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Safety urged as bike trail expands

ASHTABULA — Now that Ashtabula County boasts a bike trail from the Trumbull County line to Walnut Beach, city officials say it’s time to review some rules of the road.

The 5.3 miles from the Western Reserve Greenway Trail on West Avenue to Walnut Beach includes bike lanes on West Avenue, a new connection from Smith Field to Michigan Avenue and a new section connecting two sections of Michigan Avenue.

Bicyclists then take a trip down West Eighth Street, eventually arriving at Walnut Boulevard. Soon, a device to take the bikes up the Point Park steps will be created, then it will just be a short jaunt to Walnut Beach.

The Western Reserve

Greenway is a paved rail-trail extending 44 miles through Ashtabula and Trumbull counties. Ashtabula County is home to 27 of these miles, stretching from the city of Ashtabula southward to the county line where it continues for 17 miles into Trumbull County.

The Trumbull County portion travels from Bloomfield, through Champion, Warren, Niles and Weathersfield, eventually taking bicyclists to Austintown in Mahoning County, where it connects to the Mill Creek MetroParks portion, which runs to Western Reserve Road in Canfield Township.

The trail eventually will have connections from Lake Erie to the Ohio River in East Liverpool in Columbiana Countyna County are not completed.

City council recently discussed the benefits and hazards of the newly extended bike trail.

City Solicitor Michael Franklin said, “It’s probably time to review some rules of the road we were taught as children, but many of us seem to have forgotten.”

They include:

l Marked bicycle lanes are for bicycles and pedestrians only. A motorist in a bicycle lane can be cited.

l If there is no bicycle path or lane, a bicycle rider has the same right to use an entire lane as any car or truck.

l Bicycles must be ridden in the same lane as a car.

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