Editorial in The Columbus Dispatch November 8 2014

on Saturday, 08 November 2014.

Kudos to the Columbus City Council

Kudos to the Columbus City Council for seeing the benefit of finishing the last piece of the Camp Chase Trail on the West Side for bicyclists, walkers and runners.

On Monday night, council member...s unanimously voted to spend $4.2 million to build the final 2.9 miles of the 15-mile paved trail, to connect people to Downtown via Sullivant Avenue. Metro Parks simultaneously is building a portion that will continue the trail west from Sullivant to Darby Creek Metro Park.

This will complete an important section of a major cycling “highway,” the Ohio to Erie Trail, which spans the entire state, from the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland, on land formerly owned by railroad and canal companies. Dispatch Reporter Steve Wartenberg, who writes the Best Bike Blog Ever, had a wonderful time biking the entire Ohio to Erie Trail in September, but he pointed out that once a cyclist traveling north reaches the outskirts of Columbus, he must ride on W. Broad Street for a few miles. As he blogged, it was “really busy. Scary busy. Too busy. Especially as you pedal by the on and off ramp for 270.”

Finishing this section and getting bikes and walkers off the main drag is just safer, plus it brings the state within striking distance of finishing the whole trail — a decades-long dream of cyclists. They envision that biking the Ohio to Erie Trail could become a bucket-list item for people, in the same way that running a marathon or hiking the Appalachian Trail is an aspirational goal.

Wartenberg’s travelogue also hinted at the economic potential of having a long-distance bike trail through the heart of Ohio: Loveland, northeast of Cincinnati, had restaurants along the trail that were full of cyclists. Cedarville opened a hotel right on the trail.  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2014/11/08/1-trail-project-adds-an-important-link.html