City gets ready to roll in effort to link, improve bike trails
Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:25 AM
By Debbie Gebolys
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Work will begin as early as spring to continue linking bike paths across Columbus after voters approved several bond issues Nov. 4.
Among the bond issues voters approved was $28 million worth to build more trails and improve existing ones.
…The missing piece of the Alum Creek Trail is a priority for Alan McKnight, Columbus Recreation and Parks director. The city of Westerville paid for the northern end, between Maxtown Road and Easton along the creek. Last year, Franklin County Metro Parks opened the southern end, 14 miles between Three Creeks Park in Groveport and near Ohio Dominican University.
Columbus will start this spring on the remainder, McKnight said. When completed in 2009, it will be the longest uninterrupted trail in central Ohio, at 19 miles.
The Scioto Trail along Riverside Drive west of Grandview Heights will connect via a bridge to McKinley Avenue, where a repaving project will add a bike lane.
“It’s the first step in making a better connection to the Hilltop,” McKnight said.
The Hilltop has a stretch of trail along the Scioto near Rhodes Park and the state offices complex just west of I-70. After 2009, city officials say they’ll hook the Hilltop bikeway together and expand it.
When the Main Street bridge reopens late next year, bikers can ride the Scioto Trail between Confluence Park and Berliner Park.
City streets, including Kimberly Parkway, N. High Street and Lockbourne Road are to get additional bike lanes or bike-route signs next year. The city also will experiment with a .7-mile bike lane on Nelson Road along Alum Creek.
“It’s going to be painted a color and get pavement markings,” said Mary Carran Webster, assistant public service director. “It draws the motorists’ attention to that it’s there, that it’s something different.”
McKnight said dedicated bike trails along the Big Walnut Creek will come around 2010, and more will come after that.
Metro Parks recently opened the first leg of the Darby Creek Greenway Trail, slightly less than 2 miles along Darby Creek Drive in Pleasant Township. It eventually will cross W. Broad Street and link with trails in Prairie Oaks Metro Park north of I-70.
Bikeway Improvements Coming in 2009
November 22, 2008 by John