By: Mike Clark ~Staff Writer~
Adding to Xavier students’ ability to explore the Cincinnati area, the Wasson Way construction plan will provide the Xavier community with the ability to better explore Hyde Park, Oakley and beyond.
The Wasson Way project aims to use the old railroad tracks near Xavier’s campus in a more constructive manner. The tracks will be repurposed into a bike path that will extend six miles to Hyde Park and Oakley and then beyond to the Village of Mariemont.
The trail will connect with the Loveland-Madeira bike trail and will become part of 68 miles of bike trails that extend all the way to Dayton.
The town hall meeting on April 16 further continued this initiative. Jay Andress, founder of the Wasson Way project, gave a presentation to the Xavier students in attendance, focusing on the point-of-view route taken from Xavier University to Hyde Park. By doing so, organizers hoped that attendees would receive a more accurate representation of what the Xavier community could expect from the development.
Sean Rhiney, director of the Eigel Center, said that his favorite part of the project is the countless possibilities it brings.
“What’s really exciting for us, for everyone on campus and the community, is the section on Montgomery Road that meets the interstate,” Rhiney said.
The section contains ample green space which can be used in many ways by the Xavier community such as for volleyball courts, taco stands or pit stops. All are possibilities for the trail and the empty lawns on Montgomery Road.
“Here’s the trail,” Rhiney said. “What would you like to see? What do you want to happen?”
Those in attendance at the Wasson Way town hall meeting did just that, suggesting ideas for possibilities of the trail and giving feedback to its potential usage.
Although the project is steadily moving forward, it still needs $7 million in funds from Cincinnati’s mayor to purchase the railway. With the support of the community and the Xavier student body, those working on the project hope to make this conception an actuality.