Because of an errand my wife asked me to run on the way to work today, I took the Olentangy Multi-Use Path to work today. And I got to witness first-hand just how much it's been bollocksed-up by Ohio State University (and please pardon the brit/soccer-isms today... I'm still completely stoked by the Crew winning MLS Cup 2008).
As usual, the trail was just fine up to the point when I got to Woody Hayes. I went under the bridge there and was actually impressed with the work that had been done. The path was right along the river, and moving along nicely. It was wide enough for bikes to path easily, and I was really getting impressed.
Then I got to the messed-up part. Seeing no signage to tell me otherwise, I saw the path going off in a direction that might lead one to believe that it went under the next bridge (near the northern-most of the two OSU towers, I don't know the name of it). I decided to see if I was correct.
I was not.
It didn't go under the bridge... it didn't go ANYWHERE. It stopped. Dead end. Luckily, I'd built up enough speed that I was able to make it up the short but steep incline in the grass and up to where the path continued. Consider it my attempt to see how stoked I'd be to try CycloCross (which I do want to try out sometime. Just not on my commuter bike with full panniers!).
At that point, I looked around for where to go next. And I saw the "Under Construction" signage for the path as it went back the way I came... I guess the wizards at OSU just figured that the only folks who mattered were those were already on campus and trying to leave, because I don't recall seeing any signs for those trying to get through campus. So after a couple of tries, I went down in front of the Drake Union (I think that's the name of the building, the one just north of the junction of Cannon Drive and John H Herrick Drive) and was able to make it back onto the nasty section of the path as it goes past the electrical station just south of the aforementioned junction.
I'm not impressed with the steps OSU is taking to fix the path right now. It's half-done at best. And the signage to successfully reroute path users around is nearly nonexistent. And the real problem spot, up by the electrical station, is still too narrow and poorly paved.
I can accept that it's under construction. I can't accept the idea that OSU can't handle proper signs to reroute people around up there and point them in the proper direction. At most points, I had to rely on the still-existing painted path signs for Bike the C-bus. Pathetic.
OSU, for all its posturing about being an important part of the Columbus community, is still obviously all about OSU, and their treatment of the path is just the latest outward indication of that fact.
People, not speed.