Whitehall Trails Advisory Committee ready to roll

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Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett

Organizers of the Whitehall Trails Advisory Committee, from left, Jack Garrett, Parks and Recreation Director Terry Gee,  and David Roseman of the Central Ohio Bicycle Advocacy Coalition, met Dec. 19 to discuss hopes and plans for  future multi-use bike and walking trails in the city.

The organizers of the Whitehall Trails Advisory Committee met Dec. 19 at Community Park to discuss ideas for future multi-use walking and bicycle trails in the city.

Parks Director Terry Gee, bike enthusiasts Jack Garrett, of Whitehall, and David Roseman of Columbus shared their thoughts and visions.  Roseman is a member of the Central Ohio Bicycle Advocacy Coalition (COBAC) and Friends of Alum Creek and Tributaries (FACT).

Several ideas went into the mix, but they all agreed that it will be crucial to obtain input from residents to see what they would like developed in Whitehall.  

The city’s parks are involved in a study through Edsell and Associates, who have been interviewing focus groups, and sending out surveys.

Gee would like to see the trail at the top of Community Park connected to the lower trail.  He is applying for grant money, which would give an access that would be handicap accessible.  

It is his hope to one day be able to extend across Big Walnut to connect to a proposed trail in Columbus.  Currently trails in Franklin County travel primarily north and south.

Another thought was to establish a trail for biking and walking around the city connecting all the parks through neighborhoods.  Roseman pointed out that many people use bicycles as a mode of transportation to their employment.  People walk where they can, too.  

Whitehall is a popular walking community, and having areas designated as trails would provide marked areas that would hopefully slow traffic down a bit to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.  

Roseman also noted that, aside from commuter uses, most bicycle enthusiasts are middle to upper income level residents, who seek nice trails, and like variety.  While in an area, they usually spend money on meals and beverages.  The sport burns massive carbohydrates, and they often stop to refuel their bodies.  

The next meeting will be announced at a later date. Anyone interested in participating on the committee, or has ideas they want to share, can call Gee at 863-0121.

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