City Council Looks To State Funds For New Bike Path Connector

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Athens-area cycling enthusiasts can look forward to traveling more pavement, as plans are being made to extend the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway onto Columbus Road.

Athens City Council discussed on Monday a new ordinance that would add a bridge and a pathway to the existing bikeway.

“It would provide easier access for pedestrians and cyclists from that part of town, from the Columbus Road area, to the rest of the city without having to climb [on] Columbus Road,” said Councilman Elahu Gosney (D-At Large).

Councilman Kent Butler says he sees the plan as beneficial to an area that already has a lot of bike related events.

“We’re a pretty bike friendly city and we’re aspiring to be more so. There’s been a number of bike events in our community that we’ve hosted and this supports that,” said Butler (D-1st Ward).

Gosney says he sees increased public safety as a potential benefit of the project.

“It would allow police and medical personnel access to the bike path through this connection. So, if there were ever any emergency that required their presence, say someone was injured on the bike path, this would give another access point for those emergency personnel,” said Gosney.

The city is applying for a state of Ohio grant to fund the new path.

Gosney said the plan is in its beginning stages and is expected to be completed in the spring or summer 2014.