More than 35 residents voiced support to local officials Oct. 22 to build a bicycle path on the north side of Orders Road.

More than 35 residents voiced support to local officials Oct. 22 to build a bicycle path on the north side of Orders Road.

Grove City and Jackson Township officials organized a town hall meeting at the Grove City YMCA, 3600 Orders Road, to gauge residents' views on construction of the bike path.

"What you see here is a combination of the city, the township and the county working together," said Jackson Township trustee David Burris. "This is not going to cost you (residents) anything. We think we can do it all by easements and not take any of your property."

Township administrator Mike Lilly said Franklin County has a roughly 10-foot-wide right of way on the north and south side of Orders Road.

American Electric Power holds a roughly 10-foot-wide easement on the north side, Lilly said.

Officials plan to build an eight-foot-wide bike path on the north side of the road using the county right of way and easement from AEP.

The project has been on the city capital improvements wish list since 2006.

This year it took top priority, Grove City Parks and Recreation director Kim Conrad said.

She said the first step of the path's process was to get residents' approval.

The next steps will involve designing the path, coming to a cost agreement between the city and township, and obtaining rights of way and easements from the county and AEP, Conrad said.

She added she has no cost estimates, because the first step of the project was to get residents' support.

Burris said the ditches on the north side of Orders Road would be closed.

He said the project is expected to be completed by summer 2010.

"If we don't have to purchase any property, then we can definitely have it completed by next year," Burris said.

Residents seemed mostly in agreement that the bike path is good for the area.

Burris said he would like to have another town hall meeting with residents in January.

"I think everybody is on the same page," he said. "We'd like to get moving on this by spring."

Some residents raised questions about the 45-mph speed limit on Orders Road and possible accidents that could occur on the bike path.

Lilly said the Franklin County sheriff controls the speed limit. City and township officials have little control over the limit.

"Speeding is an enforcement issue," Lilly said.

"We have pleaded and pleaded with the county," Burris added.

If completed, the path would be owned by the city and maintained by the city's service department, Conrad said.

Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said liability for accidents on the bike path would fall on the rider.

Township trustee Bill Lotz said the bike path is important and a project to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Haughn and Orders road is just as important.

"I think both of them ought to go hand in hand," he said.