All-around great guy and friend of Bikecommuters.com Jim Shirk sent in the following…a new connector trail for folks who commute into downtown Tampa from the Town N’ Country/Westchase neighborhoods. Before this connector, there weren’t a lot of really great choices for routes, but this new trail — the “U Trail” — takes a lot of the hassle out of things:
Commuters will be glad to know there’s a new way to get from Westchase/Town n’ Country to downtown Tampa. The “U Trail” around the south end of Tampa International Airport elminates the need to ride Hillsborough or SR 60 to get to downtown. The trail starts at the south end of Skyway Park (located on the south side of Independence Parkway at the Veterans Expressway) runs south to cross under SR 60, and then south from SR 60 to end at Cypress Street. Total length is about 2 miles. The trail runs through wetlands and drainage facilities for the airport, and is a good place for bird watching. The trail design is good, except for drainage issues, with lots of puddles following a rain.
I rode the trail the day of the Independence from Oil ride, and was able to get to Curtis Hixon Park in less than an hour from Town n’ Country. A thank you to Linda Saul-Sena is in order – this is a fine addition for bike commuting that she championed while on the Tampa City Council.
Here’s a satellite map of the route:
I asked Jim to give me some information about the rest of the route…once leaving the U Trail, what would be a good set of streets to get a rider into downtown? He added, “take Cypress to Boulevard then south to Cass and across the bridge into downtown.”
So, if you’re out in the western edge of civilization (!) and have been looking for a safe route to downtown, this new U Trail sounds like the ticket! Thanks, Jim, for pointing it out and thanks to Linda Saul-Sena for getting this funded and completed.