Akron City Council will be looking at its capital budget tonight, which includes one measure that would set aside $20,000 for a study of a possible bike-and-hike trail through what was once a maze of rubber companies.
The study would consider whether to build what’s being called the Rubber City Heritage Trail. The plan is in the early stages, but it would be a route of about 7 miles running along a rail line that once served the Goodyear, Bridgestone and Firestone campuses.
Dan Rice, president of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, says the route is one of several that would give people greater access to the Towpath Trail.
“In many ways, your home or business could be considered a trailhead. So hopefully our goal is that any resident or business is no more than a 10 minute walk or bicycle ride away from their home to a regional connective trail.”
Rice adds that most of the property is already owned by the city, and the plan has the support of Mayor Dan Horrigan. If the study is approved, it could begin as soon as this spring. Rice also says there will be public feedback sessions to decide how best to construct the proposed trail.
“If it’s going to be baby strollers or roller bladers, then that will determine the kind of surface that’s needed. If it’s asphalt; it also possibly could be a crushed limestone surface – similar to the type of surface on the Towpath Trail – or it could be concrete. So, we’ll basically flesh out those ideas during the public engagement, and get a better of what the community would like to see regarding this regional connective trail.”