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.