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Bartholomew County Commissioners said they are in favor of marking some bike routes on county roads, but they want them to be part of a larger plan rather than individual requests.
Commissioners said they received a request from a resident to include bike route signs on roads around Southside Elementary School. Commissioners President Carl Lienhoop said that a “share the road” sign would cost about $75 and pavement markings would be about $200, which would add up as roads were designated with bike routes.
“One of our major concerns is that if we start identifying certain roads, then the request could be that we mark all roads,” Lienhoop said. “If we start having to mark 700-plus miles of road, I don’t know how often you have to plant the sign. That could be a major expense and a major pain when it comes to mowing around them.”
Instead, commissioners said they were interested in identifying major bike routes as part of a plan, and then would consider marking those routes. For example, last year the Adventure Cycling Association won city and county approval for a bike route that would cross the county north-to-south as part of a state and national bike trail. Columbus and Bartholomew County were part of Bike Route 35. That route is supported by the Indianapolis-based Hoosier Rails to Trails Council Inc., which asked the city and commissioners for support in November.
Commissioner Larry Kleinhenz said it made sense to mvark routes that were used by a major bicycling club such as Bike Route 35.
“Then we can use that criteria to prevent having to mark every single county road in the county, because that would be the request: ‘If I ride my bicycle on my road and my wife and kids do, then we ought to have a sign there.’ It could become very cumbersome,” Kleinhenz said.
A marked bicycle route would mean that cyclists are more concentrated in that area, Kleinhenz said.
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