Sabina Village Council has approved an in-town bike path alignment for the Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail.
The plan allows users to choose either a northern or a southern route within the village. The northern route is the straighter course, while those users who follow the southern route will be brought to the heart of town with access to restaurants, services and other activities.
The northern route will withdraw somewhat from the rail line corridor. For eastbound users, this will occur at Vine Street where they will share roadway space with motorists. The bikers will take a short dogleg north on Vine and then go on Mound Street until reaching North Howard Street (state Route 729) where they’ll resume travel on the constructed part of the trail.
The southern in-town route can be thought of as a “downtown spur” of the trail, said Clinton County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Christian Schock.
This southern course would take eastbound users south on Vine to Elm Street, and then north onto Howard Street. After several blocks on Howard, bikers will get back on the constructed trail at a spot on the south side of the railroad tracks.
Schock said he thinks the two-pronged alignment is overall the “best alignment possible” given the goals of minimal impact to adjacent industrial sites, maximum opportunity for downtown businesses, and safety for the trail users.
“I’m pretty confident this alignment does this as much as is possible,” Schock said Friday following council’s Thursday night 5-1 vote in favor of the plan.
The one vote against was cast by Councilman Bill Lewis, who said the two-route plan addresses some of his prior concerns. He said “philosophically” he does not believe the trail is appropriate for the Sabina area and its best interests.
The Trinity Full Gospel Church will lose some parking spaces, but a parking lot will be built that overall will mean more parking area, according to Schock. While “arguably” the new parking will be “not quite as close” to the church as the lost parking, there will still be parallel parking next to the church and a drop-off lane, he said.
Throughout the in-town routes, there will be no loss of on-street parking, said Schock.
Where the bike routes utilize existing streets, there will be signs and painted symbols of bikes on the road surface.
Construction is expected to begin this year on the paved trail.
In summer 2012, the Clinton County Park District was awarded a $1.2 million Transportation Alternatives Program grant by the Ohio Department of Transportation for construction of phase 1 of the Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail, a six-mile section of paved path extending from Melvin Road east of Wilmington to Borum Road near the Fayette County line.