Greater Cincinnati bike trail usage increased last year

A cyclist uses the Lunken Airport bicycle trail

The number of people using Greater Cincinnati’s bicycle and pedestrian trails grew in 2022, according to Tri-State Trails, an advocacy group for a connected regional trail and bicycle network.

By Green Umbrella,

Published February 21, 2023

A cyclist uses the Lunken Airport bicycle trail
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Source: Cincinnati Business Courier

Greater Cincinnati bike trail usage increased last year

The number of people using Greater Cincinnati’s bicycle and pedestrian trails grew in 2022, according to Tri-State Trails, an advocacy group for a connected regional trail and bicycle network.

The group has been collecting data on usage since 2017 and found a major spike in usage in 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic as people sought outdoor recreation.

Two usage metrics dropped in 2021, but growth resumed in 2022.

Tri-State Trails uses two measurements – average annual daily traffic and trail miles traveled annually.

In 2022, trail miles traveled was 17.7 million, up from about 17 million in 2021. In 2020, residents and visitors traveled 22.7 million miles on the region’s trails.

It also uses a metric called annual average daily traffic, which was 291 in 2022, up from about 283 in 2021. It was 301 in 2020.

That means on any given day last year, roughly 291 people were on the regional trail network. The number varies greatly depending on the specific trail corridor and time of year. It represents the average usage of all trails monitored by Tri-State Trails throughout the entire calendar year. For example, Wasson Way’s average daily traffic alone was 695.

Wasson Way, which runs between Evanston and Red Bank Road and connects with Mariemont via the Murray Path, helped drive trail growth, with usage increasing 144% from 2021 to 2022. Last year was the first full year of the Wasson Way segment connecting with the path to Mariemont being open, significantly increasing the length of the trail as well as the population within close proximity of it.

“With each new extension of Wasson Way, trail usage continues to trend upward,” Wade Johnston, the executive director of Tri-State Trails, said.

Traffic on the Mill Creek Greenway, which runs along the eponymous waterway from Northside to South Cumminsville, increased 195% from 2021 to 2022. In 2022, after years of delay, the city repaired a broken platform on the trail in Salway Park.

Usage on the Purple People Bridge connecting Newport and downtown Cincinnati increased 27%, while people riding or walking at the Lunken Airport Bike Path, which added a connection to the Little Miami Trail, increased 23%.

A link between unconnected portions of the Great Miami River Trail in Butler County also aided usage of that pathway, which saw a 50% increase in usage between Middletown and Franklin. Overall, the trail’s usage increased 12% in 2022.

MetroParks of Butler County and the city of Monroe have been awarded funds to extend the Great Miami River Trail south from its current end point in Middletown to Monroe’s Bicentennial Commons.

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