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Olander looks to widen walking path along road

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Walkers at Olander Park soon won‘t have to walk on the park‘s access road because they’ll have their own path.‍‍‍‍‍‍

Park Director Erika Buri recently told the park system‘‍s three-member Board of Commissioners about the issue between cars and pedestrians who share Olander Road. The 1.1-mile road loops around Lake Olander and is used by cars and walkers, except in a shaded area of the park where it is solely a walking path.

“On a Saturday, it gets really busy and we want people to feel they can walk along the road, but we also need to make space for the cars,” she said.

The issue of widening the drive has come up during discussions regarding the re-pavement of the road, along with repaving Olander’s six parking lots.

“We haven’t done any improvements to Olander Road since I don’t know how long. It has cracks, sealant issues, and crumbling problems,” she said.

Ms. Buri said that re-paving the 20-foot-wide road is an opportune time to examine widening the drive about three feet to make room for a designated walkway. It would be similar to the small portion of the drive near the park entrance that has an exclusive space for walkers.

The park system can obtain road repair funds through the Ohio Department of Transportation, she said. The funds accrued to about $142,000 and it is has to use them by next year.

Although cost estimates and a project scope have not been solidified, the road would be re-paved in two stages in the fall of 2015, shutting down one side of the park at a time, she said.

She said that ODOT funds can only be used toward the re-pavement project. If park officials decide the path extension is feasible, it will have to be paid with park funds.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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