Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Trail will pass through downtown

City workers, from left, Rick Eads, Don Pittman and Robert Rogers prepare for footers that will support the trail’s expansion downtown.

DIRK SHADD | Times\uFEFF

City workers, from left, Rick Eads, Don Pittman and Robert Rogers prepare for footers that will support the trail’s expansion downtown.

Work on a 2.1-mile extension of the Pinellas Trail along the south side of First Avenue S into downtown St. Petersburg began last week.

The downtown spur, part of a countywide plan to grow the 34-mile recreational trail to 75 miles by 2020, will cost the city about $6-million, with a large part paid for through federal funding. It will connect the southern end of the trail at 34th Street to the downtown waterfront, creating an unobstructed route running from Tarpon Springs all the way through downtown St. Petersburg.

City workers began building the 4-foot-wide traffic medians, which will separate the recreational path from traffic lanes, near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street. Work will progress east to the waterfront near Demens Landing during the next couple of months. The trail will be 10 feet wide and narrow First Avenue S to three lanes along its route.

The trail should be ready for bikers and joggers in May, according to Joe Kubicki, director of St. Petersburg's transportation and parking department.

There were concerns that the extension would eliminate a significant amount of parking along the main thoroughfare, but the project will result in the loss of only about six spaces, according to city officials.

Evan Moray, St. Petersburg's parking manager, said some blocks will lose parking because of required sight lines or driveway accesses, but other blocks actually gained spaces.

"The idea was to maintain as many parking spaces as possible," he said. "We did lose a few, but the impact is small."

Despite the loss of some parking, John Long, president of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, called the trail's opening a long-awaited event that will ultimately benefit downtown.

"This is a real positive connection for people to exercise, whether it be walking or riding bikes," he said. "The opportunity for more folks to come into the business area and not have to drive, I think, will offset concerns of losing a few parking spaces."

Keith Lukat, the administrator of the Lutheran Apartments at 550 First Ave. S, said he didn't think local business owners were too worried about the impact of the bike path. He was the only person who attended a meeting between city officials and business people along the street held six months ago to discuss the trail. Lukat said the apartments will only lose one parking spot.

"I'm not that concerned about it," he said. "Some residents may have to walk a little further when they park, but the trail will benefit a lot of our residents who ride bikes."

The first 5-mile section of the Pinellas Trail between Taylor Park in Largo and Seminole Park opened in 1990. Primarily built along an abandoned CSX Railroad right of way, the trail stretches 34 miles from Tarpon Springs in northern Pinellas County to St. Petersburg in the south. About 90,000 people use the recreational path each month, according to county estimates.

>>by the numbers

Pinellas Trail

1990 the year the first 5-mile section of the trail was completed

34 trail's current

length in miles

$6 -million projected cost of the trail extension into downtown St. Petersburg

90,000 people estimated to use the Pinellas Trail each month

12 publicly accessible water fountains along the trail

88

street crossings

8

raised overpasses

Pinellas Trail will pass through downtown 03/08/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 8, 2008 5:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  2. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  3. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  4. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  5. At College World Series, the save goes to an LSU dad/doctor

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The father of LSU pitcher Jared Poche' helped revive an 87-year-old man who was slumped on the TD Ameritrade Park concourse with no pulse during Game 1 of the College World Series finals.

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five in Tuesday’s late CWS Game 2.