A Change to the Bike Trails Action Team

On Wednesday March 5th, 2014, a group of 20-25 people came together for what would prove to be the final Bike Trails Action Team meeting. The reason however is because something much better is taking its place. What started out focused on bike trails exclusively will now be expanding its focus to Active Transportation in general. Active Transportation includes pretty much any non-motorized form of transportation including bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades/skates, walking, and running.

The reason for this change is first of all due to the recent successes in obtaining grants related to Active Transportation as well as the increased interest in a healthier, more active community. This will also help streamline the process when dealing with organizations that have limited resources, such as the Mayor’s Office and the County Commissioners as well as other government entities. Instead of having multiple groups with a similar focus making similar requests, there will be a single point person championing the projects and communicating with and making requests of these parties.

Mayor DeBaun on Hand

Mayor DeBaun was on hand to appoint Jim Garlits as this point person due to his experience and success in this capacity for the Bike Trails Action Team. Jim accepted names of interested parties in joining this new team and will begin the process of establishing meetings and goals for the group.

Rupert Makes an Offer

Also present at the meeting was Rupert Bonham. Rupert (of Survivor fame) is in the process of opening an extension of his Rupert’s Kids organization in Shelby County. This organization has been operating for 23 years in Indianapolis and he feels it will have even more success in a close knit community like Shelbyville. He came to the meeting because he believes that the trails project would be a great fit for the young adults he works with in his programs. They would be able to provide the labor for working on the trail while providing a cost savings to the project. These kids are taught self respect and life skills through projects such as this as well as rehabbing homes and properties.

He is very excited about getting the program going in Shelbyville hopefully beginning in the April/May timeframe this year. He has fundraisers planned for this launch on May 3rd and 4th. There will be a golf outing at Bear Chase Golf Club followed by a Bicycle and Motorcycle Tours launching out of the Indiana Grand.

Bicycle Route 35 Update

Also making a presentation during the meeting was Mario Vian. He discussed the progress on the Bicycle Route 35 project. This is a Bicycle Route that eventually will lead North/South from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The route uses existing roadways that are designated for this purpose and will appear on maps of the U.S. especially prepared for this purpose as part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

The route is approved through Shelby County as it is through most of the Indiana with the exception of Marion County which is still being reviewed by government leadership. He also discussed the potential for additional spurs leading east as well as the potential for making connections with other nearby communities such as Batesville and Columbus.

Slide Presentation

Following is the slide presentation that was used at the meeting.

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