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Jennifer Demellweek

June 23, 2018

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ODOT long-range bike route plan will begin this spring

Bluffton could be part of a Cincinnati-Toledo route

This is the second in a two-part series on a proposed national and statewide bicycle route network that could pass through Bluffton’s Main Street. It needs Bluffton council’s support for it to take place. That second reading of legislation on the route is on the Monday, Jan. 23, council agenda. CLICK HERE for the first story in this series.

Several proposed Ohio Bike Route maps
are attached at the bottom of this story.
They show state, Allen and Hancock county connections.

Ohio Department of Transportation’s long-range plan, called Access Ohio 2040, hopes to coordinate efforts with local communities to designate Ohio’s first U.S. and State Bike Route network.

The network, according to Kirk Slusher, district deputy director, will be similar to the interstate and state route system of highways.

ODOT intents to have five U.S. bike routes. One, a north-south route, is proposed to go on Bluffton’s Main Street. Two will intersect in Beaverdam – one east and west and the other north and south.

The proposed routes intention follows:
• Intended for use by long distance, experienced commuters
• Generally will connect communities or points of interest
• Are a combination of trails and on-road facilities
• Will use facilities that are available today
• Are not a recreational route
• Are not a construction route
• Are not a wish list for future roadway or trail improvements

ODOT’s plans to complete the designation of these routes this spring. Once identified, the routes will be on ODOT’s website.

As explained in the Jan. 9 Bluffton council meeting by Beth Clark, ODOT district 1 bike/pedestrian coordinator, Bluffton might have three signs with one at the south, one at the north, and one the center of the route through Bluffton.

The route through Bluffton is designated as U.S. Bike Route 25. In Ohio it would take bikers from Cincinnati to Toledo – through Bluffton.

A map attached shows a second bike route proposed through Allen County. The east-west route identified as U.S. Bike Route 40 travels across the state from the Ohio line in Van Wert County to Youngstown. It passes through Beaverdam.