Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sanibel City Council approves several shared use path improvements

Special from Tom Sharbaugh,BikeWalkLee's Sanibel rep/reporter

The Sanibel Bicycle Club worked closely with the city for 3 years on the development its Shared Use Master Plan, culminating in its adoption by City Council in 2009. This past week saw real progress in implementing several components of the Master Plan.
1. Dunlop Path: One of the path extensions proposed in the Master Plan was along Dunlop Road through the town's civic and cultural center. The Sanibel Bicycle Club (SBC) worked in partnership with the City and other community organizations to support this extension. When the project got derailed in January by conflicting interests, SBC led the effort to work out a community consensus and get the project back on track. As a result, a compromise was crafted that could be embraced by all parties, and the City Council voted unanimously on March 1st to approve the project. At the same time, the club pushed forward plans to implement a system of shared use path way-finding signage and improved crosswalks, which were also approved by City Council.

In addition to this work, SBC initiated a major project to build a shared use path information center/rest stop that will serve as a “welcome center” for cyclists and pedestrians. They enlisted a consortium of community groups, representing a range of community interests (e.g. conservation, historic preservation, local businesses, roadside beautification groups and private citizens) to support the project and help with fundraising. As a result, the facility will be built at no cost to the City. Sanibel City Council unanimously endorsed the project on March 1st, asked the City staff to facilitate grant requests, and lauded it as a good model of public/private partnership and community collaboration.

Click here to read the Island Reporter article about these initiatives.

Kudos to the City of Sanibel, the Sanibel Bicycle Club, and the Sanibel community for working together to bring these improvements to the island's shared use path system!

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