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Possible bike trail:

Support grows for Wasson Way Project

By Lizzie glaser
On November 9, 2011

The Wasson Way Project, a proposed bike trail that would

connect Xavier University with Hyde Park Plaza, Rookwood

Pavilion and ultimately the Little Miami Bike Trail, continues to gain local support. "We were just driving down Wasson in January and started thinking how great of a bike trail

it'd make. We didn't think it could happen but we looked into it and found out that there were no trains on the tracks and the railroad stopped using them. Then things got serious and we've been going ever since," local resident

Jay Andress said. "The support has been tremendous."

Andress and his supporters began attending neighborhood

community meetings, where they expanded their support base by several members, including Cincinnati Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan. "Laure was very impressed

by the project and has been very helpful in gaining support from Council," Andress said. Xavier's involvement in the

project began when Andress' group proposed the plan to

Liz Blume, director of Xavier's Community Building Institute,

in May. Currently, senior John Herrick and sport management professor Doug Olberding are evaluating what relationship Xavier's Sustainability Committee

will develop with the project. "We are still determining the

Committee's role within the project, but both Doug and I are very excited about the possibility of a bike path linking Xavier to the east side of Cincinnati," Herrick said.

Out of the community meetings, the Wasson Way Project established a 10-member board of directors made up of professionals and neighborhood activists and continues to seek community support for the project through e-mail and Facebook.

Although the tracks are vacant, they still belong to the railroad company and the group must gain the support of the company and City Hall before any construction can begin.

"We're currently in the process of building up political support and support at City Hall. We're encouraging people to go to Facebook, and using that to mobilize people on certain issues," Andress said. "It's amazing how many people we're able to mobilize."

For Xavier students, the construction of a bike and pedestrian path along the Wasson Way railroad tracks opens up a world of opportunities.

In addition to access to the various restaurants, bars and shopping centers housed in Hyde Park Plaza and Rookwood Commons, the bike trail would take students directly to Ault Park and connect them with the 80-mile Little Miami Bike Trail, which they could follow all the way to Dayton or Urbana, Ohio.

"We're bringing the Little Miami Bike Trail within a couple of hundred yards of every building at Xavier," Andress said. "We're essentially connecting Xavier with all of eastern Cincinnati."

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