YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mill Creek MetroParks held a public meeting Thursday evening about finishing the bikeway that runs through the middle of Mahoning County.
Some at the meeting wanted the last 6.4 miles completed, and others did not.
“It’s a 6.4 mile addition to the existing 10.6 miles,” said Steve Avery, planning and operations director for the MetroParks.
That addition would start where the trail ends now, on Western Reserve Road in Canfield, and continue along an old railroad line to the Columbiana County border in Washingtonville.
Completing it is still two to three years away.
“We have property acquisition to process and complete. We still have final design and engineering to complete, some drainage issues to work through. So there’s several years yet,” Avery said.
Sue Wilson lives on West Calla Road in Canfield Township. Her property would border the bike path. She uses the tracks to ride horses and four-wheelers, and expects that will stop with a paved path.
Wilson is against the addition to the trail, worried that people will throw trash along the property line.
It will cost $3.5 million to add the extra bikeway, 80 percent of which is coming from a Federal Highway Administration grant. The remaining 20 percent, or $700,000, will be paid by the MetroParks.
Judy Peyko of Concerned Citizens for Mill Creek MetroParks wants the 13 employees recently laid off to be brought back first.
“I think they should delay the bike path until we can get those people hired back. I have nothing against bike paths, but we need to be responsible with the taxpayers’ money.”
If and when the extra bike path is built, it will also add another 6.4 miles to the Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway, 110 miles of bike path that will eventually run from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.