One of the best things about living in Northeast Ohio is the vast number of hike and bike trails. Whether you’re looking to cover some serious ground, or just go for a stroll off the beaten path, there are so many trails to discover. A new edition to this list is the Freedom Trail. This Summit County Metro Parks trail stretches 4.2 miles from the Middlebury lot (right off of SR 261) to Tallmadge Circle. With further construction plans, this path with eventually connect Kent to downtown Akron by bike path.
As a resident of this neighborhood, I couldn’t be more excited! Right around the corner is yet another hike and bike path! In its short time being open, the Freedom Trail has gained popularity, with more and more people using it every nice day. The increase of traffic and the proximity of the trailhead to 261 however, is an excellent example of how we all must share the road.
Under Ohio Revised Code, a bicycle is defined as a vehicle and must adhere to traffic laws. The Ohio Bicycle Federation offers lots of information regarding proper bicycle operation, including this pamphlet by John Allen Street Smarts. A rider must be comfortable and confident on their bicycle before riding with traffic. With all of the bike paths, a rider can go quite a distance without riding on the street. However, a bicycles proper place when riding in town is in the street moving with traffic. Not on the sidewalk.
The responsibility to share the roads is everyone’s. Cyclist must be aware of their rights and place while using the road. Drivers must pay attention to all traffic, including cars, bikes, and pedestrians. As summer continues to unfold, lets all be aware and share the road!
Written by CB