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Limestone Students Touting Their Bike Share Program To City Council

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 8:45am

In their final weeks before graduation, three Limestone College students have pedaled forward with a plan for a public bike share program in Gaffney.

Marina Carbonari, Sophie Bosserhoff and Carleigh Davis recently finished a bike share feasibility study as part of a semester internship for a physical education degree requirement. The basic concept is to set up a network of stations around Gaffney at which local residents could rent bicycles for short trips 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We are looking at ways to improve physical activity in the workplace and community,” Davis said. “We thought a bike share program could be part of an active transportation plan to encourage people to get more exercise as they travel around Gaffney.”

Under the students’ plan, people would be able to rent bicycles for a flat fee on a daily, monthly or yearly membership. Stations would be set up in locations around the historic Gaffney area, Limestone College, Cherokee County Public Library and Cowpens National Battlefield.

When riders are finished with their bikes, Bosserhoff said they could return them to the same station.

She said she hopes the bikes will provide another way for people to travel the community without having to worry about extra costs such as maintenance and potential theft of bicycles.

Limestone College students have made two presentations about their bike share research to the City of Gaffney over the past several months and will forward their final plan for city officials to consider this summer. The project is an outgrowth of research Limestone physical education professor Dr. Felicia Cavallini started in 2014 as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Guelph in Canada.

Cavallini’s course in behavioral nutrition and physical activity is ideally suited for service learning where her students learn how to maintain more healthy eating and activity behaviors while working directly with the community to promote healthy lifestyle habits.

“Our bike share plan is modeled after a similar program in Spartanburg which has involved students at Converse and Wofford,” Davis said.

A lack of time is the number one reason people often give for why they do not exercise regularly. Cavallini said her research in Canada and Limestone College has focused in recent years on how exercise and active movement can become a regular part of work routines.

“I’m very proud and excited about the research my students at Limestone have done in the community to promote an active lifestyle,” Cavallini said. “I’m hopeful the bike share program is an idea which could tie into the city’s downtown revitalization plan.”

ACCOMPANYING PHOTO: Limestone College seniors Marina Carbonari, Sophie Bosserhoff, and Carleigh Davis are shown with their physical education professor Dr. Felicia Cavallini.

(Article by Scott Powell, Gaffney Ledger, April 12, 2017)

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