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New spot to rest, regroup added to Sanibel’s shared use path

April 24, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

On April 21, the city of Sanibel joined the Sanibel Bicycle Club to officially open the newest rest area along the island's shared use path.

A crowd of 50-plus users of the path system, including many yellow-shirted club members, gathered to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Located at Casa Ybel Road and Middle Gulf Drive, the rest area is outfitted with white benches, a drinking fountain, bike rack, shade trees and map of the path system to help visitors with directions.

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New path rest area at Casa Ybel Road and Middle Gulf Drive awaits the grand opening.

The site has already proven to be a hit, as people were seen stopping there before construction was completed. It is the first path-side rest area along the Gulf side of the island, and the intersection is a spot where many visitors not familiar with Sanibel need help deciding which way to go.

The Sanibel Bicycle Club has a tradition of working with the city to create shared use path support projects since the club was formed 28 years ago. Projects have included construction of gazebos, the path information center near Huxter's Market and development of the shared use path Master Plan.

It raises funds for projects through its non-profit arm, the Sanibel Trails In Motion Fund.

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The new rest area was inspired by the family of the late Dale Armstrong, a founding member and past president of the club, which wanted to do something in his memory. The project's construction was funded by donations from Armstrong's family and friends, made to the Sanibel Trails In Motion Fund.

The site was provided by the city.

There to mark the opening were club members, City Manager Judie Zimomra, City Council members Holly Smith and Chauncey Goss, and Armstrong's family including wife Julia, daughters Liz and Susan, son Brad and daughter-in law Sarah. Club President Tom Batcheller welcomed the attendees and thanked the city for its cooperation on the project.

In her remarks, Smith commented on the unique asset the path has become for the city. She also applauded the value of the public-private partnership between the city and the club, which has aided continuing improvement of the path system over the years.

Brad Armstrong spoke on behalf of the family, sharing entertaining anecdotes about his father's years supporting the path. Dale Armstrong was famous for bringing hedge clippers along on his bike rides, so he could stop and trim back encroaching branches. His son brought them to the event to cut the ribbon.



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