TALLMADGE — Anyone looking to take a bicycle ride and offer thoughts on making the city more bicycle-friendly is invited to meet at city hall next weekend.
The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study is hosting a Bike-N-Brainstorm event that will begin and end at Tallmadge City Hall, 46 North Ave., on Sept. 22. Participants are asked to meet at city hall at 8:30 a.m. Those planning to ride must bring their own bicycles and it’s strongly recommended that they wear a helmet, said AMATS Planner Darryl Kleinhenz. He added that riders must sign a waiver before beginning the ride at 9 a.m. The loop around the city is expected to end at about 10.
Participants do not need to register in advance.
Tallmadge Mayor Dave Kline said he will lead the 5.6-mile bicycle ride on several streets with a police escort. Starting at city hall, the ride will head north on North Avenue (Route 91), turn east on Howe Road, south on North Munroe Road, west on East Avenue, go northeast along Freedom Trail and then southwest on Northeast Avenue to return to city hall.
After going on the on-street ride, AMATS officials will ask participants to fill out questionnaires and share thoughts on whether they think improvements need to be made along the city streets to accommodate bicyclists, Kleinhenz said.
Kline added the purpose of the mobile brainstorming is also to examine "how to connect neighborhood streets to the bike trails, to make a city more friendly on bikes."
Kline said the contingent will make some stops along the route at some "strategic locations" at North Avenue and Howe Road, the Freedom Trail, the roundabout (at Howe and North Munroe roads) and the recreation center. The mayor added there may be a stop at the middle school to have a discussion on the new building being built. When they return to city hall, Kline said they will "brainstorm a little bit" about what they saw during the ride while having beverages.
He said the specific issues they will examine include "how to connect some of the neighborhoods, how to cross Howe Road at the Freedom Trail … and connecting the rec center to the Freedom Trail down East Avenue."
About Bike-N-Brainstorm events
AMATS developed the Bike-N-Brainstorm events in 2012 to function as an alternative to a typical public meeting, allow citizens to do on-road bicycling in a community, receive feedback on improving bicycling opportunities and discuss potential improvements, according to information from Kleinhenz.
There have been three other Bike-N-Brainstorm events hosted by AMATS this year: June 6 in Akron; July 18 in Ravenna; and Aug. 18 in Green. Each of these programs were attended by about 15-20 people, said Kleinhenz, who added AMATS officials are hoping that they will have a larger turnout in Tallmadge.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.