Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

No more 'I'm somewhere on the trail'

UPPER TAMPA BAY

If you need help on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, whether because of a bike crash, medical emergency or scary stalker, just look down.

Chances are you'll see a bright yellow decal, if not at your feet, then close by.

Hillsborough County park rangers recently installed 229 of the decals every 200 feet along the trail so bikers, joggers and skaters can tell 911 dispatchers exactly where they are.

As part of the $3,000 project, sheriff's deputies and firefighters have maps showing the location of each marker, as well as other information they may need, such as directions. If there's a locked gate between them and one of the marked locations on the trail, they'll also have the combination or the key to the lock, officials said.

The numbered decals also will help park rangers know where maintenance is needed along the 7.5-mile trail.

"Now we'll be able to track incidents," senior park manager Tina Russo said. "If people keep crashing in the same spot, we might have to do something about that."

Russo said she wanted to create such a system when the first part of the trail opened more than a decade ago, but the technology didn't exist at the time.

One of the key steps the county took to make the location markers possible was to put the trail into the county's geographic information system, which keeps detailed place information on roads and addresses.

Once that was done, addresses could be assigned to points on the trail and printed on tough, weather-resistant decals. Applied to warm asphalt, the decals cure in place, adhering like paint.

Officials plan to add the decals soon to the Fort King Trail, the Balm-Boyette Bike Trail and the soon-to-open Northdale Trail.

Two years ago, the county installed markers along the Town 'N Country Greenway to see if they worked. They did, so officials made the Upper Tampa Bay Trail the second in the county to receive the markers.

The trail is used by more than 100,000 people a year. Among them are Jimmie and Beatrice Thomas of Town 'N Country.

They've walked the trail two or three times a week for the past couple of years. They've never run into someone in distress, but "we've seen some people who looked like they were struggling," said Jimmie Thomas, 60.

"It's an excellent idea," he said. "Just having these numbers is going to help tremendously if something happens."

Richard Danielson can be reached at danielson@sptimes.com or (813) 269-5311.

No more 'I'm somewhere on the trail' 01/01/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 1, 2009 12:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. CIA chief: Intel leaks on the rise amid 'worship' of leakers

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — CIA director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fueled partly by the "worship" of leakers like Edward Snowden.

    CIA director Mike Pompeo said the U.S. must redouble its efforts to stop information from leaking.
  2. ABC Racing kennel advances three into semifinals

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — The maiden voyage by Don Burk into the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby series — his first as the ABC Racing kennel owner — went as easy as ABC.

  3. Why Grenfell tower burned: Regulators put cost before safety

    World

    The doorbell woke Yassin Adam just before 1 a.m. A neighbor was frantically alerting others on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower about a fire in his apartment. "My fridge blew up," the man shouted.

    At least 79 people were killed in the fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment building in London, and the toll is expected to rise.
  4. Bullpen melts down as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jacob Faria allowed his first two big-league home runs and was touched for a career-high three runs Saturday by the Orioles. Other than that, the rookie making his fourth major-league start did okay against the Baltimore bats.

    The bullpen, not so much.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Baltimore Orioles scored four runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) SPD118
  5. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101