This morning I represented SWFBUD and spoke before the Hillsborough County Commissioners to urge the county's seven-member governing board to earmark $12 million in the $40 million community investment tax fund to connect the Upper Tampa Bay Trail with the Suncoast Trail to create the longest continuous trail in the state of Florida. Here was my SWFBUD statement:
My name is Alan Snel and I am director of an alliance of seven Tampa Bay area retail bicycle stores committed to growing bicycling as a healthy lifestyle and effective mode of transportation in Hillsborough County. Our group is called SWFBUD for South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers and I am writing now to urge you to support earmarking $12 million of the $40 million in community investment tax money toward a trail connector that would link the Upper Tampa Bay Trail with the Suncoast Trail. The planning for this connector trail has been in the works for a long time and it is vital now to complete this connector to link the Upper Tampa Bay Trail and the Suncoast Trail. SWFBUD's seven stores represent thousands of bicyclists and customers, many of whom find refuge on local trails to bike. This connector trail would make this continuous trail the longest in the state of Florida and provide an important amenity for not only bicyclists, but all other outdoors enthusiasts such as runners, walkers, roller-bladers and people who enjoy being outside. It's important to note that of the $12 million, $7 million will be reimbursed to the county by the state DOT.