TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – A petition drive is circulating in neighborhoods near the Anthony Wayne Trail in Toledo supporting a new proposed bike path along the roadway.
While there is opposition and even a lawsuit over it, some people believe it’ll actually be an asset to their neighborhood.
The petitions circulating around the Harvard Terrace neighborhood, specifically, have lots of people saying a path would be safer for people riding there and for drivers.
A proposed bike path along the Anthony Wayne Trail between Detroit and Glendale Avenues is quite the conversation piece in Toledo. Supporters of the plan even brought their petitions to the annual Harvard Circle Fourth of July celebration.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea. I think about livability. I think about the health factor. I think about the desirability of our neighborhood,” said Mark Smith, a bike path supporter.
Smith helps circulate the petitions to show city leaders there is support for the path, which would eventually connect to the Chessie Trail. Opponents of the project worry about the safety of riders along the busy Anthony Wayne Trail. However, the riders we found said they feel comfortable with the planned dividers and space between cars and bikes.
“You’re going to have your own area. You’re not going to be riding with the cars. Cars will be in their own lane,” said bike path supporter Trudi Weygandt.
“I use my bike to get to a volunteer job that I have and it’s up near the University of Toledo, and there is not a single safe route to get there,” said bike path supporter Michelle Clossick.
Getting bikers off busy roads and neighborhood streets is just one goal. A spokeswoman for the city told 13abc this week “….a great deal of planning, research and resources have gone into making the [Anthony Wayne Trail] improvements.”
The city has filed a lawsuit against the Toledo Country Club to claim eminent domain over pieces along the trail for the bike path. That case is ongoing.
In the meantime, some bikers said they look forward to a new path all their own.
“You can’t safely ride on the sidewalks. You’ve got to ride in the traffic. Cars spit on you. People yell at you. People go around you. There are potholes, glass, debris on the road that you’re trying to go around,” said Clossick.
Both the city and Toledo Country Club are due back in court on the lawsuit in late July.
That suit does mention a lane reduction between Glendale and Detroit Avenues. Currently, that’s a three-lane roadway in each direction.
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