I have also addressed the current and potential connections to neighborhoods near the Greenway. Neighborhoods such as Northwood, Sequoia Hills and every home on the east side of Keith Street between Inman Street and Henderson Avenue enjoy direct access. Others are on the radar to get a direct connection as well.
This “connectivity” came even more into focus for me the other day when my morning running group deviated from the Greenway. Ordinarily the crew of between three to eight runners meets at the former First Tennessee parking lot on Raider Drive and either goes north or south on the Greenway. On this day, we needed a few extra miles so when we reached Tinsley Park we ran toward the entrance and crossed Keith Street toward Logan’s. Although it was Saturday morning, there was still enough traffic that we had to pause our run before we could safely cross Keith Street.
A quarter-mile later we crossed North Ocoee into the Bowman Hills/Bowman Forest neighborhoods. Turning south off Blythe Ferry, we wound through quiet neighborhoods until we ended up at the intersection of Julian Drive and 25th Street. This was a more difficult navigation and we basically had to wait until, like North Ocoee, the traffic signal allowed us to cross safely.
I couldn’t help think that in the near future, runners and walkers won’t have to worry about crossing Keith Street at the Tinsley entrance. The next major expansion of the Greenway will take it safely under the busy road and beside Fillauer Branch all the way to North Ocoee Street.
As for the Julian/25th crossing, did you know there is already safe passage under 25th just a few yards from the intersection? A couple of years ago a partnership between the city of Cleveland and The Retreat at Spring Creek allowed for the installation of the passage. It connects the townhouse complex on the south side with the Spring Creek Shopping Center on the north side.
In the future, plans call for a connection at Elm Drive (which currently dead ends into Spring Creek) allowing all residents of those neighborhoods the opportunity to run or walk on a Greenway all the way to 20th Street. They can then take in the campus of Lee University, downtown and the historic neighborhood area. If so inclined, they can jump on the Greenway at Willow Street and head north all the way back to North Ocoee at Ocoee Crossing … all without ever having to cross a major street unprotected.
I have not measured the full length of the distance I just described, but I look forward to the day when these “connecting pieces of the Greenway” will be completed and the only busy street to cross will be North Ocoee. Although safe passage under North Ocoee at that intersection is not practical, a portion of the recent grant allows for the installation of improved pedestrian crossings there.
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