The Board of Supervisors decided Wednesday not to take any action on three proposed bicycle routes that would connect Grays Woods Boulevard to Circleville Road.
The routes had been viewed by the board in July. According to the board, township staff had engaged residents of the area along with members of the biking community during a July 30 open house.
The first option would have seen a bike path follow the western side of Grays Woods, crossing where the boulevard connects to Scotia Road, then followed the east side of Scotia until turning left along Circleville.
The total for this route was $391,075.
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The second option would have had the path cross Grays Woods and follow the west side of Scotia, crossing the road where it meets Circleville.
The total for this option was $422,311.
The final route would have crossed Grays Woods and continued east through a wooded area near Thorndale Road, eventually crossing Scotia and continuing along Circleville.
This route would have cost $425,581.
According to the survey collected at the open house, respondents preferred the third route by 49 percent.
Cyclist groups, however, responded positively to the first route, according to the board.
According to Township Manager Doug Erickson, residents of the Graysdale housing complex along Thornvale Road petitioned against the third option.
Residents in attendance expressed concern not only for cyclists’ safety, but for the safety of their homes and properties if the board exercised the third option, bringing the path near their backyards.
Emphasis was given toward the effect on property values.
“This happens a lot,” said Supervisor Jeff Luck, “and happens every time someone talks about bike paths.”
According to Luck, every time a path has been proposed, he has gone online to check for data that would back up claims of an increase in crime for an area with a new bike path.
There appears to be no data that crime increases, he said.
He also related a story of a community in Connecticut that requested a chain link fence be erected that would separate the houses from the bike path. Within five years, the same community requested it be taken away, presumably because they wanted direct access to the path.
Sunchul Soohoo, of Thorndale Road, explained to the board that he is an avid cyclist. He explained that cyclists preferred the first option because it avoided having to cross Scotia Road.
If a car is going to make a right from Circleville to Scotia, he said, the driver will be looking left for oncoming cars and will likely not see a cyclist crossing the road to his right.
This problem is made worse by the fact that visibility to the west along Scotia is limited, he said.
It would also be difficult for drivers to know if he is coming down Scotia signaling that he wants to turn right to know if he’s turning right onto the road or the bike path.
“I don’t want to make motorists guess what I’m doing on my bicycle,” he said.
Scott Miller, of West Clearview Avenue, said he would prefer seeing the roads fixed before a path is put in to avoid the possibility that the path would need to be removed when future road work starts.
A small round of applause was made when the board decided not to follow any option.
In other business, the board approved a public hearing for Sept. 24, when they will discuss Chapter 147 stormwater management regulation amendments.
The township currently holds a small municipal separate storm sewer system permit, which is designed to require municipalities to implement a formal stormwater management program.
New requirements mean the township must bring their current ordinance into compliance.