Applied Trails Research (ATR) (https://appliedtrailsresearch
Applied Trails Research (ATR) (https://appliedtrailsresearch
Applied Trails Research (ATR) (https://appliedtrailsresearch
UPDATE: The Hocking Valley Scenic Trail now [as of Feb 27, 2018] has an account with the Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is accepting donations. Donations will be utilized for trail design/engineering, construction and maintenance. Donations can be made by writing your check to Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce Foundation, with Hocking Valley Scenic Trail in the Memo Line. Let’s make this dream a reality!
Last month, the Hocking Valley Scenic Trail (HVST) Committee held a public meeting in Logan to present its plans to create a new rail trail that will connect to and extend the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway (HAB) from Nelsonville to Logan. Once complete, the project will add 11.6 miles of paved multi-purpose trail. The proposed route will mostly run side-by-side with the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.
The HVST will bring the total trail length of the two connected trails to 33.5 miles, including the extension of the HAB that is currently underway along Route 50 east of Athens.
The HVST Committee convened to explore the feasibility of developing the trail. The committee is currently working on Phase 1 of the HVST, a paved trail that will begin near the intersection of US33 and SR595 in Haydenville and run 3.6 miles to the abandoned lock rest stop on Old 33, almost to Nelsonville. Estimated cost of Phase 1 is $1.2M, which would potentially be funded by two grants, a Clean Ohio Grant to acquire right-of-way, and an ODOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant to pay for construction. Grant applications were to be submitted this month (Feb 2018). Notice of initial grant awards are expected in late summer 2018. Local match of $63,750 will be required if grants are approved.
Sections of the trail will require bridge construction, bringing the estimated cost for the entire 11.6 miles of paved trail to just over $6M. For more information, contact Kelly Taulbee, HVST Committee Chair via email: ktaulbeehchd at gmail.com.
CORRECTION: The original post said that Phase 1 of the HVST will start in Nelsonville. It will actually not quite reach Nelsonville, but will begin near the intersection of US33 and SR595 in Haydenville and run 3.6 miles to the abandoned lock rest stop on Old 33. Thanks to Tracy Shoults of Stantec for the correction.
Please fill out this short survey (5 to 6 minutes average time to complete) to help Athens Bicycle Club gather information to help determine the bicycling events the club should organize in 2018 and future years. The survey is geared to gather information about your bicycling interests, regardless of your level of experience or what type of bicycling you currently participate in.
Athens Bicycle Club has begun a strategic planning process that includes assessing what bicycling events we offer to bicycling enthusiasts in the Athens area. Please let us know what events you participated in, how you liked them, and what types of bicycling events you are most interested in.
By filling out this survey you will help guide our planning and execution of rides and events in the Athens area in the coming years.
NOTE: The survey is anonymous, you are not asked to identify yourself or provide any contact information.
10. More Bike Parking Options in Athens
9. Uptown Bike/Skate Sidewalk Ordinance Changes
8. City of Nelsonville Adopts Complete Streets Policy
7. E. State St Project Bike Lanes
6. New Athens Mountain Bike Festival held in Strouds Run State Park
5. Bike Education Opportunities
4. Ohio University Named a Bicycle Friendly University
3. Breweries and Bikeway Promotions
2. Hockhocking Adena Bikeway Improvements
1. Wayne NF Bailey Tract Mountain Bike Project Moves Forward
While there was plenty of good news for bicycling enthusiasts in Athens this year, arguably the biggest news was that the Wayne National Forest officially approved the Bailey Tract Mountain Bike Trail Project on December 8, 2017. The project plan includes around 90 miles of mountain bike trails connecting to as many as six local town/villages in Athens County. The Athens Bicycle Club has been instrumental in getting the project to this point. Wayne NF is now seeking Federal funding to begin construction on phase 1 of the project. The project caught the attention of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) which has included it in its “Dig In” National trail fundraising campaign. Donations for can be made to the project on the Dig In webpage.
2B. Trail Signage Added to HAB:
The Athens City-County Health Department received a grant that funded signs to enhance the user experience and wayfinding along the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. The signs were installed by Athens County, Athens City, and Hocking College staff.
2C. Bikeway Repaving from Stimson to US 33 overpass: The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway Committee had noted the poor condition of the bike path pavement between Stimson Road and the Athens wastewater treatment plant, and was pleasantly surprised when the City of Athens took the initiative, announcing in July that it had found funding to get that section of the trail resurfaced. By August 2nd, the job was complete.
2D. Stimson Ave Roundabout: The City of Athens added a new traffic roundabout on Stimson Ave this summer, and also used the opportunity to improve bicycle and pedestrian access from the bikeway at Stimson Ave, which had been difficult. The city’s work has included improved pedestrian crossings and a bike path connection to N. McKinley Ave to Mill St. forming a network of connected off-road bicycling facilities. Link to tweet: https://twitter.com/GeoTechie/status/887386672719122433
2E. Bikeway Trail Extension: In November 2017, work began to extend the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway on the Eastside of Athens to S. Canaan Rd. The trail will be within the Route 50 right-of-way, but will be set back from the roadway. Construction will continue through the Winter, weather permitting, with completion expected by June or July 2018.
2F. Walmart Bikeway Connector Paved: Paving of this connector took place sometime in early 2017. This connection from the bikeway to the Walmart even has a bike rack that almost always has bikes locked to it, and it brings to five the number of smooth connections from the Bike path to businesses along E. State St.
Trail Building School: IMBA sponsored a Trail Building School session that was organized by ABC and held in Nelsonville and Lake Hope State Parks in in July 2017. The free training included classroom and hands-on training with a professional instructor.
quote box: “Now that I have led over 60 people on these educational rides, I also can say I’ve overwhelmingly received comments that support [the] finding that “a one- to two-hour guided bike ride experience can change both the way people drive and how they feel about bicyclists,” even if those people do not consider themselves “cyclists” in the first place.” – Meredith Erlewine (How We Roll Ride Leader)
The City of Athens updated its ordinances, resulting in a reduction of the size of the area in Uptown with bike/skate sidewalk restrictions, reduced a violation of the city ordinance from a misdemeanor to an administrative offense, and increased the ticket fine from $20 to $30. The city recently posted “Walk Your Wheels” placards on sidewalks in Uptown as part of its campaign to inform the public of the safety restriction on riding bicycles and skateboards on busy sidewalks in Uptown.
Over the past year, several new public bicycle racks have been installed in Athens. A notable example is the green Athens Block bike racks that were installed by the city as part of the W. Union St Improvement Project. It was nice to see the city implement some of the aspects of the Essence of Athens into this project, including the new bike racks. We’d love to see more of these around town.
Additional new bike racks were added by Jackie O’s Taproom on the Eastside, right in the front of their parking lot, and a rack in front of the new apartment building on E. Carpenter St.
At Ohio University, recent construction and renovation projects have included the installation of dozens of new bicycle racks, and this Fall, the Office of Sustainability began offering “Bobcat Bike Valet,” free bicycle valet parking for home football games.
This Fall, an OU Undergraduate Voinovich School Scholar conducted a bicycle parking study to help inform the University on bicycle rack usage and where there is additional need for bicycle parking on campus.
The Bailey Tract Mountain Bike Trail System project received official approval by the US Forest Service-Wayne National Forest (official signed Decision document) on December 6, 2017. Phase 1 and 2 of the trail system is composed of 36 miles of single-track mountain bike trails with as many as 51 miles of additional trail being built in later phases.
This project is included in IMBA’s Dig In trail funding campaign, to help fund worthy trail building and maintenance projects across the United States. Gear Junkie said of the Bailey Tract project, that it is “perhaps the most ambitious endeavor” of the 68 selected for funding support by IMBA.
Wayne National Forest District Ranger Jason Reed credited Athens Bicycle Club, along with Ohio University and others on the Baileys Mountain Bike Trail collaborative working group, for leading this community-driven project. Come out to the Athens Bicycle Club meeting on Thursday, December 14, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at the Athens Community Center to get an update on the project, and have your questions answered.
One of the beautiful things about this project is that most of the trailheads will be located within local towns and villages, such as Chauncey and Doanville, enabling partnerships with the local communities and increased economic benefit, as well as connections to existing bicycle trails such as the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.
The Athens Bicycle Club is excited to announce the Baileys Mountain Bike Trail Project is part of IMBA’s Dig In Fundraising Campaign. We are seeking your support but first we want to give an update of the project that will bring 90+ miles of new mountain bike trails to SE Ohio.
Much ground has been covered since last spring. Progress has been fast thanks to a dedicated and growing group of volunteers along with our regional and national partners understanding that we have a strong project that provides many opportunities for our region. Establishing a new recreation area, creating a new sustainable economy, building a landmark that will encourage more community pride, providing a better quality of life and tackling health issues that plague our region just by building a wealth and caliber of trails that will be hard to match on any other parcel in a multi-state region.
Thanks to many local partners (and you!) the Athens Bicycle Club hit the $40,000 goal to fund the master plan for the trail system. Designed by Applied Trails Research the master plan is in the final stages of being completed and the drafts and revisions have only made the document a stronger blueprint for the project.
While the master plan document was in development additional tasks went into motion. In Spring 2017 the Athens Bicycle Club was able to rally 625 hours of volunteer help over 10 days to walk and GPS the trail corridor for phase 1 and 2 of the project. Now, roughly 36 miles of GPS routes exist on the property and will be the first wave of trails to be built.
Wayne National Forest started the environmental analysis of the property in late Spring. Thanks to a partnership between Wayne National Forest and Ohio University a group of six graduate students were summer interns inventorying the wealth of the forest from a biological, botanical and cultural standpoint. They made a some great discoveries but overall nothing that would impede the development of this land for the proposed use.
This week the Wayne National Forest plans to sign the decision memo approving the Balieys project. With the decision memo the construction of trails can start as soon as funding is found.
Today we are writing to you to ask for your support for another point in the process. Because of the strong partnerships invested in this project the International Mountain Bike Association deemed the Baileys Mountain Bike Trail Project to be worthy of it’s Dig In Campaign. We are looking to raise funds through IMBA to produce detailed trail construction documents for the phase 1 and 2 of the trail system, 35+ miles of purpose built trail.
As we approach the end of 2017 we encourage you to donate to this arm of the project via the Dig In Campaign. Our goal of $12,000 will cover the cost of documents to provide necessary detail of the project when goes out to bid to trails builders. Thank you for your past and future support, we look forward to seeing you on the trails in the Baileys!
On a final note, Gear Junkie has an article on the IMBA Dig In Campaign that specifically mentions the Baileys Tract Project:
“Perhaps the most ambitious endeavor is the proposed 92-mile Bailey[s] Mountain Bike Trail System near Athens, Ohio.”