Groveport explores bike path connections

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Groveport city officials met with Metro Parks to discuss long term plans to connect the asphalt bike/walking trails in nearby Walnut Woods Metro Park to the city’s Groveport Park and Heritage Park.

“This was a very general planning meeting with no timetable given,” said Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall.

Walnut Woods Metro Park is located south and east of the city. Groveport Park is at 7370 Groveport Road and Heritage Park is at 551 Wirt Road.

Hall said exactly where the connections would be made sometime in the future have not yet been determined.

Regarding connecting to Groveport Park, Hall said, “We recommended that the crossing on Groveport Road be kept toward the west to not interfere with the entrance to the recreation center for safety concerns.”

As for a connection to Heritage Park, Hall said, “This is a very long range plan.”

Hall said Metro Parks would pay for the connections.

“The cost for the (Groveport Road) crossing was not discussed, although it would be minimal,” said Hall. “According to Metro Parks, the cost for the bridge would be in the $350,000 range.”
When asked why the city would like to connect its parks to the Walnut Woods bike paths, Hall said, “Connectivity. We also have bike path connections to Metro Parks sites in our Master Park Plan.”

The city already has a bike path connection to Three Creeks Metro Park that extends from Front Street north to the park.

Hall said city officials also discussed adding another bike path connection to Three Creeks that would extend from the Bixford Green neighborhood.

“We discussed that during our meeting,” said Hall. “They (Metro Parks) indicated they would have no issues with this. This would be our project and one we have on the radar to complete in the next few years.”

Hall said city and Metro Parks officials also discussed a bike path connection between Groveport and Canal Winchester along the old interurban/Ohio and Erie Canal right-of-way.

“We discussed this in general,” said Hall. “Metro Parks has also discussed connectivity with Canal Winchester officials. The largest impediment still remains how Canal Winchester gets its path to Rager Road.”

The city of Groveport already has an unpaved nature path that runs along the canal from Groveport Park to Rager Road.

Pelotonia bicycle tour

The annual Pelotonia bicycle tour will pass through Groveport and use Cruiser Park as one of its stops on the morning of Aug. 5. However, the route the tour usually uses to enter Groveport includes West Bixby Road, which will be under construction this summer.

“We have scheduled the West Bixby Road project so that it should be completed by July 28,” said Hall.

Hall said that if an unplanned problem, such as the weather, delays the West Bixby Road project, an alternate route will be used if necessary. The potential alternate route would require the cyclists to ride east on Groveport Road as it becomes Main Street and then turn left on College Street and proceed north on Old Hamilton Road to Cruiser Park.

“The difficulty with this (alternate) route is the number of police officers needed because of the streets entering onto Main Street,” said Hall.

When asked if the planned Columbia Gas pipeline project near Bixby Road will affect Pelotonia this year, Hall said, “We know the Columbia Gas line will impact Bixby Road around the park then along East Bixby Road. They (Columbia Gas) have only given us a general timeline for completion in 2018. Because the Columbia Gas project is so large and affects so many areas we just suggested that Pelotonia contact Columbia Gas regarding their 2018 event.”

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