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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Close the Gaps |

Close the Gaps, Coast-to-Coast & Regional Loops

Saturday I attended a ride from County Line Station to a Close the Gaps event at Winter Garden City Hall on the West Orange Trail. This ride was hosted by Metroplan Board Chair Daisy Lynum. Among the presentations were a fascinating history of Winter Garden—boom, bust and revitalization—from Jim Crescitelli of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation and an overview from Mighk of the regional trail networks and what’s needed to complete the Coast to Coast Connector.

Winter Garden is an excellent case study for the economic impact of a rail trail. You can learn more about the history of Winter Garden here. You can also download this PDF  of the presentation. There are no notes, but the images are interesting.

The following slides are from Mighk’s presentation. This first slide shows the original idea for a regional trail network, created in the 1990s:

At a 1993 Florida Recreational Trails Council, Winter Park landscape architect Forest Michael, with input from Richard Dunkel and Dr. Bruce Stephenson of Rollins College, wrote a master plan and produced a map for what was to be known as the Central Florida Loop Trail. It was designated an official Florida Greenway by Governor Lawton Chiles in 1995.

At a 1993 Florida Recreational Trails Council, Winter Park landscape architect Forest Michael, with input from Richard Dunkel and Dr. Bruce Stephenson of Rollins College, wrote a master plan and produced a map for what was to be known as the Central Florida Loop Trail. It was designated an official Florida Greenway by Governor Lawton Chiles in 1995.

The slides below show each of the networks that are planned today.

Coast to Coast Trail

Coast to Coast Trail

Heart of Florida Loop

Heart of Florida Loop

Mount Dora Bikeway

Mount Dora Bikeway

St. Johns River to the Sea loop. Some of this will be on-road.

St. Johns River to the Sea loop. Some of this will be on-road.

The whole system. Pretty impressive!

The whole system. Pretty impressive!

About the legends: The blue lines are gaps that are funded and ready for construction, the red lines are gaps that are ready for construction and just need funding, the orange lines are gaps have been planned, but require land acquisition or design as well as funding.

Coast to Coast Connector Call to Action

Bicyclists, bicycling organizations and local government officials are all hoping Governor Scott will sign the appropriations bill that will fund the Coast to Coast Connector. You can express your support by writing to the Governor. You can craft your own letter and send it to:

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of FloridaThe Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Call the Governor’s office at: (850) 488-7146

Or use this form to send him an email.

You can also sign this petition by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Below is some background information to help with making your case.

Economic impact:

Coast To Coast overview presentation

BikeFlorida 2012 Economic Impact Report

OGTED Study_FactSheet

Seminole County FactSheet

Winter Garden FactSheet

Letters of Support

CFMPOA Letter of Support to Gov Scott ClosetheGaps

Lake~Sumter MPO (GovScott CloseGaps)final mailed

LWV_Letter to Gov Scott on Coast to Coast Connector

MetroPlan Orlando_Letter of Support to Governor Scott

VolusiaTPO (Support for Close the Gaps)