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Trail Talk is your quarterly update on happenings on and around the Miami Valley Trails. Summer months are busy months on all of the trails, and you can read just how busy in a report developed by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission that examines the data coming from the 30+ trail counters spread across the nation's largest paved trail network. This edition will also highlight two recent projects that enhance the Miami Valley Trails: The Wright State Way bridge and the River Run Mural. Read on and get inspired to hit the trails!
The mayors of two cities, representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation, Wright State University, Clark State Community College and the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission addressed a huge crowd of bicyclists, walkers and people using mobility devices at the opening of the beautiful new bridge over I-675. Beavercreek's Mayor Brian Jarvis read a proclamation naming the bridge "Wright State Way" and then all of the honored guests took part in a ribbon cutting. The bridge was instantly filled with people, as most of the crowd of 300 took the opportunity to walk the bridge.
Wright State Way provides a safe and comfortable alternative to Fairfield Road for non-motorized mobility between the Wright State campus area and the retail and professional offices in the Fairfield Commons area. Safe and welcoming connections across Col. Glenn Highway and through the WSU campus are still needed to connect this bridge to the Wright Brothers-Huffman Prairie Trail. Keep an eye out for future news about those vital connections.
The Miami Valley regional Planning Commission recently published a short report about our long network of Miami Valley Trails. Staff at MVRPC collected data from permanent infrared counters that are positioned all around the Miami Valley Trails and pulled the counts for all of 2014 into one place.
The Infographic shown here (click for a larger view or to download) provides information derived from the data, including the busiest, and least busy parts of the trail network, the busiest days of the week and parts of the year. Some of the data is intuitive - the trails are busier when it's warm - but watching trends over the years can give some insight into the evolution of trail use. It will be possible, for example, to look for a distinctive commuting pattern - spikes in usage in the morning and afternoons, and compare which routes are being used for commuting.
After months of planning, a splash of color is headed to the Great Miami River corridor in downtown Dayton. The River Run mural will be painted on a Miami Conservancy District (MCD) floodwall located on the right bank (north side) of the river between Riverside Drive and Main Street. The floodwall is part of MCD’s regional flood protection system, which reduces flood risk for more than 48,000 parcels in more than a dozen communities along the Great Miami River.
“This floodwall has protected lives and property from rising river levels for over 90 years as part of MCD’s flood protection system,” says Janet Bly, MCD general manager. “It will continue to protect lives and property far into the future, but now with an important aesthetic addition: the River Run Mural.“
A design by local artist Amy Deal was selected from an initial field of 82 designs. Amy chose a theme that celebrates what’s going on in the river corridor: cycling, paddling, wildlife, and the soothing ripples of flowing water. Her impression of people interacting with the river was spot on, since the mural is along both the region’s 330+ mile paved trail network and Ohio’s largest water (paddling) trail network.
The mural will complement RiverScape River Run, the in-stream paddling amenity soon to be built on the Great Miami River in downtown Dayton. Downtown art programming and education services provider K12 Gallery is serving as the painting contractor for the mural project. MCD is leading the project team, which includes the Downtown Dayton Partnership and Five Rivers MetroParks.
The mural is made possible through the support of the CareSource Foundation, The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, and Cox Media Group Ohio. Work on the mural will begin this month and is expected to be completed this fall.
In addition to providing robust flood protection since 1922, MCD is a regional leader in bike trail development, building the first section of the Great Miami River Trail in Dayton during the mid-1970s. Today, MCD maintains almost 35 miles of bike trail and hosts almost 30 additional miles of trail on its flood protection land.