Mayor Thomas Brick wants to create an ad hoc committee to support hiking and biking paths in the village.
The paths could include access to South Russell, Muggleton Park, Frohring Meadows, the Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
He said a few local groups concerned with walking and biking — including the Safe Routes to School program and the South Russell Multi-Purpose Trail Foundation — made him realize that many residents are interested in these issues.
“I thought this would be a long-range issue,” he said at Monday’s Village Council meeting, where he announced his intention to create the committee.
My first memory of interfacing with the city of Pepper Pike’s government goes back to 2000, about a year after I moved to Pepper Pike. I was invited to join a citizen’s committee dedicated to researching and developing a recreation path plan for the city. It was a superb introduction to how passions can play out in a small city. Ultimately, the effort did not result in the approval of any plan for paths.
Since then, Beachwood has constructed paths and Pepper Pike put down asphalt paths around the Brainard Circle and down Shaker Boulevard to connect to Beachwood’s path. Bainbridge and Solon have also looked at the issue of recreational paths, though I’ve not researched the current status of those efforts.
Just this week, a long-time Pepper Pike resident and parent of two elementary school-aged children, who is also a runner, expressed to me a great desire f0r rec paths (trust me, based on my experience in 2000 and 2001, I did not bring up the topic – it just came up in conversation about the city) and was sorry that the initiative did not go anywhere eight years ago. This resident refuses to run outside in the city and feels that his/her children’s lack of knowing how to ride a bike is in part due to the fact that we have no sidewalks or rec paths, even knowing that any of us can, of course, drive somewhere to accomplish these things.
Having been up close and personal with the passions aroused by the topic of recreation paths in the city of Pepper Pike, my sense is that the 2010 census might give us useful information about the city’s demographics that could, in turn, help us evaluate the pursuit (or decision not to pursue) recreation paths sometime after 2010. Also, watching and observing how the communities around us manage and resolve inquiries and investigation into the viability of recreation paths will be instructive.
I wish Chagrin Falls good luck. What do you think?
FYI: If you want to learn more about Census 2010, start here.