ODOT looking for feedback on on biking, walking plan - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

ODOT looking for feedback on on biking, walking plan

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For the first time ever, the Ohio Department of Transportation is looking to develop a plan for forms of "active" transportation, including biking and walking, and they're looking for community feedback to help. 

According to ODOT, trends in safety, demographics, and demand have spurred the Ohio Department of Transportation to develop its first-ever policy plan for walking and biking. 

Between 2009-2018, Ohio saw a 60 percent increase in pedestrian-related fatalities. 

ODOT says bicycle fatalities are up 22 percent over the same time frame. In 2018, 135 pedestrians and 22 bicyclists were killed in Ohio.

Ohio has over 1,800 miles of off-road, shared-use paths. Ohio's state parks offer more than 250 miles of bike trails. There are also 3,000 miles of proposed State and U.S. Bike Routes in Ohio.

Data from the Valley says that the highest areas of demand for walkable or bikeable rodes in the Valley are primarily on the north side of Warren between Elm Road and Parkman Road, as well as both the north and south sides of Youngstown. 

The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan will reportedly guide Ohio's bike and pedestrian transportation policies and investments in infrastructure and programs. It is looking at current and potential programs and policies, not at specific projects.

ODOT says they are trying to engage Ohioans through a series of stakeholder meetings and online surveys. 

No stakeholder meetings are currently scheduled to be held in Trumbull, Mahoning, or Columbiana counties. However, anyone looking to lend their voice to the plan can take part in the online survey here. 

A release says these opportunities will help ODOT collect feedback on the vision and goals of the plan as well as barriers and needs for walking and biking. It will also look at how new mobility and its associated technologies will impact how Ohioans walk and bike in the future.

"We encourage Ohioans to use active transportation, so we want to make sure those modes of travel are as safe as possible," said ODOT Director Dr. Jack Marchbanks. "We hope to get feedback from Ohioans living in all parts of our great state to help us do that."

Work on the plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. 

ODOT says the final report will include policy recommendations as well as an implementation plan as to how to achieve the recommendations.


 

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