Ribbon Cutting for South County Commons Bike Path Connector
From The Independent by Ryan Blessing Staff Writer
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Those who want to pursue outdoor activities that involve exercise but no large crowds have a new option in South Kingstown.
Walkers, joggers, bicycle riders and others can now use a new path dedicated last week in the town. The town held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 5 to open the pedestrian and bicycle connector path from the Broad Rock Play Fields to South County Commons.
The 3,400 foot paved pathway starts where St. Dominic Road ends and terminates at South County Commons.
Residents in town and at the Commons are now provided safe, scenic pedestrian or bicycle access to the many recreational amenities at Broad Rock Play Fields including the dog park, Recreation Center, and Senior Center, as well as to Old Mountain Field and downtown Wakefield.
Conversely, residents can access the many businesses and restaurants at South County Commons, on foot via this tree-canopied, ADA accessible connection.
“The new ADA compliant connector is a great addition to the town’s inventory of bike paths and greenways,” Theresa Murphy, South Kingstown’s director of leisure services, said. “This particular project has been in the capital improvement plan since 2006 and was highlighted again during the Healthy Places by Design process in 2012 where walking and biking infrastructure was identified as critical to increasing connectivity in town.”
With major funding support in the form of a Rhode Island Recreation Acquisition and Development Grant through the 2016 Green Economy Bond, combined with an easement across the western half of the path owned by SCC Investments III, LLC, the project was implemented over the last 12 months and is a welcome addition to the town’s inventory of bike paths and greenways, Murphy said.
The Parks and Recreation Department expressed special thanks to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, South Kingstown Town Council and Recreation Commission, Hugo Key of Key Corp., and the town’s personnel from the Parks and Highway Divisions, Town Engineer Rich Bourbonnais, and Alex Petrucci of SCC Investments III.
Pedestrian and bicycle riders have a plethora of options in South County, including another path that opened last fall.
In November, the University of Rhode Island celebrated completion of a two-mile, $2.9 million bike path spur that connects the Kingston campus to the William C. O’Neill Bike Path, giving URI direct bike path access to Peace Dale, Wakefield and Narragansett. It also gives community members a safe and convenient way to get to and from campus, the riders said.