Visionary Greene County plan would create countywide bike loop

A 20-year visionary plan for Greene County bicycle trails recommends building more roadway sidepaths or trails, which are considered safer than separate bike lanes next to motor traffic.

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A 20-year visionary plan for Greene County bicycle trails recommends building more roadway sidepaths or trails, which are considered safer than separate bike lanes next to motor traffic.

A 20-year visionary plan for Greene County bicycle trails recommends building more roadway sidepaths or trails, which are considered safer than separate bike lanes next to motor traffic.

The proposed plan, adopted by county commissioners Aug. 12 and which was developed by the Greene County Regional Planning and Coordinating Commission over the last 18 months, would make it more accessible for cyclists of all ages to bike around the county, but also lean into the area’s reputation as a cycling capital of the Midwest.

“It’s a preliminary vision of what could be,” said Commissioner Tom Koogler.

Greene County trails are part of the Miami Valley Trail Network, the nation’s largest paved trail network at over 350 miles of trails. Thousands of bicyclists patronize Greene County trails every year, with a daily average of up to 281 bicyclists on its busiest trail. The goal is to connect existing and proposed trails to multiple jurisdictions and downtowns, on the local, regional, state and national levels.

Demand for new trails is concentrated in Yellow Springs, Fairborn, and Beavercreek, as well as relatively high demand in Xenia, especially to connect existing bike paths and trails downtown.

An Ohio Department of Transportation analysis also showed a high need for walking and biking in the downtown areas of both Xenia and Fairborn, where lower-income communities have less access to other forms of transportation.

Major projects include side paths from Beavercreek to Fairborn and a sidepath from Fairborn to Yellow Springs, which creates loops that could be completed by bicyclists between various municipalities.

The highest priority project is the Trebein Road connector from Indian Ripple Road to Oakes Quarry Park, as determined by public opinion, according to county documents. The proposed trail would connect multiple parks, as well as the cities of Beavercreek and Fairborn. Estimated total cost of the project is $6.3 million.

Second priority project is connecting Fairborn to Yellow Springs, either by way of Enon Road, Yellow Springs Fairfield Road or Dayton Yellow Springs Road.

The plan also recommends that any new proposed developments include active transportation in their plans, and that bike paths be considered as part of the development, the commissioners said.

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