Bexley's bicycle plan includes infrastructure, policy recommendations

Chris Bournea
ThisWeek
City of Bexley

A comprehensive plan on how to enhance bicycle safety is set to come before Bexley City Council for final approval this month.  

Mayor Ben Kessler said he plans to present a resolution with the final plan at council’s meeting April 13.  

The process to draft the bicycle plan began with a work group that convened in early 2020 before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The group eventually reconvened and continued to draft the plan and come up with a set of recommendations, Kessler said.   

“The recommendations are varied,” he said. “They vary from providing for designated bike routes for different types of riders, signage on the streets, signage along bike routes that lets bicyclists know about destinations in Bexley and how to get to them and how far away they are.”  

The group conducted surveys to gather feedback from residents about how to improve safety and promote bicycle ridership, said Catherine Girves, a senior planner with Columbus-based transportation firm Toole Design which is consulting with the city to complete the bicycle plan. 

“The youngest active participant in this process was in kindergarten and the oldest are folks in their 70s and 80s,” she said. “Quite a few middle schoolers participated in this process, but most of the feedback came from adults, parents, working, people looking for work and retiring. Some participants have lived in Bexley their whole lives. Others have lived in a variety of places, including some of the most bike-friendly cities in the world.” 

Infrastructure improvements make up the bulk of the current draft of the plan, Girves said. 

“The goal of the infrastructure recommendations is to increase the safety and comfort of all who currently like and those who are interested in biking and don’t currently feel comfortable doing so,” she said. 

One of the plan’s recommendation is to create four “bicycle boulevards,” which tend to have low amounts of vehicle traffic and where streets can be marked with signs and pavement markings to accommodate cyclists and connect them to businesses, schools, parks, the Bexley Public Library and other major destinations, Girves said.  

The proposed bicycle boulevards include: 

• Cassingham Road/Roosevelt Avenue, spanning 2.6 miles and running the entire north/south length of Bexley. 

• Sherwood Road, 1.4 miles, running the city’s entire east/west length. 

• Sheridan Avenue/Mound Street, 1.8 miles, running north and south in south Bexley and running east/west parallel to the E. Main Street business district.  

• Maryland Avenue, 2.5 miles, running east/west parallel to the Cassady Avenue business corridor.  

The plan also includes policy changes, such as creating a car-free zone or no-stopping zones for 45 minutes before and after public schools each day to encourage students to cycle to and from school.  

Some of the plan’s recommendations can be implemented right away, while others will require further study to identify feasibility and funding, said Richard Sharp, chair of council’s Service and Environmental Committee. 

“It will be similar to other master plans that we’ve worked on where there are definitely things that can be addressed,” he said. “Most likely there will be a provision in the budget annually for some of these costs.”  

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