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Delegate says he will ask state for support for bike path

August 11, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.VA. - A proposed bicycle path from Shepherdstown to Morgan's Grove Park along W.Va. 480 will cost about $290,000 and Del. John Doyle, D-Jefferson said during a meeting Tuesday night that he will talk to state officials about possible funding sources for the project.

The path would be 8-feet wide, with two 4-foot lanes in each direction, said Bill Robinson, community development specialist for the state Department of Transportation.

Robinson outlined the project to about 25 local residents during a meeting hosted by Doyle at Reynolds Hall.

Because some residents were concerned that traffic congestion might pose a safety threat to bicyclists along the path as it reached Shepherdstown, highway officials suggest that the bike path cross W.Va. 480 near Elmwood Cemetery and proceed along Minden Street, Robinson said.

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The path would then proceed along Church Street into town, Robinson said.

Although the cost of the path could be reduced by $25,000 by using a gravel instead of a paved surface, a majority of the people at the meeting preferred a paved surface.

In addition to a crossing at Minden Street, the path also would cross W.Va. 480 at Morgan's Grove Park to allow bike riders to reach the recreation area.

Local resident David Hammer raised the idea of reducing the speed limit along W.Va. 480 to make the area safer for bike riders.

Doyle said local residents could ask state highway officials to consider reducing the speed limit.

The next step is to find funding sources for the bike path, and Doyle said he plans to take up the issue with Department of Transportation officials.

If the path is built, it would be the third bike path in the Shepherdstown area. One path goes from Shepherdstown toward the Maddex Square shopping center along W.Va. 45. The second path was built along a connector road between W.Va. 45 and W.Va. 480. If the newest proposed path is built, Doyle said he will support connecting all three, making a triangle-shaped circuit.

"That obviously will take a few years. But I am committed to do it because I think the community wants it," Doyle said.

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