Mayor John Cranley wants Cincinnati City Council to approve $1.9 million for five bicycling projects in the city.
The largest amount of money, $1.1 million, would go to kick-start the Cincy Bike Share program, while $200,000 would go toward four other bike trails – Wasson Way, the Oasis Corridor, Mill Creek and the Ohio River Trail West.
“We’re on the cusp of being thought of as one of the country’s most bike friendly cities within the next 10 years,’’ Cranley said this morning at a City Hall press conference, where he was surrounded by advocates for all five projects.
The money, Cranley said, would come from capital funds set aside for bike purposes. Council is expected to act on an ordinance to spend the money next week.
The project that will have the most immediate impact is Cincy Bike Share, which executive director Jason Barron said would be up and running late this summer.
It is a non-profit that will allow people to rent bicycles and return them to stations operated by Cincy Bike Share. There will be 300 bicycles available at 35 stations in downtown, Over-the-Rhine and the Uptown area near the University of Cincinnati.
Half the funding will come from the city; and the other half is being raised from foundations and private donors, Barron said. Cincy Bike Share is working with the Green Umbrella environmental group to raise private money for the project.
“It’s the mayor’s support that has gotten us to this point,’’ Barron said.
Organizers of the other bike trails are looking at five to 10 years before their projects will be complete.
The Oasis Corridor bike trail will run from downtown to Lunken Airport, while the Wasson Way bike trail will run from Xavier University to the Little Miami Bike Trail in Newtown.
The city’s money will also support development of the next phases
of the ongoing Mill Creek Greenway Trail project between Mt. Airy and Mill Creek.
The Ohio River Trail West would run from Lower Price Hill to the Gilday Riverside Playfield in its first phase. Eventually, it is planned to stretch down the river for 23 miles.