Rollerblades on Overpasses

by Roger Normand

Well that’s odd I thought as I approached.  Both walking down the Legacy Trail 41 overpass in stocking feet, carrying their rollerblades.  “Did you EACH blow a wheel on the trail” I asked with a big grin while thinking what’s the chance of that.  As if reading my mind, Andrew replied also smiling “no equipment malfunction, just a surface design issue.”  Ann chipped in “We are rollerblading a marathon distance 26.2 miles on the Legacy Trail.  We are post grad students from Manatee County, and love “blading on this trail because of the scenery and smooth surface.”  Andrew picked up “but ‘blading down this overpass is like coming down a series of ski jumps.  We’d rather not be successively airborne and out of control.”  “Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that.  I think they were designed to act like speed bumps for cyclist, I offered.   But some low slung racing trikes bottom out on these terraces.”  Note to FDOT: with overpasses under design for Clark and Bee Ridge intersections on the trail, is there a better design approach that doesn’t compromise low trikes and rollerbladers?