Open house set for trail project

Columbus will have an open house for residents to learn more about a bicycle and pedestrian trail planned for Rocky Ford Road.

The open house will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Hamilton Community Center and Ice Arena.

“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the proposed bike and pedestrian trail project along Rocky Ford Road from Washington Street east to Central,” city officials said. “Columbus City Council members and Columbus Parks Board members may be in attendance but no business will occur.”

City Engineer/Executive Director of Public Works Dave Hayward said that the Rocky Ford project marks the first implementation of the city’s updated bicycle and pedestrian plan, which was adopted in April. The project is listed in the plan as Tier 1 or “immediate priority.”

“Currently it’s planned as a 12-foot-wide asphalt trail on the north side of Rocky Ford Road,” said Hayward. “There’ll be about a 5-foot separation between the existing Rocky Ford Road and the edge of the trail.”

He said that the proposed trail construction would not change the size of the road, as most of the surrounding area has enough right-of-way to accommodate the trail. There are seven parcels where more land is needed, and the city met with some of the affected property owners last week.

According to Hayward, Thursday’s meeting, rather than being a formal presentation, is more of an open house for people to learn about the project and take part in individual discussions. Both he and Emilie Pinkston, the city’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, will attend to answer questions.