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No Trail Connection from Lake Street to The Portage

Bicyclists and pedestrians will have to use new bridge to access trail near intersection of Lake and North Water streets

Cyclists looking to access the section of The Portage Hike and Bike Trail that spans from Lake Street to Lake Rockwell Road will not be able to jump on the trail in Kent from the east side of the Cuyahoga River.

The new pedestrian bridge under construction as part of the Fairchild Avenue Bridge project will link directly to the existing trail, which dead-ends next to Weiss Motors and Knapp's Collision and the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway tracks.

Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said the railroad would not permit a new crossing of the train tracks to allow direct access to the bike trail for pedestrians and cyclists.

"They don’t care if it’s a sidewalk, bike path or a street," Bowling said. "We had one crossing before (construction). They allowed us one crossing when we were done. So the actual way to get to the trail from the east side would be to go over the new bridge and pick it up on the west side” of the Cuyahoga River.

The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! November 02, 2012 at 01:40 PM
It they wanted to make it safer for kids walking to and from Roosevelt, the city would shovel the sidewalks on BOTH sides of Rt 43 from the high school to downtown. Kids trudging through feet of dirty snow and being booted into the road to get around piles pushed into the sidewalk by bad neighbors are incredibly dangerous. It's amazed me for years that no kids get smashed on the road between the high school and downtown. Between those with blatant disregard of the school zone speed limit to those speeding down 43 on a regular basis, the kids have a tough gauntlet to run to get home. Yet I never hear anyone pushing for safer passage for students. Not to mention the city could have handled the construction better because closing sidewalks when kids have to walk down them to get home isn't the best idea either. Jon R. pointed out the bridge isn't for safety, it is only there because it is cheaper to build the "pedestrian bridge". Though it really is only to house pipes and cables. The silly pedestrian bridge is as much for our safety as Issue 11 is...
William Gibson November 02, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Jon, Any idea how the Railroad end of the pedestrian bridge will be terminated? Will it be open to the tracks or will there be some barrier required so it doesn't indicate a "crossing"? This is pretty interesting misalignment of the City plan vs. Railroad requirment.
Matt Fredmonsky November 02, 2012 at 02:29 PM
William, the bridge's east end will lead directly to the bike path. There will be a railing because the trail elevation will be higher than the railroad tracks, but there will be no intentional blockade between the railroad and the bike path. If you look at the pictures you'll see there's a fair amount of room between the bridge and the upper tracks.
joekbrown November 02, 2012 at 08:16 PM
The solution seems obvious, just extend the bike path south to Fairchild Avenue between the top of the riverbank and the railroad track.
Kentguy February 04, 2013 at 06:53 PM
I think extending the trail to the bridge on the east side is a simple solution. You can cross the tracks and take a quick right to hop right on the path and/or use the pedestrian bridge.

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