CINCINNATI -- In the middle of a pause for one bicycle pathway program, Mayor John Cranley announced Wednesday $1.9 million in funding for five other bicycle projects.
“No matter what happens to the Central Parkway bike pathway, we are going to have a very bike friendly city, “ the mayor said.
Last week Cranley requested an administrative pause for the Central Parkway Bikeway plan the city's former administration approved in March 2013 to create dedicated bike lanes on Central Parkway from Elm Street to Clifton.
That $625,00 plan received federal funding in November, but has some businesses concerned about parking being removed along the roadway.
Striking a positive note about Wednesday’s announcement, Cranley said, “we’re working everyday to make Cincinnati the best city in America to live, work and raise a family. This investment in bike trails and cycling will go a long way to do just that.”
The five projects to now be funded include Cincy Bike Share, bike trails along Wasson Way, the Oasis Corridor, Mill Creek’s redevelopment, and the Ohio River Trail West.
A million dollars of the dedicated money announced Wednesday will go toward the bike share program to help install 35 stations spread throughout the city where people can rent, ride and return 300 bikes.
“I want to thank Mayor Cranley for taking the lead on bringing bike share to Cincinnati,” said Jason Barron, Executive Director of the non-profit Cincy Bike Share. “The bike share system will be a new, convenient, low-cost way to get around town. The Mayor’s strong support makes it possible to supersize the bike share system to include Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, and also the Uptown neighborhoods in an expanded phase one launch.”
The remaining money will be spread amongst the four bike trail programs.
Those funds will connect the Oasis Corridor bike trail from downtown to Lunken Airport, the Wasson Way trail from Xavier to the Little Miami Bike Trail in Newtown, and help complete phases 5 and 6 of the Mill Creek Greenway Trail. A portion of the funding will go toward design and planning for the West Fork Creek Greenway Trail between Mount Airy Forest and Mill Creek.
“We’re really excited there’s been this commitment from the top leadership of our city to create a world-class trail system,” said Brewster Roads, executive director of the Green Umbrella environmental group.
In terms of the Central Parkway plan, Cincinnati Vice-Mayor David Mann said on Tuesday that he is hopeful a comprise can be reached for that bikeway. City council is expected to vote on that plan, and whether or not to award a construction contract next week.
If a contract is not awarded by May 1 the city will lose the funding awarded for that project.
WCPO reporter Jane Andreasik contributed to this report.