Springboro plans 7.8 mile, $7M-plus greenway

A 7.8 mile greenway connecting bicyclists and pedestrians with six Springboro parks and the region’s 300-mile plus trail network is the centerpiece of a new plan in Springboro.

The Springboro City Council approved the Springboro 2020 Bicycle + Pedestrian Plan on Thursday, the result of more than a year of planning, meetings and public events designed to help shape the vision for nonvehicular travel in the Dayton suburb.

The plan estimates the cost for the 12-segment central greenway at more than $7.5 million. These and other changes in the plan are to take place over the next five to 10 years and beyond.

“I really like what Springboro is doing,” said Lynn Johnson, a local cyclist and naturalist who has attended events held in connection with the plan’s development. “I love the aspect of it that they are connecting it up to the other trails.”

The greenway will run along a suggested corridor between the northern Springboro city limits next to the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport south through town across Main Street and Central Avenue (Ohio 741 and Ohio 73 in Springboro) east to Franklin, where the city of Franklin has secured funding to extend it on to the Great Miami Bike Trail.

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The Greenway Collaborative, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., has served as consultant to the city and its Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee updating a 2013 plan.

“We’re now looking for things we haven’t accomplished yet,” said Dan Boron, the city’s planning consultant.

A trail from from Hazel Woods Park, along the Franklin-Springboro border, will lead into Franklin and over to the trail along Great Miami River, through a connection under I-75 to be connected in 2022.

On the north end, in Montgomery County, the greenway will ultimately tie into the Great-Little Trail connecting to hiking and biking trails along the Great and Little Miami rivers. These are part of more than 350 miles of interconnected trails and paths in Miami, Clark, Montgomery, Greene, Warren and Butler counties.

Greenways are under development or in plans elsewhere in the Dayton region.

MORE: Miami Valley trail network surpasses 340 miles

The B-W Greenway Community Land Trust has preserved 16 properties along a route "balancing human and wildlife needs" and connecting the Beaver Creek and Wenrick Wetlands southeast of Dayton.

A 200-acre greenway connecting Armco Park and the Warren County Sports Park at Union Village is part of plans for development of the Union Village planned community.

On Wednesday, Johnson also complimented the Springboro plan for details, such as marking shared lanes with cars with signs advising drivers the entire lane is for bicyclists, and the comprehensive approach considering needs for the entire city.

“Those are things that are going to be helpful,” Johnson said. “They didn’t say, ‘We’re just going to do the easy stuff.’”

As part of the process, the Springboro plan calls for the city to adopt a policy “that places human life paramount and establishes that safe, comfortable, convenient, and accessible transportation for all users is a priority for the city,” coordinated between departments. The city’s 2001 Thoroughfare Plan would incorporate the changes mapped and legislated in the plan.

The plan also proposes a “Boro Enduro” — a family friendly, cross-city bike route linking “different obstacles and challenges for all ages and skill levels.”

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Special crossings and bridges, “rapid-flash beacons” and other traffic control strategies are detailed in the plan. The Wright Station redevelopment and surrounding Urban Village District are included in the contemplated network.

“A loop network has been proposed to help people who walk and bike safely access destinations in the district. The proposed improvements include a combination of bike lanes, signed bike routes, shared use pathways, sidewalks and road crossings There are also opportunities for pedestrian connections utilizing the existing alleyways behind the businesses along South Main Street,” according to the proposed plan.

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“Within the city, the greenway will serve as the backbone of the city’s bike and pedestrian system, and can be developed in an incremental manner over the next decade and beyond,” Boron said in a staff report.

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