Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Governor Scott Should Sign the Coast-to-Coast Trail into Law

Route of the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail approved by the Florida legislature.  
Florida State Senator Andy Gardiner (R-Winter Park) achieved a milestone by obtaining legislative approval of the Florida Coast-to-Coast recreational trail.  Funding would come in increments of $10 million a year for five years from the transportation trust fund--a drop in the bucket from FDOT's $8 billion in annual expenditures.  The Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposed a total length of 276 miles, 200 miles of which the public is already using.  The approved legislation would acquire land and complete the remaining 76 miles, connecting the Pinellas Trail, Suncoast Trail, the Starkey Trail, Withlacoochee State Trail, Van Fleet State Trail, South Lake Trail, West Orange Trail, Cady Way, Seminole-Wekiva Trail, and East Central Rail Trail.  The trail would start at Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg end on the Atlantic Coast at the National Seashore.

Imagine rolling out of your driveway in Winter Garden, Oveido, Altamonte Springs, or Winter Park and biking to one of Florida's coasts on a protected trail.

Anyone who has observed the remarkable economic transformations of Winter Garden and Dunedin--due mainly to the bike trails passing through--will appreciate the project's  economic upside.  Vacancies in Dunedin went from 70% to virtually nothing today.  The West Orange Trail, Little Econ, and Cady Way Trails pump more than $40 million annually into the Central Florida economy.

Governor Scott should sign the Coast-to-Coast Trail into law and not even consider the veto pen on such a worthy project.  His staff monitors emails and telephone calls from members of the public.  To urge Governor Scott to sign the Coast-to-Coast Trail funding into law, you can contact the Governor's office at THIS LINK.