Some positive trailbuilding news from Florida…

It’s fairly rare that anything positive in terms of bicycle-infrastructure news comes out of Florida, but here’s something pretty big: lawmakers have approved $50 million to create the Coast To Coast Connector:

The Pinellas Trail could become the first leg in a 275-mile bike and walking path stretching from St. Petersburg to Titusville.

State lawmakers recently approved $50 million for the Coast to Coast Connector, which will link more than 200 miles of existing bike paths.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s goal is to bridge seven gaps among more than a dozen regional trails that snake across Central Florida. Collectively, the gaps cover 72 miles.

Once completed, the trail would be longest continuous bike path in Florida and among the biggest in the nation.

Read more about the plan by visiting the Tampa Tribune page.


Link to larger version

The plan still has a number of hurdles to overcome…namely, Governor Rick Scott’s potential veto (he’s no fan of sensible transportation/recreation plans). In addition, similar connector trails in Florida have been fraught with hassles from landowners balking at selling portions of their properties to complete trails. Here’s a perfect example of an existing project that has been languishing for years.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the kinks can be ironed out — this will be a great project to commingle Florida’s many disparate regional trail systems.


  1. Mike Myers

    Not only will this funding create a route from coast to coast, it will also connect to the Withlacoochee and Suncoast Trails, which are north-south trails, both of which connect to US 19(which has a bike lane attached) in Citrus county, which has relatively light traffic. That, taken north, connects to the Withlacoochee Bay Trail AND the Cross-Florida Greenway.

    I’ve heard the Withlacoochee Trail will connect to Dunnellon on it’s northern terminus as part of the Central Florida Loop, which connects to trails in Gainesville(?) and eventually over to Daytona or northeast to St. Augustine—which is the eastern terminus of the Adventure Cycling Southern Route, which ends in San Diego.

    Wow. It’s like fate is telling me to start bike touring.

  2. Mike Myers

    Edit===the Withlacoochee Trail connects to a MUP along CR486, which connects to the bike lane on SR44, which connects to US19.

  3. Raiyn

    I can tell you one thing, US19 is certainly NOT a low volume corridor in Pinellas County. If ever there was a case for “parallel routes” it’s US19 / 34th St

  4. Mike Myers

    US19 in Citrus has fairly heavy traffic at some times in Homosassa and Crystal River, but once you get north of CR, it’s practically abandoned.

    I feel safer on 19 than some surface streets here. Weird, eh?

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