Throughout the comprehensive planning process, a series of survey questions was posted to the project website, and several of these questions related to bicycle and pedestrian facilities. In response to evaluating existing City characteristics, 33% of the 340 respondents indicated that walkability was good, 43% stated walkability was fair, and 21% reported poor walkability. When asked how important it is for the City to develop improved bike and pedestrian facilities, 32% of the 323 respondents indicated that bicycle and pedestrian facilities were very important, whereas 46% responded important.
Another survey question asked what the City’s role should be regarding improvements in residential areas in need of reinvestment. Street and sidewalk repair was selected at the highest percentage, 72% of 365 responses, taking precedence over the following list of action items: providing grants/low-interest loans; housing demolition and resale of lots; street trees and lighting; sewer and water improvements; reduce permitting/inspection; tax abatement; and doing nothing. Finally, when asked to rank the importance of several categories of transportation investments, improvements to pedestrian facilities (sidewalks and crosswalks) averaged the second most important behind only resurfacing existing roads.
The results of these multiple survey responses reveal that there is broad support and desire to increase connectivity and enhance walkability in Lebanon. The City is gaining momentum in working with developers to create more destinations for walking and biking. As the City continues to invest in sidewalks, bike lanes and multi-use trails, the opportunity exists for all residents to take better advantage of this bicycle-pedestrian network as a mode of travel to and from various destinations.
The City, in partnership with Butler, Fairman & Seufert, completed the City of Lebanon Bike & Pedestrian Plan in 2015. The plan makes recommendations for future bicycle and pedestrian improvements, including shared use paths, bike lanes, shared roadways, cycle tracks, and sidewalks across the City. The plan identified and prioritized the following bike and pedestrian routes:
- East Street: bicycle boulevard & cycle track
- Elm Swamp Road – Elizaville Road – Ulen Drive: bike lanes
- Anderson Lane: bike lanes & shared-use path
- Sidewalk Improvement Plan: city–wide sidewalk repairs
- Frontier Drive – Garfield Street: bike lanes & shared roadway
- Indianapolis Avenue: shared-use path
- Grant Street: bike lanes, shared roadway, & sidewalk
- Main Street: bike lanes, shared roadway, & sidewalk
- Abner Longley Park: shared-use path
- Lebanon Street: shared-use path
- Big 4 Trail West: shared-use path
- Chicago Street: bicycle boulevard
- Lafayette Avenue: bike lane & sidewalk
- Noble Street – Peterson Street: bike lane & sidewalk
- Essex Street: shared roadway
- Washington Street: shared roadway
- RR Underpass Trail: shared-use path
- Railroad Trail: shared-use path
- Park Street: shared roadway
- Millerwood Trail: shared-use path
- Camp Street: bike lanes & sidewalk
- Witt Road: shared roadway
- Sam Ralston Road: shared-use path & shared roadway
- South Street – SR 32: shared-use path
- Business Park Trail: shared-use path
- Elizaville Road: shared roadway & sidewalk
- Fordice Road – Fordice Street: bike lanes, shared roadway, & sidewalk
For more details about these recommendations, please see the complete Bike & Pedestrian Plan [LINK].
In 2018, the City contracted with HWC Engineering to conduct a sidewalk inventory of all sidewalks in the City. The purpose of this study was to identify any gaps in the sidewalk network and evaluate all existing sidewalks on a scale of one to ten, with one meaning seriously deteriorated and ten being in the best condition. Other items identified included barriers in the sidewalk, including mailboxes, vegetation, and vehicles that hindered access, as well as any tripping hazards.
To help quickly repair sidewalks in Lebanon, in 2019 the City implemented a 50/50 Sidewalk Replacement Cost Share Program. The purpose of this program is to assist residents in making improvements in their neighborhood while partnering with the City. The property owner submits a request to the City for a partnership to replace a sidewalk. The City obtains a cost estimate and provides it to the property owner. If agreeable, the City will start construction once the property owner submits their portion of the payment. This program is on a first come, first serve basis until the money runs out. To find out more about the program, please see the City’s website [LINK].
Additionally, opportunities may exist to incorporate new trails and sidewalk improvements into the design and construction of new developments. Updates to the UDO are needed in order to require developers of subdivisions, apartments, and mixed-use developments to incorporate these improvements into their design or to provide an easement for the City to construct improvements at a later date.
The comprehensive plan identifies the extension of the Big 4 trail. The extension includes the ongoing construction to connect the existing Big 4 trail on the west side of the City to Main Street. The trail then extends along Main Street to East Street. The trail would continue north on East Street and connect to Washington Street. From there it would extend from East Street to John-Bart Road, where it will turn south to utilize the old railroad right-of-way to continue east to the Midland Trace Trail in Westfield.