Thursday, August 7, 2008

SWFBUD Lobbies For Suncoast/Upper Tampa Bay Connector Trail

SWFBUD gets involved. We blew the whistle on a developer who built a traffic median into a bike lane on Fletcher Avenue near the Telecom business center last year. The median was removed.

We put on the Bicycle Bash by the Bay, a bicycle festival which drew several thousand people last fall to celebrate and advocate cycling.

And we lobbied the Hillsborough County commissioners to allocate CIT funds to build a connector trail that would link the Upper Tampa Bay Trail with the Suncoast Trail to create what would be the longest continuous paved trail in the state of Florida.

I was in front of the county commissioners yesterday afternoon explaining that we need both bike trails and bike lanes on roads, and that trails make our county a better place to live, that the DOT would reimburse the county for the lion's share of the connector trail costs.

I was pleased to hear from John Harrison, a county trails committee member and a SWAMP member that the commissioners voted to start building the connector trail. Here's John's report:

"GREAT NEWS!! The commissioners voted to start the trail with money from the CIT fund at today's Public Meeting.

"They allocated money to start the C-1 section of the trail on Lutz-Fern Lake Rd. This is the first section in the plan. Details will be forthcoming but I just wanted to let everyone know the result of all your letters.

"You made a difference. Special thanks to Alan Snell and Deborah Voiles who also presented this afternoon at the meeting. Thanks again, more details will follow in a few days.

John Harrison."