LIMA — The winter seems to have finally broken its hold on the temperature, and more Lima residents are heading outside to walk, bike and run. That means local health organizations and nonprofits are continuing work to upgrade pedestrian infrastructure and plan races.
The City of Lima has at least three walkways in the works. The city is planning to pave the foot/bike path around Schoonover Lake and add additional dedicated parking lots to allow better access. The Elm Street underpass construction includes a sidewalk to open up foot traffic between Lincoln Park and Stadium Park, and the city is looking to add better pedestrian access to Allen County Jobs and Family Services from Fourth Street by installing sidewalks between Main and Metcalf streets.
Meanwhile, the Lima Rotary Club has begun exploring options to potentially connect downtown Lima with the OSU-Lima campus with a bike path or walkway. The project, however, is at very early stages, and no details have been confirmed as potential paths are being identified.
In related news, the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District is considering upgrading the roughly 10-mile section of the Miami Erie Canal Towpath between Spencerville and Delphos by bulldozing the current path and replacing it with a compact lime walkway that even roadway bikes could utilize. The project will be finished in five-mile stages from south to north.
Finally, in the northeast side of Allen County, the Bluffton Lions Foundation has led an initiative to create a loop around Bluffton called the Lions Way Bentley Path. The first few miles have already been constructed and subsequent planning has identified where to create a few more sections, Foundation President Dick Ramseyer said.
More infrastructure projects will be considered as more problem areas are identified, Activate Allen County (AAC) Co-Director Josh Unterbrink said. As part of that effort, AAC is asking for volunteers to help the group catalogue the bike and pedestrian traffic throughout Lima. Volunteers will spend two hours at particular routes or intersections in Allen County starting on May 14 and record each bicyclist or pedestrian who goes by. Those interested in volunteering can contact Josh Unterbrink at 419-222-6045.
Counts will measure the effects of infrastructure improvements on signage, crosswalks and bikeways and help identify potential trouble areas. The counts could also be used as evidence when applying for state and federal grants and will provide a better overall understanding of Lima’s transportation needs.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.