PEPPER PIKE MULTI-PURPOSE Trail
The City of Pepper Pike seeks your input on a proposal to enhance the beauty of the city and increase recreational offerings for residents. The project is to beautify Gates Mills Blvd. with the planting of many additional trees and shrubs. At the conclusion, the boulevard will be a significantly more beautiful area both visually and to use. An element of that larger project to beautify Gates Mills Blvd includes a paved trail on the Gates Mills Boulevard corridor. This path will provide a safe manner for pedestrians, (including young children, mom's with strollers, older residents) with a safe and beautiful pathway connecting with other areas. The trail would be designed in a manner that maintains existing trees, while providing additional landscaping, shade, definition and enhanced beautification to transform the Gates Mills median into a more inviting environment for all residents to enjoy. By placing a trail in this spacious, City-owned median, we will connect the corridor to the Shaker/Brainard Circle Park to the west, while maintaining ample greenspace. This would provide a safe, pedestrian-friendly link for residents to easily enjoy City assets, such as the Pepper Pike Park, places of worship and educational institutions. There will be no parking lots, structures or lights. There will likely be occasional park benches, waste receptacles and a beautiful park like space. The path will promote the city tree canopy and enhance stormwater controls, while having an anticipated positive impact on nearby home values.
The City plans to fund more than 40 percent of the project ($500,000.00) through a Clean Ohio Trails Fund Grant, pending that an award is made by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The path is estimated to cost a maximum of $1.2 million. The City and the City Engineer anticipate the project will come in well under the projected amount.
Suburban trails statistically have less crime than the overall community in which they are located, and our Police Chief and staff agree that this will be a safe, secure pathway that will not create associated security concerns. The Pepper Pike Police regularly patrol around this median, and would continue to have an active presence once the trail is constructed. Safety is actually one of the motivations for the project.
The 130' wide boulevard median is a unique city asset which exists for all to enjoy, not only the residents who live on the street. At the conclusion, the boulevard will be a significantly more beautiful area both visually and to use. Houses on Gates Mills are setback about 100" from the roadway. That setback, added to the depth of the roadway and median, will further distance pathway users from homes, an additional 90-100" further away! The plantings will provide additional screening for residents.
Improving the walkability of the city is a challenge we confront and are trying to resolve. The conceptuals you see online are just that, as the path has not been engineered or finalized. This city project is not a referendum issue, just as improvements to the City Hall park, Shaker/Brainard Circle, Morgan Park, or Service and Police Department renovations are not voted upon by residents. We do value your perspective and are thereby soliciting the views of residents. The decision to proceed with the path is ultimately for Council to make.