Grove City to form a bicycle task force

By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

According to council president and avid bike rider Ted Berry, Grove City has a connectivity issue.

He said bicyclists do not have much trouble traveling around Grove City, but things get dicey riding outside of city limits.

“To get to downtown Columbus or to Ohio State campus, it’s very dangerous,” said Berry.

Berry rides his bicycle up to 100 miles per week, if the weather permits, and he said when he leaves Grove City to get to downtown Columbus, he rides on the berm of State Route 62 through Central Point until he can pick up an existing bike path.

“There is no easy or safe route,” he said.

This is why Berry has put forth legislation to form the Grove City Bicycle Transportation Task Force.

This task force will work to integrate the city’s trail system into the surrounding regional trails by working with entities like the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), Central Ohio Greenways, Metro Parks, and the city of Columbus to review connections between Grove City and downtown Columbus and the Camp Chase Trail.

The task force will consist of nine members, including one representative from the city’s park board and one from Metro Parks. The Grove City mayor, service director, and each council member will appoint one task force member. The director of service and the originator of the legislation (Berry) will serve as ex-officio liaison members.

According to the legislation, the Grove City Bicycle Transportation Task Force will identify connection points to Darby Park/Camp Chase Trail, and to downtown Columbus. Members will work with the above mentioned entities, as well as others, to invoke connectivity through cooperative agreements and will work with the city engineer to provide cost estimates. The task force will also identify grants as funding sources.

The task force will provide its report to Grove City Council by Sept. 7.

The task force falls in line with the Grove City 2050 community plan, which includes an objective to expand bikeway networks to provide connectivity within Grove City and the region. The city has also hired an intern whose primary responsibility is to review policies related to bicycle safety.

Berry said the added bicycle connectivity could also benefit current businesses and drive economic development.

“We’re very isolated in Grove City so this becomes a tourism issue,” said the council president.

Berry said hundreds of people bike on the Camp Chase and Olentangy Trails each day. He believes those cyclists would travel to Grove City to shop and eat if it were more accessible.

“It would be a nice destination to bike to in the Grove City Town Center,” said Berry.

City officials also plan to submit accreditation paperwork to Bicycle Friendly America by February of 2024. According to its website, this is a program that provides advocates with a roadmap and assistance to build places more welcoming to people who bike. It is a tool for states, communities, businesses, and universities to make bicycling a transportation and recreation option for all people.

Approximately 500 cities across the nation participate in the program and share best practices.

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