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Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Close the Gaps | 8 comments

Coast to Coast Connector

In the news this week: Florida Legislators have agreed to spend $50 million to complete seven gaps between existing Central Florida shared-use paths to create a coast-to-coast path.

Says the Rails to Trails Conservancy:

Trails are now multi-million dollar economic engines, critical investments at the heart of an outdoor recreation economy in which Americans spend $646 billion every year, $38.3 billion of that in Florida.  Did you know that Americans now spend more money each year on bicycling gear and trips ($81 billion) than they do on airplane tickets and fees ($51 billion)?

Which is why $50 million to create a coast-to-coast trail across Florida is a savvy investment in our state’s tourism infrastructure, and one which will pay for itself many times over in a few short years.

This project was proposed by Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando).

“If you look at a map, there are all these trails all throughout but they don’t connect,” Gardiner said. “I’m from Central Florida where we have the West Orange Trail which is a huge economic engine.”

This is not a done deal. If this budget item makes it through the legislative session, which ends May 3, it will still need to be signed by Governor Scott.

You can red more about this project, here.

Below are two maps to visualize the project.

Coast to Coast Gaps and Costs

Coast to Coast Connector Map

Coast to Coast Connector Map (PDF)

In Context with Existing & Prioritized Paths

priority central florida trails

2012 FGTS Statewide Priority Trail Map (PDF)

8 Comments

  1. According to the newspapers, this is being financed by FDOT. I don’t like that. We have state parks and this is one more of them.

      • If he does veto it, he will use the reasoning that transportation money should not be used for recreation.

        • Are you him? Do you know what goes on inside his brain?

          • I know how conservatives think. They have been complaining for years that fuel tax money shouldn’t be used for trails, museums and what-not.

            Furthermore, his head of FDOT has said so, too.

  2. I was just thinking – when this is done, “Orange Belt” would be a fitting name, both as a metaphorical description and as a reference to the former rail line that much of it follows.

  3. Vetoed.