Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Trail extension popular before official opening

The downtown extension of the Pinellas Trail won't officially open until next month, but that hasn't stopped bicyclists from using it.

Take Maurice Haynes, who parked his gas-guzzler pickup after gas prices hit $4 and started riding his beach cruiser to work at the city's water resources department.

He loves using the 2.1-mile extension, which runs from 34th Street to First Avenue S to the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront.

"It's a safe way to travel on your bike because I remember coming up, you had to dodge cars," said Haynes, 28, who lives in Childs Park and rides to his check-in station on Burlington Avenue.

"People need a spot to safely ride their bikes, especially with gas prices," he said. "I think it was perfect timing. It really was."

David Segler's motivation for using the trail is more social than economic.

The 16-year-old teen takes it to visit friends and perform bike tricks along the landscaped medians without having to worry about cars.

"I love it," said Segler, a rising sophomore at Boca Ciega High School who lives in St. Petersburg. "It gives me enough space to go really fast."

The city won't start tracking ridership numbers until the extension officially opens, but on one recent Sunday morning, city transportation and parking director Joseph Kubicki noticed at least 20 people riding the extension.

"We've been kind of monitoring, and it's been getting good use," he said.

Nathalia Estrada, 24, an employee at Local Coffee + Tea on First Avenue S, said she sees about four or five bikers using the extension in front of the restaurant in the early morning and again at 5 p.m.

And, "I've seen five cars accidentally drive on the trail," she said.

On July 12 there will be a ribbon-cutting for the extension, which cost $6-million, mostly in federal funds.

"All the traffic signs have not been activated, all the crosswalks have not been completed yet," Kubicki said. "It's very close, but not done yet."

Pinellas Trail extension popular before official opening 06/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 19, 2008 9:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Nearly 40 hospitalized on first day of Sunset Music Festival, on pace to exceed last year


    To reduce the number of medical emergencies this year, sponsors of the Sunset Music Festival promised heightened security and safety measures during this weekend's event at Raymond James Stadium.

    Thousands of people crowd the main stage at the Sunset Music Festival on Saturday in the north Raymond James Stadium parking area. The temperature at the time of the photo was 92 degrees. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]
  2. Woman killed in overnight Temple Terrace apartment fire, city says


    TEMPLE TERRACE — A woman died early Sunday as a result of a fire at an apartment complex, city officials said.

  3. Video: Indianapolis 500 drivers in fiery crash somehow walk away uninjured

    Auto racing

    Scott Dixon and Jay Howard avoided injury in a spectacular crash - or what Dixon labeled "a wild ride" afterward - during the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

  4. Homeland security chief defends Kushner's alleged proposal for 'back channel' to the Russians as 'a good thing"


    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the lone administration official to speak out publicly about reports that Jared Kushner sought a back channel to communicate with the Russian government, defended the move, saying it was a "good thing" for the U.S. government.

    Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, listens during a meeting with small business leaders at the White House on Jan. 30. [Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford]
  5. After hard charging on health care in 2016, Marco Rubio is slow, careful


    As a presidential candidate, Marco Rubio pitched an Obamacare replacement and tore into Donald Trump for not having one. "What is your plan? What is your plan on health care? You don't have a plan," the Florida senator aggressively challenged in a February 2016 debate.