Ohio agency sets long-term plan to expand biking and walking

Biking and walking would be made bigger priorities under a plan approved this month by a regional Ohio transportation agency. The new 2019 Active Transportation Plan (ATP) prepared by Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation (AMATS) presents the various strategies and recommendations that the Greater Akron area will pursue to improve the region’s bicycling and pedestrian networks over the next 26 years.

 

Goals of the AMATS Study include balancing recreational opportunities with healthy travel options and safety, the Akron Beacon Journal reported Tuesday. The group does research for northeastern Ohio, including Summit and Portage counties.

The study’s 38-page plan approved this month puts a priority on biking and walking paths through 2045.

Curtis Baker

“We determined through various public outreach initiatives that many residents consider biking and walking to be desirable vibrant modes of travel, but not necessarily convenient or safe ones,” Curtis Baker, the study director, said in releasing the report.

The transportation study group covers Summit and Portage counties, which includes 122 miles of shared biking and walking paths, and 50 miles of dedicated bike lanes. Major regional trails include the Ohio & Erie Towpath, the Summit Metro Parks Bike and Hike Trail, the Portage Bike and Hike Trail and the Headwaters Trail.

Among the study’s other goals is “zero-death” targets for bicycle and pedestrian crashes and a 100 percent participation rate among area school districts in the Ohio Safe Routes to Schools Program.

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