Worthington News

Worthington looks to become more bicycle-, walker-friendly

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Worthington is taking its first steps toward becoming a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly community.

Appointment of a steering committee to study ways to achieve that goal will begin immediately, parks and recreation director Darren Hurley said during the May 13 Worthington City Council meeting.

The committee would be expected to return to council within a year with specific recommendations identifying bike- and pedestrian-specific projects, he said.

"I think it will develop quickly," he said.

The idea of improving the city's walkability and bike connectivity grew out of council's planning retreat last January.

It is also an idea that has been discussed casually for years, council member Bonnie Michael said.

Worthington is lagging behind Westerville and Dublin in terms of bike paths, and to catch up could cost a lot of money, she said.

Those two communities and others in central Ohio already have adopted bikeway plans, Hurley said. He has looked at what nearby cities are doing and will make available his research to the committee.

Key elements in Worthington's plan will be walkability and sidewalks; bike connections, both within the city and in the area; way-finding signs; intersections and street crossings; maps; and engineering and police policies, Hurley told council.

He said he expects to find member of the steering committee in such community organizations as Sustainable Worthington, Consider Biking, Worthington City Schools and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.

MORPC, Metro Parks, the city of Columbus, council, the Worthington Parks Commission and the Municipal Planning Commission also will be invited to participate, Hurley said.

Periodic updates will be given to council during the planning process, he said.

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