May 23, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Shawnee Recreation Trail, Inc. in collaboration with the Scioto County Health Coalition held its second meeting Wednesday evening.
“The meeting was to re-invigorate efforts to have bike trails, or bike lanes, or bike routes or something along that nature,” Barb Bradbury said.
Bradbury said in 2006-07 a money-raising campaign was conducted to attempt to make a bike trail a reality.
“We raised a lot of money to go towards a trail and a grant we were submitting to ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation), and there was interest, and the trail was going to go from Earl Thomas Conley Park to the Second Street Bridge. It was a high-ranked grant and ODOT was real hopeful for us, but the very last part of the trail, we didn’t have cleared access, and they said that we would really need to work that out before they could award a grant.”
Bradbury said the money raised during the first campaign remains in the bank, and the board - Bradbury, Esther Downey and Jeff Smith, have met on several occasions to try to revive the effort.
“We couldn’t get the energy and the focus going again,” Bradbury said. “But really within the last year the three of us met again and said, the money is there and we think this is a good time to reach out to the community and get something going again.”
Bradbury said the group had their first meeting on April 17, and had good participation with a good cross section of the community.
“The City Council is interested. The Mayor is interested. Shawnee State is involved. SOMC (Southern Ohio Medical Center) is involved. Doctors are involved. Bicyclists are involved. We’ve got attorneys, an accountant, so we’ve got a good cross section of residents and businesses and government and hospitals that want something to happen,” Bradbury said. “So that was really encouraging. We talked about‘what direction should we go?’”
The committee met again Wednesday night with 20 people in attendance.
“We had the Shawnee State representative come. We had the chief of the Fire Department. And, we are working with the new Scioto County Health Coalition,” Bradbury said. “They’re on board. We’re on board. We want to work together on the effort.”
Bradbury said at Wednesday night’s meeting, the group decided to look at two different main directions.
“One is that we may try to re-invigorate the previous effort, looking at a route that would connect from out on the west side into town. That’s a good plan. There’s a lot of information on it. There was a lot of work done on it,” Bradbury said. “The more immediate aspect and the direction I think this is going to go is that there is a lot of people in support wanting to be involved in looking at the city, looking at routes that people are taking right now on bicycles. There are a lot of cyclists out there. There’s people that cycle every day. There’s a student at Shawnee that cycles to Wal-Mart and back, because that’s the only transportation he has.”
She said the city is ready to work with the group to attempt to designate some routes and do things such as create signage and create awareness on the road with motorists.
Bradbury said anyone wanting additional information can contact her at 740- 372-6545; Esther Downey, 740-353-3743, or Jeff Smith, at 740-354-7747.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.