Linear Shared Use Path

Piqua, Ohio

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC)


Piqua was labeled "A City of Walkers" and wanted to increase the percentage of nonmotorized modes of transportation used in the city. It also wanted to increase the use of pedestrian and bike paths for exercise by city residents and visitors from outside the community.


Piqua's idea for the Linear Park began in 2001 when the city converted an old railroad right-of-way that travels east-west through the center of town from into a bike path.


The Linear Park bike path plan was completed in five phases from 2001 and 2003 and included over 11 miles of paths for pedestrians and bicyclists. Phases I, II, and III of the project were in the form of the "Piqua Activity Trail for your Health" (PATH) competition; a 5.5 mile trail constructed from the former Conrail Railroad that extends across the city. Phase I was a 10-foot asphalt path surrounded by 10-feet of green space and includes a pedestrian bridge over U.S. Route 36. Phase I also included the construction of French Park, which included a park and ride facility and a picnic area. Phase II was an extension of Phase I that continued along an old railroad ballast and included a tunnel that crossed under Sunset Drive and a bridge that crossed over the Great Miami River on a refurbished railroad bridge. Phase III was the easternmost mile of the railroad right-of-way property that travels through rural farmland.

Phase IV of the project was the "Canal Run"; a 2.3 mile long path that travels along ponds and canals in Piqua. The path was constructed on top of the levee that runs along the canal and crosses over State Route 185, passing through residential districts and the city's oldest park. Canal Run began off of the PATH trail and continued north where it connected to the trail completed in Phase V. Phase V was the 3.5 mile "The River's Edge" path and the extension of the Canal Run southward to the PATH. The River's Edge path was constructed along the Great Miami River, which opened up viewing areas of the river and city that were not previously enjoyed by the public. The Phase V trail had several safety features that allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross under three major highways using existing bridges without any vehicle conflicts.

Linear Park is used as a recreational facility, a tool for economic development, a means for transportation, and a major contributor to the quality of life in the city.


The Linear Park project was completed in a four year period that lessoned the impact on any individual year's budget. The overall cost was approximately $2.79 million with $1.19 million coming from grants. The following results were obtained during two different surveys conducted in Linear Park on different occasions during the hours of 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM:

Pedestrian and bicyclist counts
DatePedestrianBikeRollerbladeDogTotal People

These results show significant use of the different paths that are included in Linear Park and it is expected that this facility will be enjoyable for many generations to come.


Thomas Zechman
Public Works Director
201 West Water Street
Piqua, Ohio 45356
(937) 778-2044

Filed in: Engineering, Case Studies

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