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Pinellas Trail North Loop plans moving forward with one exception

Posted: 4:45 PM, Jul 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-02 17:26:19-04
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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- This is something we’ve been following since January, a major extension to a pedestrian and biking path in Northern Pinellas County is close to final approval.

But we found out even with changes, some neighbors say safety and expense are still concerns.

County officials are moving forward with a plan to build the North Loop of the Pinellas Trail with one alteration.

To appease complaints of people who live in the area, the county says they’ve moved the proposed trial to go near Northside Drive where there are fewer homes, instead of Meadowood Drive where it was originally planned.

But Richard Belleville who lives next to where the trail will go says he’s not concerned about it being close to his home. He says he’s concerned with the cost to taxpayers and the safety for people on the trail.

"We’re not against the trail. We’re concerned about the safety factor of it crossing that many highways," said Belleville.

Belleville says not only is the trail being built under power lines with no shelter in sight, but he and other neighbors are also concerned with the trail crossing busy SR 580 next to Westfield Countryside mall.

Neighbors have suggested instead to put the trail along McMullen Booth Road.

"Because the traffic lights are already there, all the sidewalks are already there and it would be a safer way of doing it," said Belleville.

But the county unanimously voted against that plan claiming it would be too dangerous for people on the trail and they say it would cost more money.

The county says construction of the North Loop trail gap is planned to start next summer.