Upper Arlington officials have identified general locations for the city's first five bicycle-sharing stations, and all signs point to them being up and running by next spring.

Last September, Upper Arlington joined with Bexley, Columbus and Grandview Heights to pursue an approximately $900,000 to $1 million grant from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission for the installation of 26 CoGo bike-share stations.

MORPC is expected to officially award the grant in the spring.

"Things are heading in a very positive direction for the grant to be implemented and the system to be expanded to be installed in spring '18," said Chad Gibson, the city's senior planning officer.

Once the grant is awarded, Columbus, which currently has 46 stations, would add 13 CoGo stations; Bexley and Grandview each would install their first four stations.

Upper Arlington would receive five stations.

City Council already has accepted recommendations from 16 graduate and undergraduate students in the city and regional planning program at Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture for general locations for the city's stations.

That group suggested Upper Arlington's CoGo stations be installed at the Kingsdale Center; on West Lane Avenue; near Northam Park and the Tremont Shopping Center; at the Mallway; and near the intersection of North Star Road and Northwest Boulevard.

"Now (city) staff is going to go out in the next month or so and really hone in on specific locations for where the stations will be," Gibson said.

The MORPC grant would fund roughly 80 percent of the expansion project, leaving Upper Arlington's total expense to be between $45,000 and $50,000 for the five stations.

Gibson said council would need to formally approve spending the money, but already has indicated support for the project.

The CoGo system allows people to rent bikes for short trips, unlocking them with a credit card. Riders currently can purchase a 24-hour ride pass for $8, a three-day pass for $18 or an annual membership for $75.

Brad Westall, planning manager for the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, last fall said Columbus is excited to work with Upper Arlington, Bexley and Grandview. He said the grant would allow the local project to become regional and grow by 30 percent.

"Bike-sharing has been a really popular, successful way to get around on short trips, whether you're a resident who just wants to get around a bit, whether you're a visitor who wants to see our city or whether you're a commuter using it for alternative transportation," Westall said. "This would really tie Upper Arlington in to the OSU campus, to Grandview, to Grandview Yard."

Gibson said the local stations would encourage active lifestyles, allow visitors to easily tour the city without getting in vehicles and provide options for residents who might wish to bike from Upper Arlington to any number of destinations in and around Bexley, Columbus, Grandview and Upper Arlington.

He added that the timing is good because an expansion of the Scioto Greenway Trail into the Upper Arlington and Marble Cliff area is set to open any day.

This spring, Upper Arlington and Marble Cliff each agreed to spend about $134,225 to expand the multi-use path so it would extend along the south side of West Fifth Avenue from Arlington Avenue to Riverside Drive.

In all, the Scioto Greenway Trail now will span about nine miles from the southern edge of downtown Columbus to Marble Cliff.

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