LAFAYETTE, La. (IND) – The signage to commemorate the Mickey Shunick Memorial Bike Loop was unveiled during a ceremony Wednesday morning attended by City-Parish President Joey Durel, UL Lafayette President Dr. Joe Savoie and family and friends of Mickey Shunick.

“I was reminded as we were planning this event of how Mickey Shunick is bringing us all together again to celebrate something that’s going to be an improvement to our city, to make us all better and to make this a better place to live and to raise families,” said Savoie to open the ceremony.

The 8-mile continuous bike path runs through the heart of the city via existing and planned paths and passes in front of Shunick’s “Ghost Bike” memorial, which was where the ceremony was held to mark the site of the first Mickey’s Loop sign installation. The first sign was installed on a high pedestrian and bicycling route located on UL property near the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center, Intramural Fields and Blackham Coliseum.

During the ceremony, out-going City-Parish President Joey Durel reminisced about how easy it was to ride a bike around Lafayette when he was growing up and his concern of how green spaces have started to vanish as the city has evolved over the years.

“As Lafayette has grown, we’re seeing green space disappear,” said Durel. “We’re seeing roads where you used to be able to cross the street as 6 year olds that are now impossible for people to drive to as adults. It’s a lot more traffic. They’re wider, they’re bigger, and they’re more dangerous. And so you don’t let your kids just ride a bike anywhere. So bike trails have become more important. And I think that Mickey brought a lot of attention to that. We’re very gratified to recognize Mickey for all of the attention that she brought to biking and cycling. And so as we have tried to put more and more bike trails in Lafayette, it’s appropriate that we name this first real loop around Lafayette Mickey’s Loop.” The branding of Mickey’s Loop was done by SIDES & Associates.

The Mickey’s Loop signs are digitally printed by 3M using UV curable on 3M Diamond Grade DG3 Reflective Sign Sheeting, which is a super-high efficiency, full cube retro-reflective sheeting designed for the production of traffic control signs.

“Mickey inspired Lafayette, and her inspiration guided the work that was created,” said Larry Sides. “When we were asked to participate, we did so willingly. In the business that I’m in, sometimes you get it right, or sometimes it takes a lot of time working on a design to come up with something. In this instance, what we brought to Mickey’s family and to Lafayette Consolidated Government was embraced by everybody on first glance and it remains as it was when we first designed it. The map and the design of the sign we think reflect her spirit and we were glad to make that contribution.”

On July 7, the Lafayette City-Parish Council unanimously voted to create the “Mickey Shunick Memorial Bike Loop” in honor of the UL student and local bicycle enthusiast.

Shunick vanished in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 19, 2012, after leaving a friend’s house to cycle home following an evening of music at Artmosphere. She was reported missing later that day and, in the weeks that followed, Lafayette coalesced around an effort spearheaded by friends and family to find her. It wasn’t until two months later, on Aug. 9, that now-convicted murderer Brandon Lavergne led investigators to a shallow grave in rural Evangeline Parish where they discovered Shunick’s body.

Lavergne is serving a life sentence for her murder.

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