Beth Schnabel, left, co-chair of Bike Medina County, shares a laugh with Medina’s Murray Van Epp at the Medina County commissioners meeting Tuesday. Van Epp will donate about $8,000 for bike signs to go all over the county.
BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE Enlarge
MEDINA — Avid bicyclist Beth Schnabel had a master plan to keep other bicyclists safer on the road.
She just needed the necessary funding.
That’s where Medina’s Murray Van Epp stepped in.
Van Epp will pay for about 100 signs that will go up all over Medina County on the not-yet-completed bike route under design by Bike Medina County. The signs will alert drivers to a new Ohio law passed last year that requires drivers to give bicyclists a 3-foot buffer when passing in an effort to decrease collisions.
Now, new roadway signage will remind motorists as such.
Signs reminding drivers to give bicyclists a three-foot clearance on county roads will be going up all over Medina County in the near future.
IMAGE PROVIDED Enlarge
The signs will be 30 inches by 30 inches and will be erected all over the county. They cost about $60 each. Van Epp said the project will cost about $8,000.
“Anything we can do to make it safer for everybody is a great idea,” he said. “I appreciate all the support in the townships.”
Schnabel, president of the organization, said she will have visited all 17 townships in the county by the end of the month. As of the commissioners meeting Tuesday, she had three remaining on her journey — Sharon, Homer and Spencer.
“This has been a whirlwind trying to go to all the township meetings,” she said.
Schnabel said she hopes to increase awareness of the law enacted last year. Schnabel said she wants to connect a route that will allow bicyclists to travel from one end of the county to the other.
“What our ambition is to make Medina County safer,” Schnabel said.
Van Epp, a local philanthropist, was drawn to the cause.
“I’ve probably done about 100,000 miles on a bicycle,” he said. “I’d say the majority of those miles were in Medina County. I enjoy it.”
Van Epp said he tried to put together a countywide route himself several years ago, but gave up because of all the red tape.
“Thanks to Bike Medina County and Beth, they have been able to do something that I thought about years ago and made it a reality,” he said. “I’m very thankful for that.”
Schnabel presented Van Epp with a certificate of appreciation and gratitude from Bike Medina County at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting.
“It’s all falling into place,” she said.
Schnabel said the sign has been approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
She said the township roads were picked over county roads because they are less traveled. That decision came at the suggestion of Medina County Engineer Andy Conrad.
She said if any of the county’s villages want to get involved in the project, they should contact her at (330) 722-9319. Schnabel said the townships will pay for posts and hardware for the signs.
Schnabel said her group wants to connect bike routes throughout the county, even though the majority will be on township roads.
“Bikers can go to destinations, whether it’s a park, school, library or to a village to have an ice cream cone,” she said. “They will have a reason to get on their bicycle to get some where and do something.”
Schnabel hopes to have the bike route finalized by the end of the year.
Three of her comrades were at the meeting, as Tim Smith is co-chair; Suzanne Swain, treasurer; and Lynne Nawalaniec, vice president.
Smith, a former county commissioner, said he wanted to brag to Schnabel once about partaking in the 75-mile Pedal to the Point.
Her reply was less than enthusiastic.
“I just got back from pedaling across Germany,” she said.
“You win,” Smith said.
In other news
- The Animal Shelter Adopt-A-Thon on Saturday was a success, said Rhonda Beck, administrative assistant for the commissioners. There were eight organizations involved that brought adoptable dogs and cats, and approximately 60 visitors attended. There were five dogs and four cats adopted at the event, as well as one dog returned to its owner. Beck and Megan Holly, assistant clerk for the commissioners, organized a bake sale and raffle, which raised $783.
The proceeds benefited the Animal Shelter’s donation fund.
- A three-year agreement was reached with the Office for Older Adults to handle senior services for Brunswick residents. It will run from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2021. It will cost an estimated $18,750 for 2019, $19,500 for 2020 and $20,000 for 2021. The money will pay for recreational and outreach activities.
- The commissioners passed a resolution opposing Issue 1.
- Three people were appointed as alternate representatives on the Medina County Planning Commission: Ralph Copley, Wadsworth; Pat Ryan, townships; Christine Kusnerak, townships. Kusnerak’s term will expire Dec. 31, 2019. Copley and Ryan’s terms expire Dec. 31, 2020.