Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sanibel will be constructing the "Captiva Connection" this summer

by Bill Sartoris of the Sanibel Bicycle Club:

The Shared Use Master Plan for Sanibel identified several areas for improvement on the 22 miles of shared use paths on Sanibel. One of the key safety issues was the gap in the completion of the path adjacent to Sanibel-Captiva Road. The path currently ends at Pine Avenue at the west end of the island. Prior to the repaving of Captiva Drive on Captiva Island, which included shoulders on both sides of the road, few people biked on the very narrow Captiva Road. Subsequent to the repaving the shoulders are seeing extensive use as an unmarked bike lane. Riders are forced to use the Sanibel-Captiva Road from where the path ends at Pine Avenue to the Blind Pass Bridge, which connects Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Both the City and the Sanibel Bicycle Club consider this a significant safety issue.

The Sanibel Bicycle Club and the City jointly applied for a grant to cover part of the cost of the construction of the path. When the grant was not received, the Sanibel Bicycle Club and the City agreed to jointly fund the construction of the path. The total project cost is $80,000 with the City contributing $65,000 and the Sanibel Bicycle Club contributing $15,000 from the Trails In Motion Fund. The Trails in Motion Fund was established by the Bicycle Club to raise funds to support and improve the path system on Sanibel. Bicycle Club representatives met with the City management, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and with members of the City Council to get approval of this project. The City Council approved the City's contribution for the project, and it should be completed sometime this summer. The path will be an 8 foot wide asphalt side path. This is the first new path segment to be constructed on Sanibel in several years. The City and the Sanibel Bicycle Club continue to work collaboratively to implement the recommendations that were contained in the Shared Use Master Plan.

Any persons interested in contributing to the Trails In Motion fund can get information by going to the Sanibel Bicycle Club website at and click on "Support the Paths".

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