Wasson Way | Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE WASSON WAY?

The Wasson Way is a proposed bike and pedestrian trail stretching over 7 miles from Victory Parkway to the Little Miami Bike Trail in Newtown. It will give 100,000 people, living within one mile of the trail, access to a network of over 100 miles of bike and pedestrian trails.

The trail begins just west of Victory Parkway, southwest of Xavier University, passes by Walnut Hills High School, Xavier University, Withrow High School, Rookwood Pavilion, Hyde Park Plaza, Ault Park, and ends at the beginning of the 78 mile Little Miami Bike Trail.

The Wasson Way will span the neighborhoods of Avondale, Walnut Hills, Evanston, Norwood, Hyde Park, Oakley, Mt Lookout, Fairfax, Newtown, Mariemont, and Madisonville. Connecting to Victory Parkway, it will enable people living in the neighborhoods of Walnut Hills, Avondale, North Avondale and even Paddock Hills, Roselawn and Bond Hill to reach the Wasson Way. At the eastern end of the trail, once connected to the Little Miami Bike Trail, users will be able to bike all the way to Cleveland, OH.

Check out our Map

WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE WASSON WAY?

The City of Cincinnati recently purchased 4.1 miles of right-of-way needed to build Stage 1 of the Wasson Way trail. This section runs from Montgomery Road (near Xavier) to Wooster Road in Fairfax. While the purchase of the right of way is complete, funding is still needed for both design and construction of the 4.1 miles of trail. Scroll down for a progress update for each phase.  

While this 4.1 miles is huge milestone, the Wasson Way organization is committed to seeing that the full trail is constructed to eventually stretch 7.6 miles from Avondale to Newtown. This will enable trail users to access the Uptown/UC area to the west and the Little Miami trail to the east.

Stage 1: Current Project
  • Phase 1-4 are part of the 4.1 miles of right-of-way that is now owned by the City of Cincinnati. The City of Cincinnati has hired MKSK to design the trail. Details are outlined below.

  •   Stage 2: Future connections
  • Montgomery Road to Avondale  – the exact route is in development
  • Wooster Road to Little Miami Trail – the exact route is in development
  • Other Trail Connections
  • Other possible connections via the Cincinnati Connects Trail plan (link to plan)
  • Armleder and Lunken Trails - Wooster Road to the existing trails at Armleder Park which also connects to the Lunken Bike trail.
  • HOW WILL WASSON WAY CONNECT TO OTHER EXISTING AND PLANNED TRAILS?

    Little Miami Trail
    The Wasson Way organization is committed to connecting the Wasson Way to the Little Miami Trail in the most direct way possible. There are a variety of ways this could take place and we look forward to working with all relevant stakeholders to make this happen. When the Wasson Way is connected to the Little Miami Bike Trail, the network of trails will reach all the way to Cleveland.

    Montgomery Road to Avondale
    The Wasson Way organization is committed to extending the trail west of Montgomery Road into the community of Avondale, thereby giving surrounding neighborhoods trail access and giving all trail users connections to the UC/Uptown Area.

    Armleder and Lunken Trails
    As the Wasson Way Trail exits Ault Park near Fairfax, users will be able to go south to Armleder Park which connects to the existing Lunken trail.

    Cincinnati Connects Urban Loop Trail
    A plan for a 42-mile Cincinnati Urban Loop Trail that would include six connector trails and four primary trails, the Ohio River West, the Mill Creek Greenway, Oasis Transportation Corridor/Ohio River Trail, and Wasson Way. Click here to view map.

    WHERE WILL I PARK AND HOW WILL I ACCESS THE TRAIL?

    In the City of Cincinnati, we are working with MKSK to identify trail access points and possible trailheads with parking (link to map). Near one access point along Wasson Road, there are 90 spaces of public on street parking. Parking opportunities will continue to be explored as part of the design effort. In addition, as a neighborhood trail, most of the users will ride or walk to the trail rather than drive.

    WHAT IS THE COST TO BUILD THE WASSON WAY?

    Architecture and engineering firm KZF Design released a feasibility study on the Wasson Way Trail in June 2014.  The study concluded that the trail can be built, and that many of the bridges and trestles are in good shape and will not need to be rebuilt.  
     
    Since then, The City of Cincinnati has conducted a more comprehensive examination of the corridor and determined that the estimated cost for the 4.1 section of trail for design and construction is $14-20MM. Exact costs will vary depending on the final scope of the project and will be available when design of each phase is complete.  
     
    Projects in other parts of the country which are similar to the Wasson Way have been funded by a combination of Federal, State, and local public funding in addition to non-profit foundation dollars and private citizen funds.

    HOW WILL THE TRAIL BE MAINTAINED?

    Similar trails across the country are maintained in a number of different ways. Many are maintained through a mix of community coalitions dividing the work among themselves. Besides government involvement, such as parks and transportation departments, there is sometimes a local non-profit that works with all groups to coordinate services. In Minneapolis, while local government maintains the trail, the Midtown Greenway Coalition coordinates volunteer groups to make the trail a special destination. The biggest challenge is often with rural trails in low population density areas where there are few resources. Fortunately, Wasson Way is almost entirely urban, surrounded by dense and vibrant neighborhoods, providing plenty of opportunities for shared upkeep.

    WILL THE TRAIL BE SAFE?

    Prior to the City of Cincinnati’s purchase of right-of-way, the corridor was unpatrolled private property owned by the railroad – a situation that caused concern for neighboring residents and business. Now that the City owns the land and it is public property, the police will be able to patrol the area. Once the land becomes a bike and pedestrian trail the Cincinnati Police have committed to begin regular automobile and bike patrols of the area.

    Research studies link greenways to decreased crime in surrounding neighborhoods. National crime statistics show that parks and trails are two to three times safer than parking lots, streets, and even a person’s own house. Trails are the ultimate neighborhood block watch program filled with cellphone carrying people using the trail. In Minneapolis, the Midtown Greenway Coalition even organizes citizens to oversee activity on the trails. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Rail Trails and Safe Communities (Washington DC: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1998)

    HOW WILL THE TRAIL DESIGN ADDRESS TRAFFIC AND TRAFFIC CROSSINGS?

    There are a variety of ways in which bikers and pedestrians can make crossings while at the same time minimizing impact on traffic and ensure safety of all parties. This has been shown time and time again in other trail across the country. Short-term and long term options for street crossings along the Wasson Way are currently being study by MKSK and the rest of the design team. Detailed drawings of each intersection within each phase will be available when design of the phase is complete. Community members will have an opportunity to comment on all phases of design. Check out our website and Facebook page for the latest opportunities to comment on designs.

    HOW WILL THE TRAIL COEXIST WITH LIGHT RAIL?

    The mission of the Wasson Way organization is to build a world class bike and pedestrian trail running from Victory Parkway to the Little Miami Trail. We look forward to working with the City of Cincinnati and other partners to build the Wasson Way trail now that the corridor has been secured.

    If there is community desire and resources to begin the light rail project in the future, our goal will be to to ensure that a bike and pedestrian trail can coexist as part of this effort.  A recent study conducted by the UC Niehoff Urban Studio published a report  entitled, ”Movement in the City“, highlights research and project proposals for Wasson Way as a both a trail and light rail corridor showing, from their perspective, that it is possible for both to co-exist. Students from urban planning, civil engineering, urban geography, and real estate collaborated with stakeholders across the City to develop these proposals.

    The Wasson Way is an incredible corridor for transportation. The same features that make it a great bike path can also make it a great rail line, and with the City of Cincinnati now having ownership of the 4.1 miles this portion of right-of-way is protected for potential future light rail or any other transportation desires.

    WHO IS BEHIND THE WASSON WAY?

    Wasson Way is a 501c3 non profit organization, governed by a Board of Directors. We are people from your community who are passionate about making this project happen. Everyone involved is a volunteer who is giving their time to spread the word about the project, find proposed solutions to some of the construction challenges, and raise funding. Link to our Board page. If you are interested in serving on a committee, as a volunteer or helping spread the word about the Wasson Way, please subscribe to our email list by sending an email to wassonway@gmail.com or liking our page on Facebook (facebook.com/WassonWayProject).

    HOW WILL THE TRAIL AFFECT PROPERTY VALUES?

    Case studies throughout the country measure the long-term economic impact or mixed-use greenways. Projects like the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway, New York’s High Line, and various others across the country give a wide base from which to predict impact. More regionally, numbers from University of Cincinnati Professors Rainer vom Hofe (Urban Planning) and Oliver Parent’s (Economics) study of the Little Miami Scenic Trail. This study concluded that homes within 1,000 feet of the trail had a $9,000 higher property value. Recent studies of the Wasson Way network of trails, conducted by the University of Cincinnati School of Design, Architecture, and Planning under the guidance of Professor vom Hofe, indicate significant increases in residential housing values and over $9M in local annual spending. read this study here

    WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS?

    100,000 people that live within one mile of this the trail and connector trails will have access to recreation, exercise, and bike transportation in a much safer and more peaceful environment than congested and dangerous roads. Wasson Way will play a vital role in the Safe Routes to Schools Program -- students could walk or bike to Xavier University, Withrow High School, Walnut Hills High School, Mariemont High School and numerous public and elementary schools. Serious bikers could use the trail to reach the Little Miami Bike Trail within minutes of leaving home. Children and families could travel on the trail to access the play fields and tennis courts behind Withrow High School or go into Ault Park.