Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Some residents oppose the trail, fearing it would invite more crime.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Plans for the city's section of a bike trail along abandoned railroad lines are chugging along.
Michael D. Keys, community development director, said the plan was to pave the portion of the bike trail in the city using community development money, but the city has decided to apply for a state grant, instead, for the work.
The money that had been allocated for trail paving was redirected to neighborhood street resurfacing.
City council approved legislation in March to buy nearly two miles of former Baltimore & amp; Ohio Railroad right of way from Burton Street to Forest Street for the trail.
Some residents oppose the plan, fearing a trail behind their homes would invite more crime.
The cost was $75,000, with $56,250 coming from a grant from the Ohio Department of Public Works' Clean Ohio Fund.
"Now that the city owns the property, there are grants available," Keys said.
The section, previously owned by Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp., makes up part of the Warren portion of the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway Trail, connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio River.
The Warren piece will link with the section in northern Trumbull County, which will tie into the Ashtabula track.
The section in Champion, Bristol and Bloomfield, which runs along an old Penn Central rail line, will be maintained by Trumbull County MetroParks.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has pledged more than $1 million to the northern Trumbull County section of the project, which has been matched by $260,000 from county commissioners.
Niles officials are working on a section in that city.
The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments paid for 80 percent of engineering costs for the $170,000 study on the northern Trumbull County section of trail. The rest came from county commissioners and private donations to Friends of the Western Reserve Greenway.
The Mahoning Bikeway, the section of the Greenway through Mahoning County, has been completed for the past few years.
The 89-acre, 11-mile Mahoning stretch was supported by Federal Highway Administration funds distributed by the Ohio Department of Transportation and administered by the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.
The Mahoning trail is maintained by Mill Creek MetroParks.