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    Memphis mayor joins efforts to build Hampline bike path

    Daniel Connolly

    Mayor A C Wharton

    Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is backing efforts to raise money to build the Hampline, a bike path that would connect Overton Park to the existing Shelby Farms Greenline.
    Wharton appeared at a fundraiser for the project on Tuesday at the Wiseacre Brewery on Broad Avenue, a thoroughfare along which the new path would run.
    The invitation-only event brought together several potential donors. Besides Wharton, hosts of the fundraiser included AutoZone founder Joseph R. “Pitt” Hyde III and his wife Barbara, as well as PeopleForBikes, an industry group for bike-related companies.
    “The mayor has been there really from the beginning,” said Pat Brown, co-owner of the gallery T. Clifton Art and a backer of the project. Members of Wharton’s administration have been involved in the project for years, she said.
    Project leaders have already collected the majority of their $4.5 million fundraising goal, most of it from private funding and grants, and the Tuesday night event raised $56,000, Brown said.
    The organization hopes to raise an additional $69,000 from foundations and corporations, plus $77,000 from the general public through a nonprofit organization called IOBY, which stands for In Our Back Yard. The online fundraiser is at ioby.org/project/hampline. That effort has already collected about $27,000, according to the website.
    The Hampline would be a bike path protected from vehicle traffic that would stretch from Overton Park along Broad Avenue and then to the Greenline, which runs all the way to Shelby Farms.
    The name Hampline comes from one of the neighborhoods it would run through, Binghamton. sometimes also spelled Binghampton.
    The project reflects ongoing efforts to improve the city’s bike infrastructure. Other projects include a renovation of the Harahan Bridge that would allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross the Mississippi River into Arkansas.