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Winter is not everyone's favorite time to use the Miami Valley Trails, but it is still an excellent time to talk about the trails. Welcome to the Winter 2013 edition of Trail Talk, Miami Valley Bike Trails' quarterly newsletter. In this issue:
This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Great Dayton Flood of 1913. On Sunday, March 23, 1913, three storm systems met over western Ohio and, over the next four days, poured nine to eleven inches of rain over the Miami Valley. Falling on near-frozen and saturated ground, this rain ran directly into the Great Miami, Stillwater, and Mad Rivers, and the Wolf Creek, then rushed into downtown Dayton, where all these waterways converged within a three-quarter mile radius. The volume of water that flowed into Dayton during the 1913 flood totaled nearly four trillion gallons, an amount equal to the flow over Niagara Falls in a four-day period. Levees broke, sending additional walls of water into downtown Dayton.
More than 360 people lost their lives. Property damage exceeded $100 million (that’s more than $2 billion in today’s economy). In the wake of the tragedy, the citizens of the Miami Valley---who had lost virtually everything---rallied to initiate plans for the prevention of future flooding. Some 23,000 citizens contributed more than $2 million to begin a comprehensive flood protection program on a valley-wide basis. As a result the Miami Conservancy District was formed and a system of five earthen dams, channel improvements and levees was constructed between 1918 and 1922. The Miami Conservancy District's flood protection system was the largest public works project in the world of its time. It employed a workforce of more than 2,000 people. The cost of the flood protection system was more than $30 million. Since completion of the original system in 1922, the dams have stored floodwaters more than 1,700 times. Today, more than 34 miles of our Miami Valley Trail system sit atop or inside the Conservancy District levees.
To learn more about Dayton’s Great Flood, take advantage of the following:
February 23-- May 5 -- Three Exhibitions Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the 1913 Flood at the Dayton Art Institute: Storm: Paintings by April Gornik; Watershed: 100 Years of Photography Along the Great Miami River; Riverbank: Exploring Our River-Centered Development Museum Members: Free; Adults: $12; Seniors (60+), Students (18+ w/ID), Active Military & Groups (10 or more): $9; Youth (7-17): $6; Children (6 & under): Free. www.daytonartinstitute.org
March 1, 8, 15, 22, --- At 7:00 PM every Friday in March, Leon Bey of Gem City Walking Tours conducts “The Great Dayton Flood Walk.” Reservations are required; for ticket information, call (937) 274-4749.
March 23 (Saturday) Dayton History’s Carillon Historical Park will open a new permanent exhibit on the Great Flood of 1913. The exhibit will provide a permanent home and display for hundreds of artifacts from the 1913 flood and recovery efforts. See "Plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of region's greatest catastrophe."
Xenia, Ohio---The all-volunteer trail sentinel program of Greene County Parks & Trails will now be based at Xenia Station, 150 S. Miami Ave., Xenia, with a new partnership between the City of Xenia and the park agency. The trail sentinels offices will be housed at Xenia Station to assist visitors to the bicycle hub and serve as ambassadors to guests visiting the City of Xenia. The trail sentinels already host a youth bicycle rodeo, several training sessions and use Xenia Station as a staging area for their monthly night rides. Hours may vary when trail sentinels are actively on-site. Shown accepting the keys for Greene County Parks & Trails is Park Ranger Sgt. Bill Nickell and City of Xenia Assistant Manager Brent Merriman. For more information, call Greene County Parks & Trails at (937) 562-6440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great news for cyclists, the 25th Annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA) will feature a route in beautiful western Ohio. The expected 2,500 riders will start gathering for the tour on Saturday, June 15, at the Champaign County Fairgrounds in Urbana. They will begin cycling on Sunday, June 16, covering an average of 50 miles per day. The group will overnight in Troy on Sunday and Monday, Greenville on Tuesday, New Bremen on Wednesday and Thursday and Sidney on Friday. They will return to Urbana on Saturday, June 22.
The fun-filled week will kick-off with a bicycle parade and gala opening ceremonies in Urbana. There will be family-oriented entertainment each night of the tour. Along the way participants will enjoy gentle terrain, historic sights, an abundance of beautiful views, wildlife reserves and several charming towns. One 50-mile day will be on the Miami Valley Trails! A complete list of sights and activities can be found at www.goba.com.
Anyone interested in receiving registration information and tour details can request a brochure by calling 614-273-0811 or by visiting GOBA’s website. Advance registration is required and must be turned in by May 15, 2013.
GOBA is an event of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, a non-profit organization devoted to non-competitive outdoor recreation. Visit outdoor-pursuits.org for activity and membership information.
The 2013 Miami Valley Cycling Summit will be held in downtown Springfield on May 31, 2013. The event will be held in the newly constructed Hollenbeck Bayley Conference Center, as well as the Courtyard by Marriott which is right next door. The Miami Valley Cycling Summit is an event aimed at reaching cycling advocates, policy makers, and the local business community. This year’s theme is “Cycling Connects” and the program content will aim to illustrate the many benefits of pro cycling infrastructure, policies, and lifestyles.
Some of the organizations that have already committed to presenting at this year’s Summit include the League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong, International Mountain Biking Association, Adventure Cycling Association, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and the Ohio Department of Transportation. Also, please make plans to join other Summit attendees at the “After Summit Social” which will be held at Mela Urban Bistro which is located inside the Marriott.
The planning team will be finalizing important details over the next couple of months. A good way to stay connected with updates is to visit the website at www.cyclingsummit.com, like the MV Cycling Summit on Facebook, or subscribe to the email list on www.miamivalleytrails.org for updates. The official Summit website has not launched yet, but is expected to shortly.
If you have any questions about the Summit in the meantime please contact Louis Agresta at email@example.com. May 31, 2013 will be here before you know it. Mark your calendars now so that you don’t miss it!
We are all looking forward to new trail openings in 2013. We hope you will be able to join the celebrations for these trails as they come throughout the year.
1. Xenia-Jamestown Connector Tunnel, Spring
2. Mad River Trail (Eastwood to Huffman), Spring
3. Great Miami River Trail (Stewart to Marriott, west bank), Summer
4. Tecumseh Trail, Summer
5. Dayton-Kettering Connector, Late Summer/Fall
Watch our Events Calendar and Alerts for specific details.
It does seem that the Ohio Department of Transportation has been working on I-75 in Dayton for a long time. The final phase of the I-75 Modernization - the phase that reconfigures the exits in downtown Dayton - has just begun this fall. The project will reconstruct two bridges over the Great Miami River, and two bridges means four trail crossings. As of now there are four closures on the Great Miami River Trail. Each closure has a well-marked detour either through downtown Dayton, or along the west bank of the river and along Edwin C. Moses Boulevard. There is a detailed map and a description of the detours that can be downloaded from the ODOT web site.
The detours require the use of city streets (shared with motor vehicles) or sidewalks and in one location the use of bike stairs. The routes are safe for both bicyclists and walkers. Along the way you’ll pass through Dayton’s vibrant central downtown, or the Dayton Art Institute and the National Park Service’s Dayton Aviation Heritage center. In any case, trail users will be able to continue their journey north or south along the Great Miami River Trail.
The detours are scheduled to be in place through 2016. Because safety is very important, staff members at some of our Site Partner agencies will periodically review the detour routes to make sure that detour signage is visible and well maintained.