Sunday, November 23, 2008

With The Friendship Trail Closed, It Was Time To Check Out The Gandy Bridge

At 10:15 a.m. today, I biked 12 miles from house in Seminole Heights to the Gandy Bridge/Friendship Trail. The Friendship Trail bridge is closed due to structural problems, so I wanted to check out what it's like to bike across the Gandy Bridge. I found the 3-mile ride across the Gandy rather routine and incident-free because the shoulder is about the size of a traffic lane. There seemed to be more debris, small rocks and sand on the westbound side coming from the Tampa side. But generally speaking, an experienced cyclist should not have a problem. Casual and inexperienced bicyclists will probably be spooked by the car traffic. Regardless, I'm calling on he DOT and Pinellas and Hillsborough counties to deal with the Friendship Trail bridge as quickly as possible and deal with it with a heightened sense of urgency.

The Friendship Trail's fishing areas are open. I was able to bike four-tenths of a mile from the Tampa side before I hit a fence.

On the Tampa side, you can go four-tenths of a mile and then it's the end of the line.

All aboard the Gandy Bridge.

I'm heading to St. Pete and nearing the top of the span. The shoulder on this side of the bridge was OK, with debris here and there.

On the St. Pete side, you have three-tenths of a mile on the trail until you hit the fence.

Here's a bicyclist on the shoulder cycling from St. Pete to Tampa. As you can see, there's decent space on the shoulder of the bridge.

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