Connector trail moving forward for southern suburbs

$550K plan criticized by some nearby residents.

A path giving cyclists and pedestrians a paved route from the Great Miami River to Montgomery County’s south suburbs is expected to be built next year.

The design phase for the Miamisburg Multi-Use Connector Trail is progressing and the project should go out to bid by summer, said Steve Stanley, executive director of the Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District.

“We believe we should be able to proceed very expeditiously to have it in place and all done next year,” Stanley said.

The connector would tie the 2.5-mile Medlar Trail – which ends at the Great Miami River Trail - with a path ending at Byers Road. The trail stopping at Byers Road runs north and south, linking to a series of routes, including one traveling across Interstate 75 past Austin Landing in Miami Twp. and into Washington Twp.

Several route options were considered by the TID, but it picked one officials said was the safest and involved recreational land already in hand.

The route will go northeast from Miamisburg Springboro Pike along Medlar Road past Medlar View Elementary School, near the Miamisburg/Miami Twp. border. It would then turn southeast, abutting four parcels of private property on land owned either by the city of Miamisburg or the Miamisburg school district, according to the plan.

This route was criticized by nearby property owners, who said the 4,500-foot connector estimated to cost $550,000 would invite crime, and pose safety and privacy issues.

Gordy Mann of Medlar Woods Court was among the dozens of area residents who submitted letters about the plan. Ponds on his property may attract potential swimmers, prompting safety and liability concerns, he said.

The TID is working with the city of Miamisburg in an effort to improve such situations, Stanley said.

“We don’t have a set plan for that at this point,” he said. “But we are willing and working with Miamisburg to be able to make some improvements to Miamisburg’s property in the park that would provide for some screening and separation of the bikeway. But that’s outside of this project….and we think we’ll be able to do that.”

Recreation enthusiasts from Centerville, Dayton, Kettering, Miami Twp., Miamisburg and Springboro support the plan. The connector will improve overall safety in the area, Dave Nixon of Eagles Down Court in Miamisburg said in a letter.

“I am an avid cyclist, but Austin Pike has become more dangerous with the increase in traffic to get from Crain’s Run down or back from the new bike path when headed to the river and out west,” Nixon stated. “I won’t take my family through there.”

A federal grant is funding 80 percent of the cost of the connector while other grant funds will finance the remaining 20 percent, officials have said.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is reviewing the plan’s overall design, Stanley said. Once ODOT grants approval the project will go to final design before it is ready to bid, he said.

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