Cincinnati studying biking and walking trail connecting Northside and College Hill
You might not have to drive between Northside and College Hill — or trek up the arduous hill on Hamilton Avenue — in the future.
Cincinnati is studying the possibility of converting 3.5 miles of abandoned railway right-of-way into a path similar to the East Side's Wasson Way trail.
The proposed path would go from the area near Spring Grove Cemetery to very close to College Hill's business district.
Councilmember Mark Jeffreys pushed for the $50,000 for the feasibility study in the city's last budget. He says both communities have a lot of interest in the potential project, with more than 50 people coming out for a recent tour of the proposed trail. The tour provided some history about the land around the trail, including its use as a rail line and its involvement in the Underground Railroad.
"I think there's a tremendous amount of energy in both College Hill and Northside for exploring what this could be."
Jeffreys says the path could mean wider connectivity for cyclists and walkers, as it would come very close to existing paths along the Mill Creek. He's also optimistic about the path spurring future development.
"There's an opportunity — as with a lot of these projects — for economic development," he says. "People from Northside or south coming north up a low grade into College Hill, having lunch, having a beer or whatever, and then traveling back."
The city owns most of the land the proposed path would occupy, though there are also a couple private owners with parcels along the potential route.
Jeffreys says if the feasibility study is promising, the city could pursue grants from the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Regional Council of Governments and the federal government to complete the path.