Ohio agency sets long-term plan to expand biking, walking

Published: Wednesday, December 25, 2019 @ 10:27 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 25, 2019 @ 10:26 AM

Biking and walking would be made bigger priorities under a plan approved this month by a regional Ohio transportation agency.

Goals of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study include balancing recreational opportunities with healthy travel options and safety, the Akron Beacon Journal reported Tuesday. The group does research for northeastern Ohio, including Summit and Portage counties.

The study's 38-page plan approved this month puts a priority on biking and walking paths through 2045.

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"We determined through various public outreach initiatives that many residents consider biking and walking to be desirable vibrant modes of travel, but not necessarily convenient or safe ones,” Curtis Baker, the study director, said in releasing the report.

The transportation study group covers Summit and Portage counties, which includes 122 miles of shared biking and walking paths, and 50 miles of dedicated bike lanes. Major regional trails include the Ohio & Erie Towpath, the Summit Metro Parks Bike and Hike Trail, the Portage Bike and Hike Trail and the Headwaters Trail.

Among the study's other goals is “zero-death” targets for bicycle and pedestrian crashes.