FDOT ignores safety needs in bike trails

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By The Staff

The walking, bicycling and trail community is stunned at the Florida Department of Transportation's (FDOT) decision to single out walkers, bicyclists and trail users yet again, disproportionately cutting $24.7 million in Transportation Enhancements (TE) funds and another $3 million from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

FDOT's egregious slashing of funds puts the personal safety of walkers and bicyclists at huge risk and leaves behind a long list of ready-to-go, unfunded trail projects in its wake. Most notably, this decision profoundly affects a portion of the SR 207 Rail Trail in St. Augustine and the regionally significant Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail projects linking Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.

Enhancement funds are federal dollars that can only be used for qualifying projects such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and trails. These limited funds are highly coveted and sought after. When a local community applies for TE funds today, they are most likely applying for funds that will not be available until 2017.

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