Cyclists and pedestrians soon will have a new connection to local and regional trails.
In a Sept. 8 press release, Great Parks of Hamilton County announced the new Beechmont Bridge Connector will open to travelers starting Sept. 21. The project will allow users to safely travel from the Little Miami Scenic Trail to the Ohio River Trail for the first time.
"The trail has for years terminated behind the speedway at State Route 32, and the goal was always to make sure the trail never had to be on a road," Todd Palmeter, CEO of Great Parks tells CityBeat.
A recent fatal hit-and-run crash on the Girl Scout Bridge connecting Newport and Covington demonstrates the risks imposed on cyclists while sharing the road with cars. Plans for a similar expanded deck for that bridge are in the works, but it could take years before trail travelers have a barrier protecting the from vehicles.
New downtown access
Palmeter says the expanded access to the trail will likely encourage more recreational travelers, but he notes the connector will make commuting to downtown without a car much easier.
"Getting to downtown Cincinnati is huge," Palmeter says. "There's a lot of cyclists who want to commute by bike to downtown, and before this bridge was completed they had to ride on Beechmont Avenue or Kellogg Avenue. Those are not safe for large amounts of bicycle traffic. I think we'll see more people starting to commute now that they have this safe crossing."
Go Big Day
Great Parks is celebrating the opening of the connector trail with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 21 and “Go Big Day” on Oct. 2. Go Big Day will be held at Otto Armleder Memorial Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The free event will feature a 5K fun run, live bands, food trucks and craft beer, and special activities for dogs.