middletown that includes Fairfield Township. The grant would help pay for construction of the trail along the Miami & Erie Canal towpath between Allison Avenue and the Rentschler Forest Preserve soccer fields. The property for the trail is already owned by either Butler County commissioners or MetroParks of Butler County, so no funds would have to spent on land acquisition, Schmidt said.

“This is a very long trail,” Schmidt said. “We’re hoping to extend the trail into Fairfield Township."

"The $1.5 million project would be paid for with the state grant and a $1 million gift earmarked for the project in 2001 by the Hamilton Community Foundation.

"As one of the project partners, Fairfield Township trustees have agreed to maintain the path for the first three years after construction. Not yet decided is whether township crews will do the work or if it would be contracted out.

"Schmidt said the county should hear sometime in June whether it received the grant. If so, work could begin late summer or early fall.

"Trees would have to be removed from the path and utility poles relocated before the trail could be constructed.

Source: Cincinnati.com

Olentangy Trail Closure

"A 1.5 mile segment of the Olentangy Trail will be closed, between Pacemont Avenue and Patterson Avenue, from January 26 to April 2. A detour will be posted beginning from Pacemont Avenue to High Street, south to North Street, to Neil Avenue, then west on Patterson Avenue to return to the trail. From the south, the detour will route from Tuttle Recreation Center at Patterson Avenue, east to Neil Avenue, north to Dodridge Street, east to High Street, north to Pacemont Avenue, then west to return to the trail.

"The closure is due to a sewer improvement project.

"Additional questions or concerns can be directed to njdomenick@columbus.gov (Sewers and Drains) or 645-2441 (Recreation and Parks)."

Source: ConsiderBiking

Radioactive Site Stymies Towpath Progress

1/26/10

"Uranium-235 has a radioactive half-life of roughly 700 million years. Tim Donovan is afraid it might take that long to find a way to get the Towpath Trail built through Cleveland.

"But Donovan, the director of the Ohio Canal Corridor, is also now more desperate than ever to find a way across 55 acres along the Cuyahoga River to build one of the final legs of the long-anticipated hiking and biking trail. There's only one thing standing in his way -- radioactive soil.

"Worse, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a lengthy report Jan. 20 that the site will not host the Towpath Trail anytime soon. That conclusion was made even though remaining uranium and other radioactive materials in the soil at the former Harshaw Chemical site just south of the Harvard-Denison bridge are not deemed too dangerous to prevent the land being used for passive recreation.

"Federal officials said last week they will follow a methodical, predetermined process that will likely mean another four or five years before the planning and cleanup of the property is complete." more and view a map of the affected area.

Roof Rack Tolls Nixed On Turnpike

1/26/10

"The Ohio Turnpike has stopped charging cars higher tolls when they're carrying bicycles or luggage on the roof.

"Toll changes that took effect last year put vehicles with rooftop luggage carriers or bike racks into a higher toll classification meant for taller commercial trucks and moving vans.

"Laser scanners that measure the heights of vehicles still cause the toll plazas to spit out the more expensive tickets to cars with items on the roof. But turnpike spokeswoman Lauren Hakos says toll collectors are now making adjustments and taking lower toll amounts from passenger vehicles. It means a $10 difference for a car traveling the entire length of the toll road.

"Hakos says E-ZPass users will have to call customer service to get a refund."

Source: Cleveland.com

an earlier report on this subject.

Tipp City Seeks Trail Grant

"More than $240,000 in grants will be sought from a state recreational trails program to extend a Kyle Park bikeway and a sidewalk along North Hyatt Street to the high school.

"The application for the grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was approved Monday, Jan. 18, by the city council. The council reviewed the proposed application at a work session earlier this month.

"Brad Vath, assistant city manager, said the requested $245,000 grant would cover 80 percent of the proposed projects. The Kyle Park project, estimated at $156,500, would extend the 10' wide bikeway 1,500 feet west to South Third Street/Maple Hill Drive." more...

Beavercreek Wants Trail Connector

"Sixth-grader Libby Kim saw a problem she knew she could help solve. Libby and nine other members of a local FIRST Lego League robotics group, which encourages students to use technology and teamwork to overcome obstacles, realized there was no good way to bicycle from their Hunter’s Ridge subdivision to Beavercreek’s Rotary Park and the rest of the city’s extensive trail network.

"Libby’s group already needed to identify a way to improve their community for this year’s league competition with the theme “Smart Moves.” So they decided supporting an extension of the city’s bike path system from Hunter’s Ridge Park to Rotary Park was the perfect fit.

“We’re just working on trying to make it safer in our community,” Kim said. “We like to go on bike rides and we realized it was hard to get to the park..." more...

Feedback Wanted On Dayton Bike Routes Map

"If you haven’t notice[d] by now, cycling is a huge passion of mine, as is supporting the City of Dayton becoming a more bike friendly community. I’m sure you’ve noticed the bike lane stripping, signage, events and construction going on around the city and are hopefully ready for more to come. Most of these efforts are products of the BikeWalkDayton Team.

"The BikeWalkDayton team is said to be lead by Commissioner Nan Whaley and is comprised of City of Dayton Commission Staff, Police Dept., Planners, Engineers, and outside organizations such as Five Rivers MetroParks, Miami Conservancy District, and Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. Their mission is to create a more liveable, walkable and of course, bikeable city.

"One current project of the team is creating a city wide bike map detailing trails, lanes, and on road suggested routes. The map is still a work in progress but the BikeWalkDayton team is interested in soliciting your feedback...

"If you care about the future of our community, want to be able to more safely walk and ride your bike to work and around Dayton then here is your chance to chime in." more...

Communities Working To Close Gap Along Emerald Necklace

"Though it may geographically be the end of the road, funding for continuing the Valley Parkway All-Purpose Trail [Emerald Necklance Trail] from Ridge Road to Route 21 has only just begun.

"Last year, Broadview Heights as the lead community, North Royalton, Brecksville and the Cleveland Metroparks sponsored a Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative Grant to study the completion of the two-mile gap. The grant, offered through the Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency, may increase the chances of garnering federal funds for the continuation.

"...The first phase would likely continue the trail from Broadview Road to Route 21 but would not include a major overpass upgrade. Phase two would take the trail from Broadview into North Royalton and phase three would address the I-77 overpass issue." more...

Little Beaver Creek Trail Extension Planned

1/25/10

"Funding from one of two state sources is being sought to cover the engineering cost associated with a 1.5-mile extension of the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail.

"Dottie Betz, chairman of the Columbiana County Park District, said they are applying for a $68,473 grant from one of two grant programs available through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in the hope one of them will be awarded.

"The 10-mile Greenway bicycle trail currently extends from Lisbon to High Street in Leetonia near the American Legion. The park district has obtained $460,000 in federal funding to cover the cost of extending the trail, minus the engineering fee, to Bertolette's Alley in Washingtonville, a distance of 1.5 miles.

"...If everything works out, the extension could become a reality by 2012. This would bring the trail within 300 feet of the Mahoning County line, where the Mahoning County Metroparks plans to extend its bicycle trail to link with the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail.

"This is all part of a larger effort by the Greater Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway Coalition to link with bike trails in Trumbull and Ashtabula counties, creating a continuous trail that would extend eventually from Lake Erie to the Ohio River in East Liverpool." the complete article.

Cleveland West Shoreway Project Includes Trail Work

1/25/10

"A long-awaited $60 million road project designed to transform the fast lanes of the West Shoreway into a tree-lined boulevard got a key assist from state lawmakers last week.

"Rep. Michael Skindell, a Lakewood Democrat, got language slipped into an unrelated bill that would drop the speed limit on a stretch of the West Shoreway, from 50 mph to 35. The bill passed the Ohio House Wednesday and now moves to the Senate.

"However, drivers aren't likely to see the speed limit drop until about 2013, no matter when state lawmakers end up getting the provision enacted.

"...The idea behind the project is to make road, tunnel and intersection improvements between downtown and West Boulevard and to make Edgewater Park and the lakefront more accessible from West Side neighborhoods now cut off.

"...The project has been divided into two phases, with work to begin this summer on rebuilding a crumbling pedestrian tunnel running under the roadway to Edgewater Park. Construction of a bike trail linking with an existing trail in Edgewater Park to form a continuous path is also planned for the first phase of the project as well as the new West 73rd intersection." more...

Athens County Considering Regional Trail Connections

"Members of the Athens Conservancy addressed the county commissioners on Tuesday about their desire to obtain former railroad rights-of-way in order to pursue creation of a countywide biking/hiking trail.

"The members were seeking letters of support from the commissioners for two grants that would allow them to obtain the former rights-of-way in Athens, Rome and Troy townships. The commissioners agreed to write the letters.

"Conservancy vice president Phil Cantino explained that the group has been working on obtaining state trail grants to be able to afford purchasing the rights-of-way. It’s possible, Cantino said, that at some point a biking and hiking trail could link Columbus, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., through Athens County. “If we start doing this stuff and stating our intentions, I think we could find that we are on the connector route between Columbus and Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh too, for that matter,” Cantino said.

"The conservancy is currently assisting the Moonville Rail-Trail, Inc., organization in applying for a Clean Ohio grant to purchase additional railroad grade for their multi-use trail project.

"The Moonville Rail-Trail is hoped to eventually connect to the Hockhocking-Adena bikeway in Athens, and that would be a contribution toward that,” Cantino said." more...

Cleveland Metropark Trail No Longer A Priority

"A trail that would have provided a means for the public to view the North Branch Preserve property of the Cleveland Metroparks, which was purchased by the City of Solon through a state grant nearly nine years ago, may not be created.

"Solon City Council's safety and public properties committee approved a motion last week to delete the reference to a trail in the agreement with the Cleveland Metroparks and refer it to the law director for his review prior to being forwarded to council. The action will be subject to the review of Law Director David J. Matty, along with the original agreement.

"Approximately four years ago, the Cleveland Metroparks presented the city with a layout for trails for the North Branch Preserve property. One of the parts of the final agreement that was entered into regarding the land was that an appropriate handicapped-accessible trail would be installed at the expense of the Metroparks from Hawthorne Parkway in the Metroparks system to the North Branch Preserve property. The proposed 800-foot trail carried a price tag of $78,000.

"The public land continues to have no sign to designate its existence or any paths to lead people through it." more...

2010 Columbus Trail Plans

"2010 will be a busy year for greenways in Columbus…and well it should be. We have lots to share.

Olentangy Trail

"Starting with the hard news—the trail will be closed between Pacemont and Patterson for a sewer improvement project. I’ve attached the detour (which of course has to rely on High St.). Utilities has promised us this will be very quick, mostly February and March.

"OSU is building the trail @ Herrick Bridge and the Drake Union!!! (I’ll let Steve Volkmann chime in on this–he’s done all the hard work.) Many of you have already heard about it. This is a fantastic improvement. It will mean a Cannon Drive work around the campus trail section for a season…but I think we all will rejoice when this is all done. Congratulations Steve on patience and perseverance.

Safety Improvements

"We will be out on the path this spring with some needed safety improvements:

  1. Re-striping the centerline of the Olentangy
  2. Improving the sharp turn hazard areas (especially downtown @ the Confluence Bridge)
  3. New trailhead maps and signage

Scioto Trail

"A new bridge is now under construction: the first ever bikeway project in the west side – the Scioto Hilltop Connector bridge. This bridge will span the Scioto from McKinley Ave. to the existing trail from Grandview Ave. to Riversedge. Actually, there’s a ton of projects in the next two years in the near west side/Grandview areas. In short, we will have seamless connectivity from Harrison West to Hilltop, from Upper Arlington to downtown. This was a long time coming, with lots of planning, coaxing, and discussion.

"Note: Keep crossing your fingers on congress, the state, and the city on continuing their crucial support for projects such as these…it is the lifeblood of our move towards an active transportation Mecca." more and view the project map.

Landowners Lobby Against Orrville To Clinton Trail

1/22/10

"A handful of farmers and property owners not wanting to see an abandoned rail bed converted to a walking and biking trail brought their case to the commissioners Tuesday.

"John Douglass, a dairy farmer in Baughman Township with 1,650 cows, reiterated his opposition to plans to make an abandoned railway from Orrville to Clinton a public trail by Wayne County Rails to Trails. He is concerned a bike trail would negatively affect his farm, along with three others in the area.

"Brian Bilinovich, a Chippewa Township property owner, expressed concern about crimes committed along trails in Ohio and across the state, and he gave commissioners Jim Carmichael, Ann Obrecht and Scott Wiggam a document detailing more than 300 incidences ranging from trespassing to murder." more...

an earlier story on this topic.

4.5-Mile Trail Project In Hamilton

1/21/10

"Butler County officials hope to soon secure another piece in the puzzle of paving a bicycle path all the way from Fairfield to Piqua.

"On Thursday, Jan. 21, commissioners agreed to apply for a $500,000 grant from the state for a slice of path through Fairfield Twp. The Hamilton Community Foundation’s pledge to foot the rest of the project’s $1.5 million bill “puts us really at the top of the list (for state funds),” said county senior planner Joseph Schmidt.

"The planned path would stretch roughly 2 miles from Allison Avenue near Hamilton’s edge to the Rentschler Forest Preserve, mostly along Canal Road. The path would use the right-of-way that still exists from the tow path of the old Miami-Erie Canal, Schmidt said.

"It coincides with another path planned to start at Allison Avenue and stretch another roughly 2.5 miles to the foot of the High-Main Bridge — linking it with an existing path that extends all the way to Waterworks Park in Fairfield." more...

Granville Trail Project Scaled Back

1/21/10

"The Granville Village Council chose to pare down the scope of an application it will make for state pathway funds.

"The council voted Wednesday to support "a letter of interest" to the Ohio Department of Transportation as a possible first step in receiving funding for a pathway on Burg Street. But a proposal to submit an initial application for funding for a bridge to Raccoon Valley Park failed on a tie 3-3 vote.

"Councilman Steve Mershon, who voted against the bridge application proposal, said the bridge would be a "huge structure" and lacked support from neighbors or respondents in a community survey performed last fall.

"At the end of the day, the village won't build it," he said. "Why spend time planning it?" He said he supports a proposal for much less expensive suspension bridge at the same location.

"The state's Transportation Enhancement Program could furnish up to 80 percent of the cost of both projects. The cost of the bridge is estimated at $1 million to $1.2 million and the Burg Street pathway at $1 million, according to a memo from the village staff to council members. Both projects were on a list of five pathway clusters in the village and Granville Township recommended by a citizens advisory committee in fall 2009." more...

Transportation Enhancement Fund Deadline Feb. 1

"Time is running out for many local communities across the state to partner with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) on future projects aimed at better access for bicycle users and pedestrians.

"ODOT is currently accepting applications for its federally-funded Transportation Enhancement Program, which has invested nearly $182 million in pedestrian and bicycle projects across the state since the start of the program in 1992.

"Transportation Enhancement funds can also be used to improve downtown streetscapes, preserve historic transportation sites, beautify scenic locations, and establish transportation museums.

"With approximately $20 million in future funding available, ODOT's Transportation Enhancement Program targets the state's rural and suburban communities which are not currently served by a Metropolitan Planning Organizations - which have their own Transportation Enhancement efforts.

"Communities that are interested in the ODOT funds have less than two weeks left to apply. Letters of interest for Transportation Enhancement funding are due to the department by February 1." more...

Pataskala Trail 'Workshop' Held

1/20/10

"If you build it, they will come." That's what supporters of a proposed multi-use path are counting on.

"I look at this as another piece in the overall pedestrian puzzle," Pataskala Planning Director Diane Harris said.

"Harris on Jan. 12 invited residents to a workshop regarding the proposal, which entails building a multi-use path from Bright Waters subdivision west along sections of the Muddy Fork of the Licking River.

"The first phase would stretch 0.88 miles, or 3,400 linear feet, ending near Pataskala Ridge subdivision. Future phases could follow the river further west, ending just south of the City Administrative Offices on Broad Street and picking up again on Adams Lane and ending at Taylor Road.

"Harris has asked the city council to support an Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant application for the first phase, which is estimated to cost $239,652. The grant would cover $179,739." more...

Wooster Improving Walk/Bike Access To Elementary School

1/20/10

"Although it will be some 18 months until completion, [Wooster] City Council wholeheartedly approved the first steps toward improving a stretch of road that would allow more students walking access to a local elementary school.

"Council approved a contract for a right of way survey on Melrose Drive, between Portage and Milltown roads, which will locate the centerline of the road, plat the properties and lay property pins before easements can be acquired.

"The city received a $500,000 Ohio Public Works Commission grant, which will fund roughly one-fourth of the work.

"...City Engineer Joel Montgomery estimated the total cost of the work, which will widen the roadway, in addition to adding curbs, gutters, sidewalks and a bicycle trail, to be around $2.1 million." more...

Tipp City Bikeway Plans

1/18/10

From the Tipp City City Council meeting notes:

"Grant monies allocated to assist in the construction of a recreational trail/bikeway to link parks within the City and bikeway to the Miami County bikeway. Council moved for the monies to be allocated for the project."

Source: Tipp News Daily

More MTB Trails For Marietta

"The City of Marietta has again agreed to allow the River Valley Mountain Bike Association to continue our trail building projects throughout the city.

"In conjunction often with the Marietta Rowing and Cycling Club, RVMBA has began our newest addition which will be a connector trail from the High School trails up to Cisler Dr. and Jackson Park. This trail should be about 1 1/2 miles or a little more. Will gps it as soon as we get the corridor completed. There are also negotiations in the works to connect from Cisler Dr. down, through another section of forest, to connect to the Kris-Mar trails." more...

Public Meetings On CVNP Trail Needs

1/18/10

"The National Park Service is holding three open houses in February to get public input on trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The park service is seeking suggestions on trail needs for the next 15 years.

"Among the issues to be studied include possible new trails, connections from surrounding communities to the popular Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the need to rebuild storm-damaged bridle trails in northern Summit County and the possibility of allowing mountain biking.

"The schedule is:

  • Feb. 11, 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Happy Days Lodge off state Route 303 in Boston Heights.
  • Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Happy Days Lodge.

"At the meetings, park officials will outline the federal process, identify issues and gather ideas on the developing plan. The park will also accept public comment [at this link.] A newsletter on what's happening is also available there.

"Written comments can be submitted to Superintendent, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 15610 Vaughn Road, Brecksville, OH 44141. Comments will be accepted until March 1." more...

Cyclist Killed On Florida Causeway

"A cyclist out for an early morning ride along the Rickenbacker Causeway died Sunday morning after being struck by a car.

"Police told CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald that it was a hit-and-run. Witnesses told police the motorist that struck the cyclist paused briefly and then took off with the mangled bicycle still attached to its grill.

"The accident happened on the Bear Cut Bridge just after 8 a.m. According to Miami police the cyclist was on the side of the road heading toward Key Biscayne when he was hit by the driver of a silver Volkswagen." more...

Here's an account by someone who says they witnessed the aftermath. [Caution: some graphic content.]

Developing The Orrville To Clinton Trail

1/18/10

"Rails to Trails members and advocates consider building and maintaining a proposed Orrville to Clinton trail an ongoing process.

"Don Noble II, president of Rails to Trails in Wayne County, said he looks forward to offering landowners 50 percent easements and meeting with them one on one.

"Rails to Trails has considered using cement where farm equipment crosses the trail, he said. Welcoming no-trespassing signs from adjacent landowners, Noble said trail rules require users to avoid private property.

"Planning to secure public grants to fund trail construction, he said Rails to Trails purchased the abandoned Orrville to Clinton railroad corridor using private donations.

"Ted Short, Wayne County Rails to Trails vice president, said the nonprofit organization maintains trails using private funds since it does not use a county park district. Referring to the summer's Creston to Rittman trail project as an example, he said there were $300,000 in private donations, $1.7 million through the Ohio Department of Transportation and $400,000 from the Ohio Capital Fund." more...

Boy Attacked On North Sacramento Trail

1/16/10

"A 13-year-old boy reported that he was assaulted Friday evening as he was walking home on a bike trail in the North Sacramento area.

"The youth reported that three boys, about 16 or 17 years old, came up behind him on the trail near Sonoma and Altos avenues about 6:40 p.m., according to the Police Department's daily activity log. The three were described as African American all wearing black hoodies and wool caps with ear flaps.

"The reason for the attack was not known, according to the police report."

Source: The Sacramento Bee

New Turnpike Toll Penalizes Roof Racks

1/16/10

"IT IS not fair for the Ohio Turnpike Commission to charge passenger vehicles the same rate as commercial trucks just because a car or minivan has a bicycle or luggage rack strapped temporarily to its roof. A new height classification has gone into effect with new toll rates, and now passenger vehicles are charged the same fee as large trucks.

"If rooftop items on such vehicles measure 7 feet, 6 inches tall or higher, they automatically fall into a toll category meant for heavier two-axle trucks. When the turnpike installed its E-Z Pass system, it included a laser scanner to gauge the height of vehicles as they pass under an entrance gantry before they enter a toll lane.

"The laser makes no distinction between a two-axle truck and a car with bike racks that exceed the 7-foot, 6-inch height designation for a higher toll classification. That could hike the standard toll rate for a passenger car to cross the state from $15 to $25." more...

another editorial on this topic.

Dangerous Columbus Corridors For Bikes & Peds

1/16/10

"Bikers and walkers were in accidents with vehicles 150 times on a 3-mile segment of High Street in a five-year period, making the busy strip the city's most crash-prone corridor for those who don't get around by auto.

"The bit of High Street that runs from Clintonville to the Short North can be a bear, a study from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission says. The agency looked at police reports from 2003 to 2007 to find the area's trouble spots.

"Roads along the Ohio State University campus and the Hilltop community on the West Side are the most troublesome. The five-year study, which is the first of this scale that MORPC has conducted, pinpoints both corridors and specific locations that are danger zones..." more...

Closing The C&O - GAP Trail Gap

1/15/10

"It's been 250 years since the French and Indian War, when George Washington, a young colonial officer, made his way from the eastern seaboard past the forks of the Ohio River, where Pittsburgh now stands. It was a dangerous journey and a miserable return trip—shot at by Indians, knocked off his raft into the icy Allegheny River—lasting 78 days.

"Today Washington's route (or close to it) has been tamed, turned into the 334-mile Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath–Great Allegheny Passage. Starting in Georgetown, the C&O–GAP rolls across Maryland and through Pennsylvania's Appalachian Mountains to create the longest unpaved bike path in the East. Yet unlike Washington, you won't be able to complete the tour no matter how warm the weather (or how nice the natives). The British are standing in the way." more...

Willoughby Trail Plans Crawl Forward

1/15/10

"The process might be slow, but plans for a shared-use path along state Route 91 are still in motion.

"Willoughby and Willoughby Hills joined forces in an effort to build a path extending from Eastlake to Mayfield Village on the east side of SOM Center Road. That path would essentially connect Lake Erie to a popular part of the Cleveland Metroparks system for area cyclists, joggers and pedestrians.

"However, plans are still in the baby stages, Willoughby Mayor David Anderson said.

"Both cities have authorized their city engineers to do a preliminary study ... so we'd have a better idea of the cost," he said. Anderson added that the last he had heard from Willoughby Engineer Jim Sayles, the study was just about done." more...

Medina Seeks Trail Grant

1/14/10

"Medina City Council approved, on Monday night, the application for a grant that would partially fund a one-mile addition to the Roscoe Ewing bike trail, connecting it to downtown Medina.

"Under Phase 1 of the project, the current 1.3-mile-long trail would be extended across Guilford Boulevard through Nichols Park and then hook up to a Springbrook Drive sidewalk. Finally, the trail would link to a paved path that leads into downtown Medina at S. Broadway Street and E. Smith Road, a block from the square. Phase 1 of the project would cost the city of Medina approximately $600,000.

"With Monday’s affirmation, Medina officials will apply for a Clean Ohio Trail Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which would fund approximately 80 percent of the Phase 1 of the project, up to $500,000. Medina would pay the remaining 20 percent, around $100,000 to $120,000." more...

Taking The Lane In Yellow Springs

1/14/10
bike sign

"Though the recent snowfall has either covered or camouflaged them, new traffic signs have popped up around the village this fall and winter, meant to empower the bicyclists of the village. Just as subtle as their new regulatory markers, bicycles are a minority vehicle in the village that do their best to share the roads with everything from skateboarders and golf carts to Mack trucks and extra-wide loads. Still, bicycling advocates and traffic regulators hope that spreading the word about proper traffic procedures will help to improve safety and congeniality on village streets.

"Village Council’s goal to make Yellow Springs a more walkable and bikeable community prompted the Village Bicycle Enhancement Committee to take action on the signs this fall. The signs are a general reminder to drivers of both non-motorized and motorized vehicles that on roadways without a bike lane, bicyclists are encouraged to use the entire lane. As head of the bike committee and an avid bicyclist himself, Dan Carrigan is passionate about educating both bikers and motorized drivers of the laws that give bicyclists greater rights and responsibilities.

“As bicyclists, we’re being assertive,” he said. “The roads are a shared social network -— we all have a right to use them.” more...

The open practice of a bike "taking the lane" for safety is new to many in Ohio. Such as the officer that ticketed a Columbus cyclist for doing the same.

Columbus Mayor Embraces Bike-Friendly Initiatives

1/13/10

"How important is Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman’s vocal support of the city’s bike plan and his participation in cycling events like the annual Bike Week?

"The mayor’s enthusiasm for bikes has engendered a culture of ‘can do’ around him. When Columbus received a pot of federal Stimulus funds from the Department of Energy recently, its Parks and Recreation Department pushed for some of it to be used for downtown biking infrastructure. You see, Capital Crossroads, a special improvement district (SID) for downtown Columbus—similar to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance—had recently completed a right of way study for downtown streets which included a plan for improvements. The city will peel away $490,000 from their energy efficiency Stimulus funds so that Capital Crossroads can purchase bike racks, lockers and shelters for 300 bikes for downtown commuters.

“This comes on the heels of the city finalizing its Bicentennial Bikeway plan, which was a big deal not only for bike advocates but the mayor was personally invested,” says Marc Conte, a staffer at Capital Crossroads.

"The bike project will be first in a downtown beautification plan, which includes pedestrian and auto wayfinding signs, street benches and lighting." more...

another report on Columbus bikeway-friendly initiatives.

Niles Trail Receives $5.7mil Grant

1/12/10

"The Ohio Department of Transportation has approved a $5.7 million grant to help fund the city’s long-planned bicycle trail.

"The original projected cost had been $3.5 million, but replacement of a bridge over the Mahoning River near Walnut Street had complicated the project and increased the figure, according to Mark Hess, engineering grant and development coordinator.

"We had no bidders when we advertised last year because of concerns about the the bridge, so ODOT adjusted the amount,” Hess said, adding that the funding should cover the entire cost. The coordinator said the city will advertise for bids next month, and he expects the path to be completed by summer 2011."

Source: Vindy.com

Meodow Brook Marsh Trails May Expand

1/12/10

"If [Danbury] township's newest grant application is successful, Meadowbrook Marsh will soon get more than 3,800 feet of paved trails.

"We applied for a grant through the Recreational Trails Program in 2008," Danbury Township trustee Dianne Rozak said. Unfortunately, the township did not receive the grant. But this month Rozak said she will be preparing another grant application to a jointly funded RTP/Clean Ohio program. The RTP is funded by the federal government and the Clean Ohio Grant is funded by the state. Both programs are administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

"Rozak said the township's application will seek about $123,000 and offer $53,000 in matching funds. Before any other major improvements are made to the park, Rozak said she'd like to see this application approved. "My goal right now is to secure this last grant," she said. "That would give us about 7,000 feet of paved trails eight feet wide and (Americans with Disabilities Act)-accessible."

"Meadowbrook, now at 113 acres after several additions to the original 33 acres purchased in 2001, currently has about 3,000 feet of paved trails, in addition to unpaved mulch trails." more...

Wayne County Rail Trails Responds To Criticism

"Rail trail proponents were greatly disappointed to a mostly negative article featuring two disgruntled rural residents in the Dec. 30 edition concerning trail planned for northeastern Wayne County.

"In fact, the headline "Access Denied" [online Version offered different headline] to farmers; and, that was just not true. This former Norfolk-Southern railbed is a unique section of the Ohio to Erie Trail that may eventually be connected to the Holmes County Trail at Fredericksburg. These non-motorized trails not only bring economic development and positive images to "rail trail" communities, but create safe recreational areas for rural and urban families.

"Our local Rails to Trails organization fully understands the desires of local farmers to have continued "short-cut" access to fields, even if they established these routes on former railbeds that they did not own or have legal easement. Your readers should know that since our taking ownership in November, we had already contacted and listened to most of the farmers currently using the former railbed before that article appeared, including Mr. Douglass. In each case, we are prepared to negotiate easements that will allow continued field access with parallel driveway operations on up to half of the right-of-way width. We believe the right of ways are wide enough for doing this while still having a safe trail for non-motorized users on the other half." more...

Columbus Cyclist Controls Lane, Gets Ticket

1/12/10

"...Michael O’Shaughnessy as ticketed under Columbus Municipal Code 2173.04 for not riding his bike as far to the right side of roadway as possible. He was apparently riding his bicycle in the middle of the curb lane on High Street…."controling the lane" in a manner that he felt was warrented due to traffic, weather, and road conditions. It was 11:30 at night, rainy, and low-no traffic on southbound High St near Nationwide…where he was cited by police.

"He is being defended by Doug Morgan, who is on the Consider Biking Board of Directors. Assuming there are no other circumstances we’re aware of, the bicyclist’s behavior to protect himself and take a visible position….clearly falls within legal parameters. We feel that this court case will present an opportunity to educate cyclists, motorists, even the police force, regarding the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists." Learn more about the Jan. 14th court case.

Locals Want Ped Element In I-70/I-71 Split Design

1/11/10

"The Olde Towne East Neighborhood Association [in Columbus] wants ODOT to know residents still have concerns about plans to redesign the Interstate 70/Interstate 71 split.

"Olde Towne East Neighborhood Association President Mike Moore said ODOT made promises that it later went back on. Moore met Monday with a representative from ODOT to talk about how a redesign of the downtown split would affect people who live in the area.

"Moore said he has heard from people who want more greenery, walkways, bike lanes and caps over the highways. He said the meeting Monday is a good sign. “I think ODOT is still listening. We still think that ODOT will listen to what it is we are requesting on behalf of the residents of the area and hopefully, we’ll be able to work with ODOT to make these changes possible,“ he said.

"The split has long been a traffic headache for drivers as I-70 and I-71 join the same roadway and the[n] split again on either side of downtown Columbus.

"Moore said the meeting went well and he looks forward to working with ODOT. He said the meeting was positive, ODOT listened to the community’s concerns and there is still room to affect what is going on. “It paid off. They are willing to work with residents, businesses and city planners,“ he said."

See a video report of this article.

Source: nbc4i.com

Bike-Friendly Minneapolis Adding Bikeways

"Minneapolis is already one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, and there are ambitious plans in 2010 to nearly double the miles of on-street bike paths.

"By the end of 2009, the city had 44 miles of on-street bikeways and 84 miles of off-street bike paths. Plans for the 2010 construction season call for adding 35 additional miles of on-street bikeways.

"The U.S. Census Bureau says Minneapolis is a national leader in bike commuting, second only to Portland, Ore.

"In 2008, bike ridership in Minneapolis jumped 13 percent from the previous year, with nearly 8,200 people saying they commute to work by bicycle. That's 4.3 percent of all Minneapolis commuters."

Source: Twin Cities.com

Marietta River Trail Phase 3

1/8/10

"...The third phase will extend the paved pedestrian and biking trail from its current terminus at Fourth and Ohio streets to the north side of Duck Creek near the Comfort Inn and Wal-Mart complex.

"Funding for the $1.5 million project includes a $951,600 transportation enhancement grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation, an ODNR recreational trails grant for $150,000 and a total of $193,643 in Community Development Block Grant monies. more...

n a related story, other work scheduled for this coming year in Marietta includes installing bike racks along the trail as well as strategic community locations. more...

Doctor Gets 5 Years In Road Rage Case

1/8/10

"The California physician, convicted of assaulting a pair of cyclists with his car, was sentenced to five years in prison at the close of a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday morning.

"Sixty-year-old Christopher Thomas Thompson, found guilty of six felonies and a misdemeanor, has been in custody since his conviction in November. Following an emotional two-hour hearing Superior Court Judge Scott T. Millington sentenced Thompson to two years on the charge of assaulting cyclists Ron Peterson and Christian Stoehr with a deadly weapon and added a three-year enhancement because Peterson suffered serious bodily harm. The remaining lesser charges also carry prison time, but those sentences will be served concurrently with Thompson’s five-year sentence.

"Prosecutors had asked that Thompson be sentenced to eight years for crimes mostly relating to a July 4, 2008 incident in which he abruptly stopped his car in front of the two riders descending Mandeville Canyon road, near Los Angeles. Thompson was also convicted of misdemeanor charges relating to a similar incident that occurred months earlier, but did not result in injuries. more...

Heath Trailbuilders Score Another Court Victory

1/6/10

"Licking Township residents opposed to construction of a bike path on land they claim to own lost in court for a second time Tuesday.

"A three-judge panel from Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals upheld Licking County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Marcelain's April 29 ruling that the Thomas J. Evans Foundation is sole owner of property proposed for a 6-mile bike path from Heath to Hebron.

"It is not known if the residents will appeal Tuesday's ruling any further.

"The foundation claims the residents lost any right to the land adjacent to their homes because they did not file a preservation notice for the 40 years before the foundation's July 6, 1984, purchase of 38 acres formerly known as the Midland Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

"The dispute between South Fork Road residents and the foundation reached a boiling point on July 30, 2008, when 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 in Heath.

"Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt filed a lawsuit against both the foundation and residents to get the issue resolved in court and prevent an altercation on the gravel path previously used for a scenic railroad." more and view a timeline of this dispute.

Bellbrook To Spring Valley Trail On Hold

1/6/10

"The bikeway that was proposed between Bellbrook and Spring Valley late in 2008 is no longer actively being pursued by county officials, Greene County Parks Director Chrisbell Bednar said last week. The path would have connected Sackett-Wright Park in Bellbrook with the Little Miami Scenic Trail. However, it would have crossed mostly private property, and the landowners were opposed from the start.

“There was no way to make the project viable,” Bednar said. “We went to the property owners, and all of them, to a one, said ‘not on my property.’ And we have to respect that.”

"The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission ranked the $6 million bikeway as one of its projects recommended for federal funding, and Bednar said it will remain on MVRPC’s Thoroughfare Plan, but in an inactive status." more...

Toledo Metroparks Trail Volunteer Program

1/6/10

"...The [Toledo] metroparks has 161 volunteers from northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan in its trail patrol program, and it is holding informational meetings this month to try to attract more. All metroparks have some Volunteer Trail Patrol members, but there especially is a need at Pearson, Farnsworth/Providence, and Side Cut, said Lori Miller, metroparks coordinator of volunteer services.

"Patrol volunteers explain rules to visitors, impart information from naturalists, help spot trail trouble areas after storms, and perform other tasks as metropark usage grows, Ms. Miller said." more...

Funds Donated For Wooster Handicap Path

1/6/10

"In a measure Councilman Mike Buytendyk said "is what makes Wooster great," City Council gratefully accepted at $35,000 donation to build a handicap walking path at the new Oak Hill Park from Gene and Joan Buehler on Monday evening.

"Gene Buehler, who founded the chain of grocery stores in North and Central Ohio that shares his last name, said he and his wife were looking for ways to give back to the community.

"...Parks and Recreation manager Chuck Malta said the handicap trail will be constructed in a loop near the Rotary Pavilion, which was donated to the city from the Wooster Rotary Club in September. Malta said he hopes to include features conducive to handicap people, including the potential of Braille signage relating to the outdoors.

"...When completed, the park will have 1.7 miles of paved paths for walking, jogging or biking, as well as natural plantings designed for year-round color. The park's path will be able to be linked in to the other paths along the city's northern corridor to total nearly eight miles of walking and biking trails." more...

Cleveland Flats Connections Plan

"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.

"We think there's a huge opportunity to realize this in the short term," said Ann Zoller, director of ParkWorks. She said major elements of the proposal could be achieved within several years, despite the recent economic downturn and the sudden halt of major projects, including the $522 million Flats East Bank development.

"We think [the plan] is dynamic and wonderful and creates just the right kind of connections," said Jon Ratner, sustainability director for Forest City Enterprises, which has vacant industrial property along the proposed route on Scranton Road Peninsula. "I can't think of enough superlatives to describe the kind of park they're planning," he said." more...

Increased Costs For Heath Trail

1/5/10

"City Council's Community Development Committee approved an additional $23,000 for design of a bike path from the Heath City Waterpark to the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center. The project, which might begin this year, was expected to cost $640,000, with the city's share at $155,000.

"Zoning Chief John Groff told the committee the Ohio Department of Transportation notified the city it would not be able to do the design work for the city, as previously planned. Most of the design work consists of an environmental study.

"The additional cost could be absorbed by Community Development and Parks department budgets, Groff said, but the council's action will ensure the project moves along without delay."

Source: Newark Advocate.com

Support Building Against ODOT Bridge Plan

1/4/10

"More support from the Plain Dealer for a bike/ped path on the Innerbelt Bridge [in Cleveland]. Support from all corners of the community has emboldened the City Planning Commission, which will vote on a resolution of support this Friday. This is more than a symbolic gesture. The Planning Commission will appoint three committee members who will draft the RFQ for the bridge." more...

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