Mark Hatten of North Franklin Street and his family ride frequently throughout the city of Delaware.
He rides recreationally and competitively, wearing the spandex while going on 40-mile trips to train for bike races. His trips sometimes include riding on U.S. Route 36.
“If you think The Point’s challenging in a car try it on a bike sometime,” Hatten said during a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting Tuesday evening.
“It’s about the only way to get out of town in that direction.”
Hatten said he liked what he saw with the city’s third bike plan, which was presented to the board and envisions the community as a “bike-friendly” by 2025.
While many local streets are now bikeable, there are barriers to make cross-city rides difficult for many, said Eric Lowry, plan author and transportation planner of Columbus-based Santec Consulting Service.
“Those include things like railroad tracks, rivers and unlimited access highways,” he said.
Additionally, the current path network is disconnected and aging. The city has expanded its trails to 23.1 miles in 2015 compared with 15.5 miles in 2008, Lowry said.
But trail conditions have declined during that period with about 25 percent of the trails in fair and poor condition in 2015 compared with 12 percent in 2008.
To address these needs, the plan has 23 non-infrastructure-related recommendations, which include increasing the trail maintenance budget to about $80,000 per year up from $5,000; add bike racks at destinations and retail centers and establish an annual capital improvement plan fund for bike projects.
On the other hand, the plan also has 86 recommendations for CIP projects including crossing improvements at Mingo Trail and East Central Avenue; and adding an east-west link from Houk to Kilbourne roads.
The board tabled a vote on whether to recommend the plan to City Council for adoption for more time to review the plan .
In other business, the board:
• Welcomed two new members: Wayne Brookover, 18, a senior at Delaware Hayes High School, who will be studying environmental science at Ohio Wesleyan University next Fall; and Bob Dalton, a five-year resident representing the 3rd Ward.
• Was updated about recreation activities at the YMCA, which needs volunteers for its Pumpkin Run on Oct. 29. The race has 70 people registered as of Tuesday.
• Was updated about the Spray and Play at Veterans Park. Stacy Davenport, park superintendent, said the contractors will return in Spring to finish improvements. Davenport said there is still some money left from the project, which will be used to add more furniture near the facility, which has received about 1,000 people a day.
• Learned who to call in case of maintenance-related emergencies such as a broken water fountain at a park. City officials said to call 740-203-1111.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.