Bicycle Facilities

Bicycle Facilities 2016-12-08T15:02:26+00:00

Bicycle Facilities

There are two major categories of bicycle facilities:

  1. On-road facilities
  2. Separate facilities.

Because the existing roadway network can be used by bicyclists to travel to almost any destination in and out of the region, the on-road facilities are the most important for bicycle transportation purposes. Separate facilities–such as bike paths and multi-purpose trails– are designed and designated exclusively for bicycles and other non-motorized uses. Trails and greenways typically serve both recreation and transportation purposes and are important additions to the on-road facilities.

On-road Bicycle Facilities (Lanes and Shoulders)

On-road facilities are the most important to bicyclists because they are accessible anywhere in the region. On-road facilities include shared lanes, wide outside lanes, bike lanes (in urban areas), and paved shoulders (in rural areas). These facilities all require bicyclists and drivers of motor vehicles to interact together on the roadway–especially at intersections and driveway locations.

On-road facilities include all roadways, bridges and viaducts in the region, except those that specifically prohibit bicycles (e.g., interstates, freeways, and limited access highways). On some roads, bicycles and motor vehicles share either a standard lane (10′ – 12′) or a wide outside lane (14′). A standard bike lane is a 5 foot lane (not including curb and gutter or drainage grates) located on both sides of the roadway for the exclusive use of bicycles. Bike lanes are generally found in urban areas. Paved shoulders (varying in width from 4′ to 10′) are generally found in more rural areas.

In most states, including Ohio and Kentucky, bicycles are legally vehicles, and bicyclists are required to obey the same “rules of the road” that motor vehicle drivers do. An important corollary to this is that bicyclists should travel on the right, except when passing another vehicle.

One indicator of the importance of on-road facilities is the number of bicycle commuter miles that are traveled each year. In 2004, the Cincinnati Cycle Club recorded 41,814 commuter miles. A second indicator comes from the 20 bicyclists who helped with the 1995 update of the Ohio Bike Route Guides. During 1994, these 20 bicyclists each averaged 4300 bicycle miles of travel–most of which occurred on the roadway network. Most Cincinnati Cycle Club events use the road network.

In Kentucky, the major bicycle corridors are primarily shared roadways that traverse Northern Kentucky and provide opportunities for north-south and east-west travel. These roads–or appropriate alternates–are recommended for planning and funding priority for bicycle improvements including wide lanes, paved shoulders, bike lanes, edge-striping, and signage. Kentucky 8, one of the most popular bike routes in Northern Kentucky, was recommended for development as a 30 mile bicycle facility in the Northern Kentucky Quest Report.

Local Bicycle Plans, Programs and Projects

In the OKI region, three counties and 22 local communities have prepared bicycle plans and/or are developing local bicycle transportation systems. These locations are shown on the map titled Major Bicycle Corridors in the OKI Region and include Boone County, Florence, Kenton County, Newport, Cincinnati, Anderson Township, Madeira, Indian Hill, Blue Ash, Cleves, Fairfax, Loveland, Montgomery, Springdale, Wyoming, Liberty Township, West Chester Township, Oxford, Miami Township (Clermont), Warren County, Mason, Deerfield Township, Lebanon, Waynesville, and Springboro. The Hamilton County Park District, Anderson Park District and Metroparks of Butler County are also participating in expanding the regional trails along the Little and Great Miami rivers. In addition, the University of Cincinnati has prepared a bicycle transportation system for the campus and vicinity. Additional detail is provided about three of these local plans.

City of Loveland The very popular Little Miami Scenic Trail travels through the City of Loveland. When Loveland updated its Comprehensive Plan, a chapter was incorporated that describes a bicycle transportation system for the city. This was an important addition to the plan, because it recommended roadway improvements to enable the residents of Loveland–and other visitors to the city–to travel by bicycle to the Little Miami Trail and to other destinations in the city. Bike lanes are currently planned for West Loveland Avenue, between Lebanon Road and Loveland-Madeira Road. At the intersection with Loveland-Madeira Road, the bike lanes will transition to wide outside lanes. These end at the intersection with the Little Miami Trail.

City of Cincinnati The City of Cincinnati’s 1976 Bicycle Master Plan forms the basis for developing a bicycle transportation system that includes bike paths, bike lanes, signed bike routes, shared lanes, and wide outside lanes. Improvements and additions to the system are being coordinated by the City’s full-time bicycle/pedestrian coordinator–an engineer in the Department of Public Works – Division of Transportation and Engineering.

Two City policies are important elements of the Cincinnati Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. The first is a requirement, passed by resolution of the City Council, that every new roadway project will be evaluated for bicycle and pedestrian improvements early in the planning process. An explanation must be provided for all projects that do not include bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The second is a City policy that requires, during street rehabilitation, the replacement of all inlets with ones that are bicycle-safe.

In 1992, the City signed 14 miles of bicycle routes on Eggleston Avenue, Central Parkway, Gilbert Avenue, Eden Park Drive, Victory Parkway and Madison Road. Since then, bike lanes have been installed along Erie Avenue, the Eighth Street Viaduct, Victory Parkway and Gilbert Ave. Seven miles of bicycle routes have been signed connecting the University of Cincinnati with existing signed bicycle routes. Storm water grates have been upgraded on 56.4 miles of bicycle routes. The City has mapped and inventoried 191 existing bicycle rack locations and installed 75 additional racks. Cincinnati is implementing a portion of the Ohio River Trail between the Central Riverfront Park downtown and the Lunken Airport Bike Path. The City is also working on the connection of the Little Miami Scenic Trail with the Ohio River Trail.

The coordinator also staffs the Cincinnati Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a citizen group which meets monthly to advocate for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, plans, and projects. Since 1993, Cincinnati Bike/PAC has sponsored ” Bike to Work Week” in May of each year. In 1996 through 2003, the Bike to Work Rally was expanded to include transit and rideshare activities and was promoted as “BBOPP to Work” (Bike, Bus, or Pool, Pedestrian).

City of Florence In 2002, the Boone County Planning Commission updated the Pedestrian/Bike Path Plan for the City of Florence and neighboring portions of Boone County. The City of Florence, through their capital budgeting process and coordination with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet – District 6, has built a combined bicycle/pedestrian system that includes sidewalk/bike paths along Ewing Boulevard, Spiral Drive, Meijer Drive, and Woodspoint Drive. Bike lanes have also been added to both sides of Houston Road between Turfway Road and Woodspoint Drive. When KY 18 was resurfaced in 1997, the shoulders were paved for bicycle and pedestrian use between Florence and Burlington. Pedestrian improvements are planned to improve connections crossing I-75 between the east and west sides of Florence.

Each of these examples demonstrates the importance of including bicycle and pedestrian plans and projects in a community’s capital planning activities. Roadway projects should be viewed as opportunities to improve or create a multi-modal transportation system which provides for bicycle and pedestrian travel as well as motor vehicles.

Bridges and Viaducts

Rivers and interstate highways create potential barriers for bicyclists traveling around and through the OKI Region. Bicycle access to bridges and viaducts is an important part of the on-road system. Several bridges of importance to bicyclists have been completed or are underway, including the following five examples. In most cases, the replacement bridges have wide shoulders for bicycle travel as well as 42″ railings–minimum height for bicycles. In some cases, there are, or will be, sidewalks for pedestrians.

  • The I-75 Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge was completed in 1996 and provides non-motorized access over I-75 between Anthony Wayne Boulevard and Section Road in Hamilton County.
  • The Taylor-Southgate Bridge (formerly the Central Bridge) opened in 1995 and provides bicycle and pedestrian access over the Ohio River between Newport, KY and Cincinnati, OH. There are four 12′ travel lanes with a 4′ shoulder and an 8′ sidewalk on each side. The expansion joints have created some problems for bicyclists.
  • The Elizabethtown Bridge in southwestern Hamilton County opened in 1995 and provides access over the Great Miami River. The bridge has two 12′ travel lanes with a 6′ shoulder on each side.
  • The South Milford Road Bridge in Clermont County opened in the fall of 1996. The original bridge was 19′ wide. The replacement bridge is 32′ wide with two 12′ travel lanes and a 4′ shoulder on each side.
  • The Hopewell Road Bridge near Loveland in Hamilton County was replaced in 1997. The previous bridge was 19′ wide; the new bridge is 42′ wide with an additional 6′ sidewalk on the north side of the bridge. The roadway is striped for a westbound through lane, a westbound left turn lane, and an eastbound through lane.
  • The former L&N bridge over the Ohio River connecting Cincinnati and Newport, was purchased by the Newport Southbank Bridge Company in 2000, renovated and opened as the Purple People Bridge in 2003 for the exclusive use of non-motorized travel.

City of Loveland The very popular Little Miami Scenic Trail travels through the City of Loveland. When Loveland updated its Comprehensive Plan, a chapter was incorporated that describes a bicycle transportation system for the city. This was an important addition to the plan, because it recommended roadway improvements to enable the residents of Loveland–and other visitors to the city–to travel by bicycle to the Little Miami Trail and to other destinations in the city. Bike lanes are currently planned for West Loveland Avenue, between Lebanon Road and Loveland-Madeira Road. At the intersection with Loveland-Madeira Road, the bike lanes will transition to wide outside lanes. These end at the intersection with the Little Miami Trail.

City of Cincinnati The City of Cincinnati’s 1976 Bicycle Master Plan forms the basis for developing a bicycle transportation system that includes bike paths, bike lanes, signed bike routes, shared lanes, and wide outside lanes. Improvements and additions to the system are being coordinated by the City’s full-time bicycle/pedestrian coordinator–an engineer in the Department of Public Works – Division of Transportation and Engineering.

Two City policies are important elements of the Cincinnati Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. The first is a requirement, passed by resolution of the City Council, that every new roadway project will be evaluated for bicycle and pedestrian improvements early in the planning process. An explanation must be provided for all projects that do not include bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The second is a City policy that requires, during street rehabilitation, the replacement of all inlets with ones that are bicycle-safe.

In 1992, the City signed 14 miles of bicycle routes on Eggleston Avenue, Central Parkway, Gilbert Avenue, Eden Park Drive, Victory Parkway and Madison Road. Since then, bike lanes have been installed along Erie Avenue, the Eighth Street Viaduct, Victory Parkway and Gilbert Ave. Seven miles of bicycle routes have been signed connecting the University of Cincinnati with existing signed bicycle routes. Storm water grates have been upgraded on 56.4 miles of bicycle routes. The City has mapped and inventoried 191 existing bicycle rack locations and installed 75 additional racks. Cincinnati is implementing a portion of the Ohio River Trail between the Central Riverfront Park downtown and the Lunken Airport Bike Path. The City is also working on the connection of the Little Miami Scenic Trail with the Ohio River Trail.

The coordinator also staffs the Cincinnati Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a citizen group which meets monthly to advocate for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, plans, and projects. Since 1993, Cincinnati Bike/PAC has sponsored ” Bike to Work Week” in May of each year. In 1996 through 2003, the Bike to Work Rally was expanded to include transit and rideshare activities and was promoted as “BBOPP to Work” (Bike, Bus, or Pool, Pedestrian).

City of Florence In 2002, the Boone County Planning Commission updated the Pedestrian/Bike Path Plan for the City of Florence and neighboring portions of Boone County. The City of Florence, through their capital budgeting process and coordination with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet – District 6, has built a combined bicycle/pedestrian system that includes sidewalk/bike paths along Ewing Boulevard, Spiral Drive, Meijer Drive, and Woodspoint Drive. Bike lanes have also been added to both sides of Houston Road between Turfway Road and Woodspoint Drive. When KY 18 was resurfaced in 1997, the shoulders were paved for bicycle and pedestrian use between Florence and Burlington. Pedestrian improvements are planned to improve connections crossing I-75 between the east and west sides of Florence.

Each of these examples demonstrates the importance of including bicycle and pedestrian plans and projects in a community’s capital planning activities. Roadway projects should be viewed as opportunities to improve or create a multi-modal transportation system which provides for bicycle and pedestrian travel as well as motor vehicles.

Separate Facilities (Shared Use Paths)

Separate facilities refer to bike paths and/or multi-purpose trails that are separate from the road and for the exclusive use of bicyclists, walkers, joggers, roller-bladers, wheelchair-users, and other non-motorized vehicles. Shared use trails are 10′ to 12′ in width with 2′ shoulders or clear space on each side.

A shared use trail system is being developed in the OKI region. This system of exclusive bicycle/pedestrian facilities is also shown on the “Regional Bicycle Corridors” map, with estimated miles within each state in the OKI region.

In the four Ohio Counties, work is either completed or underway on several important bike paths including the Little Miami Scenic Trail; the Lebanon and Mason Connections; the Great Miami Trail; Shaker Trace (in Miami Whitewater Forest); the Lunken Airport Bike Path; the Indiana & Ohio Corridor (in Western Hamilton County); the Mill Creek Greenway; and the Ohio River Trail. On the map, the “shared roadways” in Ohio offer connections for bicycling between trails.

The Little Miami Scenic State Park includes a bike path which follows an abandoned rail corridor approximately 50 miles from Kroger Hills State Reserve in eastern Hamilton County, through Clermont and Warren Counties, to Hedges Road in Greene County. North of the OKI region, this trail continues for an additional thirty miles to Xenia, Yellow Springs and Springfield. In Springfield, it is continued to Urbana as the Simon Kenton Trail. In Xenia, it joins the Creekside Trail (formerly the H Connector) between the Little Miami Scenic Trail and the Great Miami Trail (also called the River Bikeway) in the Dayton area. The Little Miami Scenic Trail is paved with asphalt for all of its length and attracts nearly 200,000 users annually. Construction has begun to pave the trail south from Milford to Anderson Township’s Clear Creek Park and eventually connect to the Lunken Bike Path and the Ohio River Trail to Cincinnati’s Central Riverfront.

The Ohio River Trail has several organizations promoting the development of the facility. The Ohio River Trail Planning Committee has prepared a feasibility study for a fourteen mile trail between New Richmond and Lunken Airport in Cincinnati. Additional environmental review and engineering analyses have been done in preparation for initiating local applications for construction funding. The City of Cincinnati is also active in the eight miles from Lunken to downtown with sections built in Friendship Park and Schmidt Field and other segments along the river shore in various stages of work.

The Great Miami River Trail (The Great Connection) is actively under development through projects in several communities. The section in Hamilton was recently extended south by Fairfield for a total of five miles. It will soon be extended north to Rentschler Preserve with private funding. Middletown has built around three miles of the trail and the Miami Conservancy District is the lead agency for the section through Franklin. Once completed, these Butler and Warren County sections of the trail will connect with Dayton’s River Bikeway.

In Indiana, development of the Dearborn Trails network connecting Lawrenceburg, Greendale, and Aurora is underway. Lawrenceburg has received Transportation Enhancement funds for their riverwalk/bikeway. Greendale also received Transportation Enhancement funds for a bike path on the levee that will connect to the Lawrenceburg trail. Aurora has received funding and broken ground for a four mile trail extension of the Riverwalk from Lawrenceburg, along an abandoned rail right-of-way, through Aurora. Construction of the Aurora-Lawrenceburg Trail will be comple

Bicycles, Transit and Parking

Merging bicycle transport with transit services further enhances the potential for both modes of travel. Nationally, more than 200 transit companies have reported success with the bike-transit connection which includes bike parking facilities at transit stops and bike racks on buses. In the OKI region, three park-and-ride locations have bike lockers for long-term parking. Anderson Township has four bike lockers at the park-and-ride near the Township Building on Beechmont Avenue. The park-and-ride being constructed near the intersection of Winton and Kemper Roads in Forest Park will have 4 “Bike Banks” for long-term parking. TANK has installed bike racks at seven of its park-and-ride lots and will be mounting bike racks on its buses in 2006. Metro secured CMAQ funding to mount racks on its entire fleet of 450 buses which was completed in 2003.

Bicycle racks are important for short-term parking. A variety of new bicycle racks are on the market that permit bicyclists to secure both the frame and wheels of their bicycles. The new racks protect the wheels from becoming bent, and secure quick-release wheels. OKI has begun a bicycle parking program with its CMAQ air quality funding to provide parking racks to businesses and agencies for their employees and customers. The racks are provided at no cost in exchange for installation and maintenance.

Regional Bicycle Resources

The following regional bicycle resources are available from OKI:

The OKI Bike Route Guides serve as an important resource for both planning and bicycling, because they indicate roads and trails used by area bicyclists and recommended to other adults for bicycle travel. Bike maps, developed with the active involvement of area bicyclists, are available for four Ohio Counties (Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren Counties; 2005), three Northern Kentucky Counties (Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Counties; 2002) and the City of Cincinnati; 1998.

The OKI Regional Bicycle Plan, adopted in 2001 by the OKI Executive Committee, serves as a guide for the improvement and expansion of the bicycle transportation system in the OKI Region and encourages bicycling as a mode of transportation. This report includes the OKI Bike Route Guides for the Ohio and Kentucky Counties as well as the Regional Bicycle Corridors map.

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