Bike route lost in legislative limbo

Bob Morehead

Herald Staff Writer

State Bike Route 60 is on the official maps. You can find it online. But if you didn’t know about it in advance you may have trouble finding it in real life. There are no signs.

The project started almost exactly three years ago. In the spring and early summer of 2018, the Ohio Department of Transportation sent requests to all the townships, villages and cities on the various proposed bicycle routes, asking their permission to pass the route through that jurisdiction. Route 60 starts in the east at the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. It follows Fairview Avenue for a block and picks up Norton Avenue, following it the rest of the way through town. It bisects Norton with Norton Avenue/Greenwich Road into Wadsworth, where Greenwich becomes College Street. Then it turns south on Rittman Road and hooks into Rittman. It joins another bike route, Route 71, west of Rittman and continues west through the northern tier of Wayne County.

Beyond approval, the proposal asked nothing of the jurisdictions. The route followed existing roads and trails, which would be mapped and disseminated to bike enthusiasts. The state would take care of marking the routes with signage.

Over the course of about six weeks in 2018, legislatures met and blessed the route. Norton approved it in May that year. Wadsworth and Rittman also approved the route. But now, three years down the line, there are still no signs. The Herald followed up to find out why.

“We do not have resolutions off support from Barberton and Medina County,” ODOT Safe Routes to School manager Cait Harley said.

The portion of Medina County in question is a sliver of Greenwich Road between Medina Line Road and the Wadsworth city limit and fragments of Rittman Road between Wadsworth and the Wayne County line. These segments are in Wadsworth Township.

Wadsworth Township Trustee Bob Engler did not remember the project and said those roads were under the jurisdiction of ODOT. Reminded that ODOT was asking for the resolutions, he said he would check into it.

In Barberton, city council President Craig Megyes also had no memory of the proposal.

“I don’t remember seeing anything on this at all,” Megyes said.

He did recall though, that the Planning Department was in flux around that time as the then-current planning director was leaving. He speculated the state’s request might have gotten mislaid in the transition.

“I will definitely look into this,” Megyes said.

Cutline: Graphic courtesy of OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
State Bike Route 60 is on the map but doesn’t have signs yet. The reason is the Barberton and Wadsworth Township portions, in red, haven’t been approved by their legislatures.

2 Comments

  1. Demo Critters on April 19, 2021 at 8:06 am

    I blame B&W



  2. LiberalismKills on April 17, 2021 at 6:40 am

    There’s some pretty hellacious hills on that route. As a biker, I find that most of the routes that cities establish aren’t used. The cities add lanes that get designated for bikes, but they are not in places where bikers would use them. What ends up are lanes ignored by motorists that are too dangerous to ride a bike in.

    I think the intent is to establish lanes that people would ride a bike to commute. But, the people that I know are fellow bikers do not ride their bikes to work, they ride their bikes for exercise. They use bike trails or drive their bikes out into the county and ride quieter streets. No one rides in these bike lanes painted on busy roads.

    Let bikers tell you where they will be biking, instead of just taking lanes away from cars for no reason. Save the money to build some nice trails where people can ride their bikes safely away from cars, and cars get total use of the road, like they want.



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