Solon is often thought about as not being a walkable community, and that is not the case, City Planning Director Robert S. Frankland told City Council on Monday.
Mr. Frankland’s comments were part of a multipurpose trail master plan presentation, an effort spanning over the next 12 years and linked to Solon Connects, a plan with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission to provide walkability and mobility options community wide.
“The county has the ball rolling with Solon Connects,” Mr. Frankland said.
The purpose of a multipurpose trail master plan is to establish, identify and map the master plan framework for trails throughout the city comprehensively.
“It will incorporate into Solon Connects, which does focus on multipurpose trails,” he said.
Mr. Frankland explained that the type of trails will be modeled after those currently on Pettibone and Liberty roads. Simultaneously this will involve a sidewalk plan, he added.
As part of his presentation, Mr. Frankland showed maps of all possible trail connection options, identifying what is most feasible, logical and effective to accomplish goals of connectivity.
He said the plan focuses on the philosophy of establishing loops “so you are not getting a trail to nowhere.” The trails will also link to important city sites and also regional connections, Mr. Frankland said.
“We often think of Solon as not being a walkable community, and that is not the case,” Mr. Frankland said.
Solon has three potential regional trails within the city boundaries, two of which convene in the downtown area.
“Solon can be one of the most walkable communities if you follow the plan over time,” he said.
The initial portions of the plan involve the trail linking Solon to Bainbridge Townships, steps from Chagrin Falls, as well as the portion of the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
“The master plan gives us a strategy,” Mr. Frankland said.
Part of the master plan involves working on the downtown area to get walkability to it as well as link it to regional trail systems, including Hawthorn.
In the future, the plan has the city working with neighboring Glenwillow to connect to Cochran Road and also to try to get a loop near the area of Miles Farmers Market in the 28000 block of Miles Road.
The hope is to dedicate future resources to this plan. Although it is a master plan, he said, costs are yet to be determined.
“We don’t know what will happen in three to four years,” he said.
The idea is to show how the whole system will work, Mr. Frankland added.
In the future, this master plan will come back to city officials as part of Solon Connects, then City Council will vote as to whether it is put in an overall master plan, he explained.