Sunday, August 20, 2000

Bike trail in the works

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        If plans go well, bikers, hikers and joggers will huff and puff alongside a commuter rail line from downtown through Cincinnati's east side along the scenic East End and the Ohio River shoreline.

        A proposed bike and hike trail will start at the I-471 Daniel Carter Beard Bridge and run six miles to Lunken Airport, paralleling rail tracks that will be used for a commuter train.

        An application is being prepared by the Cincinnati Park Board to submit under the Federal Transportation Efficiency Act for funds to construct part of the trail.

        “For sure about a mile of the bike and hike trail will get started either later this year or early next year when we build the Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park,” said Steve Schuckman, superintendent of planning and administration for the park board.

        That phase of the trail will run from the park in Bicentennial Commons east alongside the railroad tracks to about Hazen Street.

        The board will seek $1.5 million in federal funds to build another section of trail from Hazen to Delta Avenue in the East End.

        Funding for the rest of the trail might be included with a proposed commuter rail line stretching from downtown east to Interstate 275 near Clermont County. The rail line is part of the $800 million Eastern Corridor project, planned by the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

        The corridor plan will involve rerouting some streets and widening others; extending bus lines; and building new bridges over the Ohio and Little Miami rivers. The corridor includes an area from downtown Cincinnati to Batavia and from Interstate 471 in Northern Kentucky to Milford.

        A meeting set for Aug. 28 at the Carnegie Center in the East End will consider the shared use of the track lines, said Don Burrell, senior planner and bicycle/pedestrian coordinator for OKI.


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