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Freeman of the Press: Hudson residents have opportunity for input

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: July 21, 2013 12:00 AM
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Sometimes, residents don't feel like city officials or councils in their communities listen to them, but Hudson residents have an opportunity to impact decisions now that will direct pathways to the future.

The city of Hudson is looking at connectivity. It's not a new idea. The parks, the schools and the city have all worked on individual plans, but at the July 9 Council workshop, City Engineer Thom Sheridan presented a map showing the sidewalks and trails that exist now and could exist in the future.

It's the future trails and sidewalks that residents should focus on.

On the map there are at least 20 neighborhoods in the former township area. The neighborhoods have existed as entities unto themselves but through past surveys have indicated they want connectivity. Now residents can decide how they want to be connected.

The city staff and Council stated during the workshop meeting they would like input from the neighborhoods. Do you want sidewalks in front of your homes? If not, do you want to be connected to other neighborhoods, schools, downtown or parks through a single trail or sidewalk? Where do you want it located?

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Now is the time to talk with neighbors and decide the connectivity needs for your neighborhood. Otherwise the city and Council will make the decision without you.

The map showing existing and proposed sidewalks and trails is attached to the July 9 Council workshop agenda and is the last item on the agenda. A copy was printed in the July 14 Hudson Hub-Times and can be found under "Local News" on our website, www.hudsonhubtimes.com. Council members and their emails can be found at www.hudson.oh.us at the City Government tab under City Council.

Once Hudson neighborhoods are connected to each other, they may look at connecting to other communities. The Metro Parks, Serving Summit County (www.summitmetroparks.org) has had a Hiking Spree in the fall and a Spree for All in the spring for many years but introduced a Summer Biking Spree this year, which began in June and ends Aug. 31.

I've ridden on three multi-purpose trails already and have been pleasantly surprised by the wide asphalt trails created to connect communities together.

Although one path stretches from state Route 82 in Sagamore Hills to Silver Springs Park in Stow, it is broken up into smaller sections ranging from 6.2 miles to 10 miles. Another section begins at the Middlebury Trailhead on Northeast Avenue and heads southwest to Tallmadge Circle, an 8.4 mile section that continues on if the rider wants to see where it goes. I know heading north will take the rider very close to the new Record Publishing Co. office in Kent where I work.

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July 5, my husband and I rode along a section of the towpath in Akron from Big Bend to Beech Street near downtown Akron. The 6.8 mile section is one of the older trails and has sections of asphalt, crushed limestone and wooden bridges. It also passes Mustill Store located on Lock 15 where canal boats once passed to carry goods from Akron to Cleveland. Who would think education and exercise could be combined?

Unfortunately, because of the recent rains, the section of the trail between Memorial Parkway Trailhead and Mustill Store Trailhead is closed.

There are three more bike trails, two in Barberton and one in Clinton. The rider only needs to complete five of 10 listed to be eligible for an award, and one is a biker's choice. Forms are available at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm on Smith Road or the administrative offices on Treaty Line Road in Akron.

They're just pathways, available for hiking or biking, but they take us out of our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities and connect us with others. And that's not such a bad idea.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

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