128 Second St. NW, Barberton, OH 44203

Bicycle Paths and Magic

by Ruth Kaser for Cycling Articles

Don and his bike

Don and his bike

The recent article in the February 12th issue of the Barberton Herald regarding the Magic Mile, the trail into downtown, was timely. Rich Muller’s article included a drawing of an idea proposed by City Architecture to change the intersection of Wooster Road W and Second St to improve accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians. His article also included the information that the trail, gateways, signs and banners will be funded with $60,000 of a $75,000 contribution by Medical Mutual. More ideas, and postings regarding the Magic Mile can be read on the Facebook page of the Barberton Community Foundation.

The article in the Herald was followed within days by an article by Bob Downing in the Akron Beacon Journal (ABJ). Bob Downing’ s article shared the benefits of a planned network of trails crossing through 5 states and covering 1600 miles. Area and National Park Directors see the economic potential the network would bring. The Rails-to-trails map lists Ohio having 916 miles of trails and 41 current projects. The ABJ reports the trail system linking Ohio, western PA, northern W Virginia, Maryland, and western New York is already more than half way complete. There are about 50 missing sections or gaps that would need to be completed to make all of the needed connections. The trail system is being spearheaded by the Pittsburgh- based Pennsylvania Environmental Council along with the national Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Don and I are already seeing the benefits of greater cycling and foot traffic from the Robinson Avenue Connector. We have had an increased number of visitors from the southern areas of our state utilizing the existing trail network such as the Ohio to Erie Trail to the Towpath Trail. I am looking forward to seeing the Portage Bike and Hike Trail extended to connect it with the Freedom Trail, the Freedom Trail connected with the Towpath Trail, and extensions to connect to Pittsburgh, and…….

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