After five years of planning, a new bike path was officially opened to the public at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 21, 2014. The 2009 Comprehensive Bluffton Bike and Pedestrain Master Plan needed upwards of $123,000 to commence. 36 area individuals and businesses are responsible for raising the required funds.
The path was initiated by the Bluffton Lions Club and Bluffton Lions Foundation, thus earning it the name “Lions Way.” The goal of the path is to improve public safety on a heavily-traveled route, where sidewalks are scarce.Spanning seven-tenths of a mile, the new path will allow bikers and pedestrians to safely travel from Main Street to the businesses off of I-75, among other places.
Bike paths have always been a big part of Bluffton’s past. Ropp and Mary Em Triplett launched the idea of several other bike and pedestrian pathways in the late 1970’s, which were implemented in the ’80s. For more on the history of bike paths in Bluffton, click here.
This whole initiative has been a part of the Bluffton community’s effort to connect the people to various destinations, and promote the health and well-being of area community members. The addition of the bike shop downtown last year, CG Pro Bikes, also furthered this mentality. Bluffton students with bikes on campus can utilize both this resource, and the new path.
Lions Way is not entirely completed yet. About 200 feet along Commerce Lane to Route 103 are scheduled for completion soon.