As avid users of the Marietta's River Trail, we think extending the bike/pedestrian path to Devola will only enhance the experience for those already using the trail, and open up recreational opportunities for those living in Devola.
The large turnout to an informational meeting this week is a good start to the discussion and we hope Devola residents keep an open mind to the idea. It's been proposed that the Marietta multi-use path, which runs along the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, be extended to Devola. No plans have been drawn, and no cost estimates reached, but those who support the idea say it can be done in a minimally invasive way to peoples' properties and whenever possible, paid for through volunteers, grants and other means.
We think it's a discussion worth having.
On any given day, Marietta's bike path is busy with activity. Walkers, runners and cyclists alike use the path at all times of day, any given day of the week and in all seasons. It truly has enhanced the quality of life for those who live or work in or near Marietta. We think extending the path to Devola will create greater recreational opportunities for more people, and allow for practical applications as well. For example, it would make it easier for people to bike to work or shop in Marietta rather than drive a car. In an area where very little public transportation exists, such opportunities are more important than ever.
When Marietta's bike path went in, concerns among property owners had to be addressed. Years later, those issues have been worked out, and we see no reason why negotiations can't take place here. There's very little if any issues with vandalism or crime along the Marietta path and we see no reason why that should be any different in Devola.
Finally, extending Marietta's bike path to neighboring communities only enhances the draw for cyclists and other recreation enthusiasts looking for destinations to visit and enjoy.
There are lots of details to be worked out and we hope those details come soon so the conversation that began this week can continue.