SWFBUD gets involved. We blew the whistle on a developer who built a traffic median into a bike lane on Fletcher Avenue near the Telecom business center last year. The median was removed.
We put on the Bicycle Bash by the Bay, a bicycle festival which drew several thousand people last fall to celebrate and advocate cycling.
And we lobbied the Hillsborough County commissioners to allocate CIT funds to build a connector trail that would link the Upper Tampa Bay Trail with the Suncoast Trail to create what would be the longest continuous paved trail in the state of Florida.
I was in front of the county commissioners yesterday afternoon explaining that we need both bike trails and bike lanes on roads, and that trails make our county a better place to live, that the DOT would reimburse the county for the lion's share of the connector trail costs.
I was pleased to hear from John Harrison, a county trails committee member and a SWAMP member that the commissioners voted to start building the connector trail.
(It should be noted that the commissioners approved $3 million for a trail head at the Hillsborough entrance to the Suncoast Parkway bike trail. The new trail head is needed because the current parking lot will be removed when the entrance ramps for the Veterans Highwat are built near Lutz Lake Fern Road, according to the St. Petersburg Times).
Here's John's report:
"GREAT NEWS!! The commissioners voted to start the trail with money from the CIT fund at today's Public Meeting.
"They allocated money to start the C-1 section of the trail on Lutz-Fern Lake Rd. This is the first section in the plan. Details will be forthcoming but I just wanted to let everyone know the result of all your letters.
"You made a difference. Special thanks to Alan Snell and Deborah Voiles who also presented this afternoon at the meeting. Thanks again, more details will follow in a few days.