Bike riders will soon be able use a new bike trail in the Centerville and Washington Twp. area.
Bike Centerville, a chapter of Bike Miami Valley, a grassroots movement that promotes bicycling for people of all ages in Centerville and Washington Twp., along with public officials, will gather Monday to celebrate the completion of Bike Route 12 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Centeville High School.
The project creates an East-West connector route through Centerville and Washington Twp. Using low-stress surface streets, Bike Route 12 keeps riders off busier corridors through town.
“People appear excited to see Centerville take steps in becoming a bicycle friendly community,” said John Kesler, Bike Centerville president.
“We believe everybody should be able to ride bikes around the community and feel safe doing it.”
Lucy Sanchez of Bike Centerville said the project has taken around a year-and-a-half to two years to come to fruition.
“A lot of Bike Centerville members went out into the community and looked at different routes that could be put together so that the average biker could navigate safely,” she said. “We took all that information and we picked the route that seemed to have the largest impact as well as the most feasible to do and we came up with Bike Route 12. We then worked with the city and the township to advocate for the route.”
The seven-mile path will get riders within a short distance of main attractions like the Centerville Library, the Centerville High School and several shopping centers, according to Sanchez.
She said the organization started working with the city and the township and things went relatively smooth.
“It took us going in front of council and sharing some ideas and working with City Manager Wayne Davis and Twp. Administrator Jessie Lightle,” she said.”Then they got their engineers on board and things moved quickly.”
Markers started being placed on the street to bring attention to the route because Bike Centerville wanted to start pushing out to people that this route does exist.
Centerville Public Works crews installed 40 bike signs along the route. Each sign, post and anchor was $130.95 for a total of $5,238.00.
“The benefit to the Centerville community vastly outweighs the minimal cost,” said Centerville councilman Mark Engert. “This bike route is a milestone for Centerville.”
He said the the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission also played a big part in helping the project get done.
“By helping to create bike routes like this one, we are able to capitalize on a great asset in the Miami Valley’s larger bicycle network and ensure our streets contribute to community life and our overall livability,” Engert said.
Bike Centerville, along with its partners, will be analyzing other corridors throughout the city where future bike routes can be established.