Delaware’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recently received an update on the city’s bikeway system master plan.
Chad Green from the city engineering department spoke to the board on April 19. He said a consultant, Stantec, has been working on the plan, but it is not yet completed due to staff turnover.
“The overall body of the report is (well-written),” Green said. “It gets kind of confusing when you look at the maps that were included.”
Gap closures, economic development, recreation, safety and grant availability were among the goals identified by Stantec at a public meeting. The city has also looked at right-of-way acquisition, continuity with its transportation plan, future development and Ohio Department of Transportation projects.
Some of the improvements are adding dedicated bike lanes, connecting two points where current trails end, and adding “sharrows” (arrows on the road that indicate bikes are sharing the road).
Altogether, 80 possible connections have been identified, but only some projects can be done in a given year. Among the top-priority projects include West William Street, Meeker Way, West Central Avenue and East Central, Green said.
“We do have a number of projects we’re moving ahead with this year,” he said. “The Troy Road bike path — Eastwood Drive up to Smith Park — that’s going to start June 4, and should be done by the end of the summer.”
The city is also reaching out to other groups to increase connectivity from Delaware to other communities, he said.
In response to a board question, Green said the improvements will appeal to the average bike rider.
“The target audience is mainly family-type riders, not necessarily unaccompanied children. We want somebody that’s comfortable on a bike, that doesn’t mind riding in a subdivision, but is not going to go out on William or Central. The road cyclists, they’re fearless.”
A board member compared crossing an intersection at a busy state route to playing the old arcade game “Frogger,” and asked about tunneling. Green said that option would cost too much.
There was no word on when the plan would be completed. The current bikeway system master plan is from 2010.
“The city of Delaware strives to provide safe accommodations for runners, walkers and cyclists, while encouraging our bikeways use for transportation and recreation,” said the city’s website. “The city currently has 21 miles of bicycle paths that connect neighborhoods, schools, commercial areas and recreational facilities throughout the city.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.