Urges support for multi-purpose trails

Staff Writer
Kent Weeklies

I am an avid runner, hiker, and bicyclist, using Hudson’s trails, sidewalks, and streets several times every week.

I am fortunate to live in Winston Manor with easy access to downtown, but many Hudson residents live on streets that are busy, have minimal sidewalks, and without sufficient shoulders. Such conditions make it difficult to connect to the excellent Metro Parks Bike Hike Trail to the west and south of Hudson.

I strongly support building multi-purpose trails in Hudson over other improvements because:

1. Sidewalks are meant primarily for walking, with cycling prohibited and dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians.

2. Widened shoulders are better than nothing, but even modestly busy roads are unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists, especially children and the elderly. Designated bike lanes accumulate rocks and debris that pose a safety hazard to cyclists.

3. Connected multi-purpose trails will provide easy access across the city, are dedicated to recreational use, are wide enough for two-way traffic, and can be routed to avoid motor vehicle traffic. Such trails may be enjoyed safely by everyone, be they young, old, disabled, walking, or bicycling.

4. Multi-purpose paths encourage healthy lifestyles: people use them for commuting, walking to town, or exercise.

5. Economic benefits include increased foot traffic and spending in downtown Hudson, as well as reduced pressure on parking. I am particularly supportive of the proposed Veterans Trail on the abandoned Hudson-Akron Secondary rail line. It would connect downtown Hudson to outlying areas of the city, existing and proposed regional mult-purpose trails, and the communities of Akron, Silver Lake, Stow, and Cuyahoga Falls.

I encourage the city to work with the Metro RTA and Metro Parks to convert the right-of-way to a multi-purpose trail.

Hudson is updating its Connectivity Plan. I encourage residents to support multi-purpose trails and the Veterans Trail by going to the website (https://www.hudson.oh.us/1195/Connectivity-Plan-Update) to post comments via the Feedback button.

Michael Hulver, Hudson