Solon trail proposal on hold

Plans for an expansion of Solon’s mixed-use trails could still move forward but the city remains in a holding pattern as it waits to hear about potential grant money for the project.

The project, which could take the form of one of two proposed trail systems, was initially detailed in a panel discussion April 23 at the Solon Center for the Arts. The first is a conceptual trail, called the Cleveland to Youngstown trail, an approximately 5-mile mixed-use trail that would run through the city and connect to a larger trail system that extends from Cleveland to Youngstown. 

The second is called the Solon to Chagrin Falls trail and would be an approximately 2-mile trail that connects Solon’s downtown to the nearby communities of Chagrin Falls and Bentleyville.

Solon Mayor Edward H. Kraus said the city is waiting to hear back regarding a $500,000 outdoor recreational facility grant from the state’s Clean Ohio Trails Fund. Kraus said they learned after applying that the fund typically awards grants in the fall.

“For us, it kind of put (the project) on hold until we figure out if we have the funds available to do it,” Kraus said. “It’s given us an opportunity to connect with various partners through the process.”

He said he wants to work with partners such as Cleveland Metroparks and the city of Chagrin Falls, among others. 

At the April 23 discussion, the room of about 200 people were divided equally between residents who were supporters of the proposed trails and residents who opposed the plans, citing concerns about the proximity of the trails to the backyards of their properties. At that meeting, residents also said they are worried about safety, vandalism, pedophiles and bathroom facilities along the trail.

Since that discussion, Kraus said he has met with residents who have properties abutting the planned paths.

“Part of the concern is privacy, and we want to make sure we can alleviate the concerns with respect to privacy,” Kraus said, adding that the city is considering options such as planting mature trees to block some of the nearby homes.

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