Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Recreation trail along South Shore coast to receive funding

A plan to build a recreation trail along the South Shore coast in the next few decades got a boost last week by the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Board members approved funding all six segments of a trail that would stretch from the Little Manatee River to Causeway Boulevard and raised the project's priority on the county's long-range transportation plan, which aims to finish construction by 2035.

A major part of that plan is public greenways, which are off-road, paved paths intended for bicyclists, skaters and walkers.

The Tampa Bay area consistently ranks low on lists of pedestrian- or bike-friendly cities, a reality underscored by the recent death of LeRoy Collins Jr., a former U.S. Senate candidate and retired two-star Navy admiral. Collins was hit by an SUV as he rode his bicycle in the early hours of July 29.

Before the vote at the Aug. 3 meeting of the MPO, county Commissioner Mark Sharpe cited Collins' death as proof that residents need more bike trails.

Funding for two of the South Coast Greenway segments had been secured through a half-cent community investment tax and a developer's contribution, but the remaining portions remained up in the air.

Now $4 million from a federal transportation enhancement program will pay for the formerly unfunded portions of the project, MPO group leader Beth Alden said.

Officials originally thought the proposed 1-cent transit tax referendum could fund the greenway. The county attorney later determined that off-road trails would not be eligible, and the board had to seek other funding sources, Alden said.

Alden pointed out that bicyclists and pedestrians would not be left out of potential new penny-tax funding altogether, despite the off-road restriction. Instead, she said, more on-road bike paths and widened road shoulders were added to the plan.

"We're making sure they're in the mix," Alden said of cyclists and walkers.

It's not yet known when construction on the South Coast Greenway will begin.

Planners will study the four newly funded trail segments before setting a start date, Alden said.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at or (813) 661-2442.

Recreation trail along South Shore coast to receive funding 08/12/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 3:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman


    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  2. FSU-Bama 'almost feels like a national championship game Week 1'


    The buzz is continuing to build for next Saturday's blockbuster showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Florida State.

  3. Plan a fall vacation at Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens when crowds are light


    Now that the busy summer vacation season is ending, Floridians can come out to play.

    Maria Reyna, 8, of Corpus Cristi, TX. eats chicken at the Lotus Blossom Cafe at the Chinese pavilion at Epcot in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017.  Epcot is celebrating it's 35th year as the upcoming Food and Wine Festival kicks off once again.
  4. USF spends $1.5 million to address growing demand for student counseling


    TAMPA — As Florida's universities stare down a mental health epidemic, the University of South Florida has crafted a plan it hopes will reach all students, from the one in crisis to the one who doesn't know he could use some help.

    A student crosses the University of South Florida campus in Tampa, where visits to the school's crisis center more than doubled last year, part of a spike in demand that has affected colleges across the country. The university is addressing the issue this year with $1.5 million for more "wellness coaches," counselors, online programs and staff training. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  5. PTA treasurer at Pinellas school accused of stealing $5,000


    The treasurer of the Parent-Teacher Association at a Pinellas County elementary school faces a felony fraud charge after she was accused of stealing from the organization to pay her credit card and phone bills.

    Lisa McMenamin, 50, of Tarpon Springs, is facing felony charges of scheming to defraud the Brooker Creek Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, where she served as treasurer. She is accused of stealing $5,000 to pay credit card and phone bills. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]