- Provides nearly 30 miles of continuous non-motorized, paved, multi-use trail with the existing connection to the Venetian Waterway Park Trail.
- Extends the Trail to the downtown core of the city of Sarasota. More than 2/3 of city residents and workers would be within 2 miles of the trail.
- Supports the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, creating safe and convenient ways for children to walk or bicycle to school and promotes daily physical activity. There are 27 schools within one linear mile of the Trail and 45 schools within two linear miles.
- Promotes healthy lifestyles for all ages by providing an attractive and safe place to walk, run, skate, cycle, explore local nature viewing opportunities, commute to jobs or run errands.
- Provides an alternative transportation link between communities and amenities unique to areas in north, mid, and south county for residents, workers and visitors.
- Converts an unused, overgrown rail corridor to a highly used recreational and commuting trail, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality. Annual usage of the existing Legacy Trail exceeds 225,000 users per year.
- Provides new opportunities to connect existing neighborhood trails and other on-road bike lanes, e.g. Circus Trail to Benderson Park; the North Port Extension to the Legacy Trail; the Longboat Key Trail to Anna Maria Island, Manasota Key to Englewood
- Promotes local economic activity. Numerous studies have shown that multi-use trails promote local economic activity, stimulate tourism, raise nearby home values, promote healthy lifestyles for all ages, and reduce employee healthcare costs.
- Improves the community/county image as being citizen-focused and environmentally sensitive.
- Elevates historical awareness through education stations, monuments, etc.
- Improves sustainability through re-landscaping and contamination remediation.
National, state and local financing opportunities will be vigorously pursued. The capital investment to extend The Legacy Trail will provide substantial long term direct and indirect benefits to the community:
The Feasibility Study concluded: “The Legacy Trail extension has strong community support and will be quickly adopted by those who use and enjoy it“… It will become another jewel in the community’s environmental and recreational crown.”