New Albany and Westerville could be part of a national bicycle route that stretches across the United States and links to Canada and Mexico.

New Albany and Westerville could be part of a national bicycle route that stretches across the United States and links to Canada and Mexico.

New Albany City Council last week approved a resolution supporting U.S. Bicycle Route 50, which would run through the city limits.

Mike Hooper, Westerville's parks and recreation development administrator, said Westerville City Council has not yet heard legislation to support the route.

Kathryn Meyer, New Albany's deputy community development director, said the bicycle route mostly would use scenic back roads, not heavily traveled roads.

Meyer said the preferred route designated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials comes through Prairie Township and Galloway on the Far West Side of Columbus and meets the Alum Creek bicycle trail. It runs on the border of Bexley before heading north into Westerville.

It then runs through New Albany and on to Granville and Newark. Heather Bowden, bicycle and pedestrian planner with the Ohio Department of Transportation, said the trail will meet the T.J. Evans bicycle trail in Newark.

Hooper said the preferred route comes into Westerville on Cooper Road and turns east on Schrock Road to the Ohio to Erie Trail, running northeast through the city to the Hoover Reservoir. It follows the banks of the reservoir south, crosses the dam and turns north on Cubbage Road to reach Walnut Street on the east side of the reservoir. The route then turns south on Harlem Road and east again on Dublin-Granville Road into New Albany.

"These are routes that people are probably using already," Meyer said. "New Albany is that natural jumping-off point to get out into more rural roads."

The association also plotted an alternate scenic route for U.S. Bicycle Route 50 that runs north through Westerville on the Old 3C Highway to the north bank of the Hoover Reservoir. It eventually goes east through Johnstown before turning south again and reconnecting with Dublin-Granville Road.

Meyer said there currently are no funds to provide signage along the trail or mark it. By approving the resolution of support, Meyer said, New Albany has the potential to attract cyclists to local restaurants and shops, she said.

Hooper agreed.

"It's a great opportunity to go through Uptown Westerville, which is a good place to eat, drink and shop," Hooper said. "We're looking forward to it."

The route designated by the transportation association was not formally adopted as part of the resolution passed by New Albany City Council. Meyer said communities on the route can determine which roads would be the best for cyclists to take.

U.S. Bicycle Route 50 is an initiative to "encourage the development of a coordinated system of bicycle routes across the country," according to the association's website.