Sunday, November 18, 2018 Medina 36°
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Regional planners OK lane for bikes

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MEDINA — A bike path and a highway improvement are in the works for the city, regional planning officials announced Friday.

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s governing board approved eight new projects, two of which are in Medina County.

The bike path is planned for Medina’s Champion Creek District. Features include a 5-foot-wide bike lane on South Court Street and storm management areas in sidewalks.

The renovations should cover parts of Lafayette Road, South Broadway Street and Grant Street.

NOACA spokeswoman Cheryl Onesky said Medina County will need to fund 20 percent of project — about $103,000. She said construction could start in 2015 as long as the funding is there.

“The more bicycle facilities that get put in, the more cyclists can do,” Onesky said.

She said bike lanes encourage people to take bicycles for short trips, which cuts back on fuel use and traffic congestion, as well as boosting air quality.

The second improvement is on state Route 18, which should cost the Ohio Department of Transportation around $23 million.

This project should take significantly longer to get started and to complete, Onesky said. In the next four years, only preliminary steps are planned.

What ODOT plans to do is uncertain right now, she said, suggesting roundabouts or lane additions as possibilities.

Onesky said the project is intended to improve road safety.

“S.R. 18 has always been a hot spot in terms of congestion and accidents,” she said.

John M. Coyne III, president of Medina City Council, said city officials are interested in both projects.

The widening of Route 18 has been talked about for years, he said, so he’s glad something’s being done.

Coyne said the bike lane also has support.

“It will encourage people to go biking,” he said.

Though nothing has been finalized yet, Coyne said it’s likely the bike lane funding will come from an income tax fund the city has set aside for road improvements.

NOACA handles transportation and environmental planning for five counties: Medina, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain and Geauga.

Contact Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.



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