Leaders looking to connect Hillsborough Co. trails

Posted at 9:31 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 02:25:23-04

"I love it. I think it's the best trail around," said bicyclist Chuck Anderson.

Chuck Anderson spends five days a week biking the Courtney Campbell Causeway recreational trail, even when the white caps are rolling in.

"I don't have to mix it up with any cars and if anything did freaky happen, there's help right there at the highway right," said Anderson.

The Pinellas trail ends on the Tampa side but transportation advocates want to change that.

"These trails sort've form the backbone of more integrated bike and pedestrian non-motorized system," said Wade Reynolds with the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

"Close the Gaps" is a pitch to connect already existing greenways and trails in Hillsborough County to the rest of the state.

"Getting the Courtney Campbell Causeway to the Tampa Riverwalk. So there's two gaps there-- there's really the Westshore gap and the West Tampa gap," said Anthony Matonti, TBARTA Senior Planner.

The rest would connect the South County Greenway down to the Manatee County line and carve out a trail north to the Tampa Bypass Canal up to Pasco County.

"We're just now waking up that bikes are more than recreation," said Dale Allen.

State funding approved by voters in 2014 will help but Hillsborough County's taking a look at those gaps and how much money it'll take to connect them.

"Oh I'm in favor of that. At least my tax dollars would go for something I like to do," said Anderson.