Thursday, January 18, 2001

Two-wheel vision: Linked bike paths

Plan is ready for public review in N.Ky.

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — Some day, bicyclists will be able to travel on designated trails from Boone County to Warren County, if an OKI regional trails network becomes reality.

        OKI (the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments) will hold the second of three public meetings at 7 tonight at the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission offices, 2332 Royal Drive in Fort Mitchell, to seek opinions about the planning body's regional bicycle plan.

[photo] Signs on Ky. 8 mark the River Path through Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
        Another public meeting is Tuesday at the OKI offices in Suite 400 of the Holiday Office Park at 801-B W. Eighth St. in Cincinnati.

        Northern Kentucky already has about 45 miles of bike trail, known as River Path because it follows the Ohio River along Ky. 8 through Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.

        “It's only the second trail in Kentucky to be identified with signs from the state Transportation Cabinet,” said Keith Logsdon, a plan ner with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District and an avid bicyclist. “I was one of the people who pushed” for the signs.

        Don Burrell, OKI bicycle/pedestrian coordinator who is conducting the public meetings, said the Northern Kentucky River Path is a perfect example of what OKI hopes to accomplish in linking bike and jogging paths.

[photo] OKI Senior Planner Donald Burrell displays a map with a network of bicycle paths. Some would follow railroad rights-of-way.
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        “Forward Quest and the people in Kentucky have done a great job in moving ahead with the bike trail along Ky. 8,” he said. “Most of the trails we are proposing are on the Ohio side of the river, but ultimately they'll all be linked.”

        Forward Quest, a nonprofit regional development organization in Northern Kentucky, has worked to complete the entire River Path bike trail, using public roadways and off-road sections.

        Mr. Burrell said he is identifying several areas for discussion as part of the OKI regional bicycle plans, including:

        • A section from Lunken Airport east to New Richmond along U.S. 52.

        • A section from Lunken Airport west to downtown as part of the Riverfront East project, to follow the railroad corridor between Eastern Avenue and Columbia Parkway.

        • A section that would go through The Banks project on the central downtown riverfront.

        • The Ohio River Trail ln the western part of Hamilton County, going out as far as Shawnee Lookout county park, also using a railroad corridor parallel to U.S. 50.

        Other bike trails include the Great Miami River Trail, which would include the cities of Hamilton, Fairfield, Middletown and Franklin and eventually link with bike trails in Dayton, Ohio; the Little Miami Trail, 90 miles from Milford to Springfield; and the trails which would be part of the Mill Creek Restoration project from the Ohio River to Springdale.


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