DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The City of Dayton is expanding accessibility for people who walk, or bike, through the Gem City.
The Dayton Planning Division is working on a multi-million-dollar project to expand bike paths and walkways, hoping to add sustainable options.
While some people say that the city’s bike paths are already impressive, this expansion is designed to open more people up to the idea of leaving their car home.
“I think some people were like, huh, yeah, I guess if there were more bike lanes, I would ride my bike,” Susan Vincent, City of Dayton Planning Division, said. “That’s what the data shows and other communities that as you add more facilities, people are like, Oh, that’s an option. I should try it.”
For two years, the City of Dayton has been working to create their active transportation plan.
It is a long-term project to provide equity for all who want or need to use bike paths and walkways with safer, easier solutions, and nearby cyclists say they appreciate the effort.
“The communities that are biker friendly and they’re very open minded about things,” Cyclist Stephen Smith said. “It helps with those folks actually riding and walking and jogging because then it gives them a full lane or at least a half a lane. So, people kind of realize that and they can move aside.”
Smith doesn’t live in Dayton, but he says the bike paths in the area are great. He is from St. Louis, Missouri and says Dayton’s bike paths are much more accessible than where he’s from.
“More accessibility in the city itself,” Smith said. “It makes it a lot easier for folks that want to commute to work or to go do something else, go to a bar, or whatever they want to do.”
Officials with the City Planning Division say they spent months talking to neighborhoods about how to make that happen, and there are 10-20 different projects in the pipeline for this plan.
Some of them will happen over the course of five years and will add to existing bike paths and walkways that have gotten stellar reviews from the public hoping to continue making the entire City of Dayton a place where biking or walking is a great option.
“Dayton is so, it’s just sort of a perfect city to be walkable and bikeable,” Vincent added. “Not just concentrated downtown, not just concentrated in one or other side of the city, but really making sure that no matter where you live, you know, that you have a safe way to get from point A to point B if you if you have to or you want to be outside of your car.”
Dayton City Planning is finishing up the project proposal this week, and they are hoping to present the plan and start the search for funding at the Aug. 30 Dayton City Commission meeting.