Oregon City Council on Monday approved a $71,954 contract with Poggemeyer Design Group, Inc., of Bowling Green, to design a multi-use bike path between Seaman and Brown roads.
The proposed 10’ wide path would have a north-south alignment adjacent to the trunk waterline within Toledo Edison tower easements, located mid-way between Coy and Lallendorf roads.
Funding for the design was included in the 2016 budget.
Poggemeyer had assisted the city with the design and construction of several previous segments of the multi-use bike trail system in the city.
Poggemeyer has already designed a waterline along the route of a portion of the proposed path, from Brown Road to Navarre Avenue. The firm will save the city money by using the existing topographic survey and subsurface investigation from the waterline project to develop the trail.
“Poggemeyer has already designed five of the last six segments of our bike trail,” said Public Service Director Paul Roman. “They do have survey work already done between Brown and Navarre, which is part of the Brown Road trunk waterline. It does make sense to hire them for this work.”
He said the path could go between Starr and Pickle as the first phase of the project.
“One destination off of Seaman could be the GAF. They already have a bridge over Amlosch Ditch,” said Roman. It may even connect to Nature Trails Park off Curtice Road, he added.
Grant monies could be available for the bike path, he added, particularly since some of the work has already been laid out as part of the waterline project. “We’re more likely to get grant money than someone else,” he said.
“Cities that invest in this sort of infrastructure, especially when it dovetails with water and sewer projects, increases property values for the next generation of home buyers in Oregon,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley. “It will really help connect us. You’ll be able to go from neighborhoods off Pickle and Brown all the way to Maumee Bay State Park, or get to our high school or recreation facilities at the junior high. There’s really no place in this region that connects that sort of recreational infrastructure together this well. It’s actually kind of exciting. It takes a long time to get it done. But it’s a real opportunity for us as we keep moving forward on this.”
Mayor Mike Seferian agreed.
“It will connect to a state park, a metropark, and now a city park, depending on what Northwood wants to extend,” he said.
“I totally agree that this is an absolutely fantastic project,” said Councilwoman Sandy Bihn, a long time environmentalist. You guys are doing a great job.”
She said she’d like to see maps of the bikeways to help promote them to the community.
“I don’t think our community knows how many bike trails we have and how great this really is. People outside Oregon might want to come here, take their bikes along the trails to go from Pearson to Maumee Bay and along the Bay. It’s a great experience. I think we need to market ourselves better as a quality of life community and a bikeway community. I would encourage we do this with a professional marketing firm to make sure it’s really done right and presents itself well, that we’re all proud of our community, and others will look at us maybe in a little bit of a different way,” said Bihn.
Seferian noted that the bike path in Oregon is unique because it doesn’t always follow major roads.
“Most of the other parts go along roads, with the exception of coming through here,” he said. “It takes us off the beaten path. So it’s kind of neat that way. One time we talked about putting some type of connecting trail along Wolf Creek, which would be kind of neat, too, because it would not be connected to a roadway.”
“If you can ride into Pearson Park and ride onto the trails, and ride through Maumee Bay, then along that magnificent three-quarter mile stretch that’s right on the bay, it’s a really cool experience. It’s something many of us have done, but many just don’t know about it. Trails that are within the parks - which are substantial in Maumee Bay and at Pearson - would be something to include in the marketing plan. It think it would make us all proud.”
Councilman Steve Hornyak said it would be a good idea if the city is going to extend its bike path to find funding in the recreation department. “It probably warrants consideration as we enter into the budget cycle again, if we’re thinking about connecting these (trails) together.”
Bihn said the trails could also provide a “different way to go bird watching.”
“If we were doing biking and birding through the parks, it would be a unique way, instead of driving down the roads, to go bird watching. It might be really cool that not many communities could offer,” said Bihn.
Roman said construction is expected in 2018, but completion depends on how much the city wants to develop at one time.