The University of Kentucky opened a new bike path Wednesday at the Arboretum to connect bicyclists from south Lexington neighborhoods to campus and downtown.
The shared-use path links Shady Lane to University Court and provides a safe route along the west end of the Arboretum woods for bicyclists so they don't have to navigate surrounding roads without bike lanes.
University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray spoke Wednesday at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Shady Lane bike path entrance to the Arboretum, which is the state Botanical Garden of Kentucky.
"The new shared-use path through the Arboretum connects us to surrounding neighborhoods and provides a safer, more convenient access point for bikers commuting to campus," said Capilouto.
Previously, bicyclists navigating from south Lexington to campus had to commute along Bellefonte Drive. The shared-use path provides a more secure route without the need to cross busy intersections or pedal through walking paths in the Arboretum.
Glendover neighborhood resident Allen Kirkwood said he will use the new path to connect to his job at Lexmark.
Kirkwood formerly had to bike on McDonald Avenue, which does not have bike paths, but the shared-use path allows him to bypass the road as well as the construction traffic along Alumni Drive.
"It makes it easier to cross roads, plus it's nice and shaded," he said.
The new path adds to the growing network of biking and walking trails in Lexington, said Gray.
"From Legacy Trail to Town Branch Trail to Brighton Rail Trail and all points in between, Lexington is connecting the pieces to make it easier to bike or walk around town," he said.