Worthington News

From Linworth to Sawmill

Columbus stops bike-path plan; no reason cited

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The city of Columbus has applied the brakes to plans to build a bike path along state Route 161 from Linworth to Sawmill roads.

Plans for the 10-foot-wide multiuse path had been in the works for several years. Environmental-impact studies and engineering work on the project were being completed when it was canceled.

No reason for the cancellation was given in a press release dated Aug. 28.

"Now that the city has made this decision, the Korda/Engage Public Affairs efforts on the proposed (Route) 161 shared-use path will now cease and the city's project manager will be reassigned," read a statement from Marie Keister, public involvement lead on the project.

Plans for the path have been met with considerable public opposition, particularly to a proposal to build it on the north side of the road.

Several business owners and homeowners along the road said the south side would be a safer alternative because the path would cross fewer driveways and major roads.

Local cycling enthusiast Jody Dzuranin was part of a planning group that met several times to try to come to some compromises.

"I'm disappointed but not surprised," she said of the cancellation of the plans.

The 2.2-mile path is one of the top 12 priorities of the Columbus Bicentennial Bikeways Plan, which was based on public input and analysis. It would have been a major east-west bikeway connector.

Bikeways along Route 161 could be part of future improvements to that stretch of roadway, connecting Worthington with Sawmill Road.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission soon is expected to complete a traffic study upon which future plans for the road would be based.

Cooperating in the study are Worthington, Columbus and Perry and Sharon townships.

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