The Gem City has extended one of its newest assets to other communities, and it's a win-win for everyone involved.
We commend the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization along with other officials who recently were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the establishment of the Gem City's walking and biking pathway onto county Road 7F and extending into Empire and Stratton.
The new extension means the walking and biking trail now goes 14 miles, something the coordinators of the pathway have been working on since January 2012. It was about a year and a half ago when coalition members approached Toronto Council members about creating the walking and biking trail through the city.
The city now has that pathway, with "sharrows" and distance markers marking the pathway winding through Toronto, and on July 23, the coalition saw the second phase of its project completed, with the pathway extending into the villages upstream on the Ohio River.
Two pathways have been established in the Gem City. One pathway runs from South River Avenue from the city sewage treatment plant to Spring Street for a total of 2.2 miles. The second pathway at Daniels Street proceeds to Grant Street, then Jefferson Street to the War Memorial Municipal Pool. The pathway then proceeds to Madison Avenue, turns onto Federal Street and then goes to Ridge Avenue onto Wentworth Avenue to Karaffa Middle School on School Street. An added bonus is a kiosk with information on the biking trail that was erected at Sloane Station Square at the corner of Fourth and Market streets.
The walking and biking pathway also involved officials with the county engineer's office as well as the Jefferson County commissioners who all had a hand in creating the trails.
It was last October when Share the Road signs were agreed upon along the trail, and a 16-mile loop was planned. Also, sharrows and mile markers in Toronto were completed by city crews and coalition members.
The coalition and the city celebrated the accomplishments by holding a bike rodeo in May, and organized bike rides held weekly have become popular.
So many people are responsible for this successful walking and biking pathway that extends through the Gem City and now continues north into Empire and Stratton. To everyone involved in all affected communities, many thanks for well thought out plans and hard work involved in seeing this project to fruition.
To date, 14 miles of the 16-mile loop have been completed. We're sure it won't be long before the final two miles are added, and until that time, we wish those who plan to use the contemporary pathway happy trails.