View this email online
May 13, 2014

The News Connector
You Are Now Connected
Cyclists enjoying the West Orange Trail.
Welcome to the first edition of the Coast to Coast Connector Trail newsletter.  The Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation is producing this informative email on a regular basis for the people and agencies interested in following the emerging Coast to Coast Trail.  Each issue will highlight current news and events surrounding the statewide effort.
The Coast to Coast program is a trail that is planned to connect the Pinellas Trail on the west coast of Florida through Central Florida to the Cape Canaveral area on the east coast.  There are fourteen trails (both local and regional) that already exist along this corridor.  Coast to Coast will fill in the seven gaps between those existing trails, as identified in the map above.  Coast to Coast is the beginning of a Livable Florida – where people have more transportation choices for recreation, exercise, and traveling to work, school, or social engagements.
The Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation is facilitating public awareness of this project.  There are many agencies that are not only supporting this program but are actively engaged in making it happen soon, and the Foundation is committed to ensuring that everyone involved is kept informed.  A special thanks goes out to Florida Blue and The Felburn Foundation for their financial support of this newsletter.
If you know someone who is interested in being connected to the Coast to Coast project, please forward this newsletter and encourage them to subscribe by emailing
$15.5 million secured for Coast to Coast
Senator Andy Gardiner with Linda Chapin, former Mayor of Orange County, at the Titusville trail ground breaking last year.
A big thank you to the entire Florida state legislature and bill sponsor Senator Andy Gardiner for approving $15.5 million for the Coast to Coast Connector Trail in this recent legislative session. The money will help fill in the gaps in the planned 275 miles of unbroken bicycle path stretching from St. Petersburg to the Canaveral Seashore.
Along with the $15.5 million, Sen. Andy Gardiner moved bill language in transportation bill SB218 which permanently authorizes the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to use state trust funds to build bicycle and pedestrian trails in cooperation with the Florida Greenways and Trails Council.
Last year, Governor Scott vetoed $50 million to fund the Coast to Coast project, but has been fully supportive this year, even participating in a groundbreaking ceremony for a $3.6 million trail in Titusville last October.  Following this action of the legislature we look forward to Governor Scott’s continued support of this program as the bill goes to his desk.  It is unprecedented that Senator Gardiner was able to push this project through in two years, and news coverage all over the state has been extremely supportive.  Positioned as economic growth and eco-tourism, the Coast to Coast Connector is the first project of its kind in the nation.  Again, a big thank you to Senator Gardiner and the Florida House and Senate legislators! 
Pinellas County seeks a TIGER Loop
Pinellas County and the Pinellas MPO have applied for a federal TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to close the gap on the east side of the Pinellas Trail which runs from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg.  The two trail segments that would be added in that gap are predominantly in the Duke Energy corridor that runs north-south on the east side of Pinellas County. 

If approved, the Pinellas Trail will form a complete 75 mile loop through the county, linking all significant places such as downtowns, cultural facilities, schools, parks, preserves and beaches.  This means that the west end of the Coast to Coast Trail would culminate in an urban loop that provides trail riders with many desirable destination opportunities.
Another key element of the proposed Pinellas Trail loop is the connection to the Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail, currently under construction.  This will provide a direct trail link to Tampa and Hillsborough County for the Pinellas Trail Loop, thus linking the Tampa/Hillsborough area directly to the Coast to Coast Trail. 

The total project cost is $29 million with 58% proposed to be federal funds with the balance of 42% coming from local sources. The Pinellas agencies have proposed to match the federal funds with local funds to make the project as competitive as possible.  It will be several months before it is known whether this Pinellas Loop will become a TIGER loop, so stay tuned!
Coast to Coast In The News
Cross-Florida trail, SR 528 funded in budget deal
Florida Today, April 30
In addition to putting $15.5 million in next year's budget, both chambers unanimously passed legislation to make finishing the Coast-to-Coast Connector a priority and allow the Florida Department of Transportation to use state money for regional trail projects.
250-Mile, Coast-to-Coast Bike Trail Across Central Florida Nears Reality
Flagler Live, April 24
Gardiner, who has included the completion of the connector as one of his priorities as he prepares to become Senate president in November, remains optimistic as he has been working to assure Scott’s support for the project this year.
Budget negotiators big on cycling, BMX, down on SkyRise Miami
Tampa Bay Times, April 23
Gardiner was successful in getting $15.5 million included in the legislative budget for the 275-mile Coast-to-Coast Connector, a series of bike and pedestrian trails from the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg to Titusville on the state’s Space Coast.
Bikes in, SkyRise Miami out as budget negotiations wind down
Miami Herald, April 23
Gardiner was successful in getting $15.5 million included in the legislative budget for the 275-mile Coast-to-Coast Connector, a series of bike and pedestrian trails from the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg to Titusville on the state’s Space Coast.
Gardiner’s Coast to Coast bike trail becomes trade bait
Orlando Sentinel, April 9,0,
Central Florida lawmakers are optimistic Gov. Rick Scott will move forward this year on plans to finish the gaps in a 275-mile Coast-to-Coast Connection bike trail. 
For more information, email:

Copyright © 2014 Day Communications, Inc.,
All rights reserved.
Not interested? Unsubscribe from our list.