by Roger Normand
Without opposition, and amid a large contingent of yellow shirted Friends of Legacy Trail supporters, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners (BCC) voted unanimously March 14th on a resolution to include a bond referendum on the regular November 6 ballot to extend the Legacy Trail.
If approved by county voters, the referendum would allow the county to borrow up to $65 million to buy another 6.5 miles of unused rail corridor (including spur) to extend the trail to Payne Park and Fruitville Road in the city of Sarasota. The referendum includes funds to allow the county to build the trail – including the portion to Ashton Road purchased by the County in December; trail overpasses at heavily trafficked intersections at Clark and Bee Ridge roads; parking, restrooms and water fountains; and provide funds to better connect the city of North Port to the Legacy Trail.
A key provision: UP TO $65 million.Carolyn Brown, the County’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, told the commissioners that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) had included $7.5M SUN Trail funds in their 2022/2023 draft work plan, pending approval in June 2018. She also said the County had requested another $4.2 million in SUN Trail funds for FDOT to build a trail overpass at Clark Road. Florida’s SUN Trail program provides $25 million per year for trail construction across the state. She indicated that any funds received would reduce the amount of bonding.
While $65 million is a large amount – the county estimates it at .08 mil in the ad valorem millage rate – it would amount to an annual tax increase of $16.00 per $200,000 real estate property valuation for 20 years. We believe that the collaboration of the county, the MPO, city governments and FLT representing the community provide a compelling case for securing SUN Trail and other potential funds that will reduce that amount.
Are the permanent benefits of extending the Legacy Trail – safety for trail users and motorists, enhanced quality of life and property values, opportunities to connect community trails to the Legacy Trail, support for the Safe Routes to School National Initiative , and non-motorized connections to area attractions, worth the cost of dinner once a year at an inexpensive area restaurant? We think so! FLT and our partners will continue to engage, inform and convince residents that the Legacy Trail extension is a sound investment in our community.
FLT would like to thank the Commissioners for their action, and thank all of our supporters and trail users who have gotten us to this point.
by Michelle Stanley
Friends of the Legacy Trail (FLT) will be participating in the 2018 Giving Challenge presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation. This year the event will run from noon May 1, 2018, through 11:59 a.m. May 2.
Each and every person can “Be The One” to make a difference during the Giving Challenge.
How to participate:
- Beginning noon May 1 through 11:59 a.m. May 2
- Donations to be made at givingpartnerchallenge.org, then look up Friends of the Legacy Trail
- All done online, no cash or checks
- Minimum Donation is $25.00
All donations up to $100 per unique donor (eg, husband can be one, wife can be second unique donor as long as the donations are made on two separate credit cards) will be matched 100 percent. We also have an anonymous donor who will match the first $1,000 in donations that are made. Thus your donation could be worth $300 to FLT: $100 from donor, $100 from The Patterson Foundation and $100 from an anonymous donor.
- We are eligible for some extra funds if we get the most donations right away, so please consider logging on at noon on May 1.
Support the Friends of The Legacy Trail by donating during this exciting fund raiser!
by Roger Normand
Three events. Three locations. Three consecutive days. A trio of music. food, and vendors. Five organizations. All sharing an active mobility theme. What at weekend! A big thank you to whoever scheduled three days of spectacularly beautiful Sarasota weather with lots of blue sky, sunshine, and comfortable temps.
Sarasota County led the festivities with the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of the Legacy Trail at an event Friday at Laurel Park in Nokomis. Board of County Commissioner Chair Nancy Detert commemorated the occasion, with Doug Hattaway of the Trust for Public Land recognizing individuals who championed the effort.
The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization and the City of Sarasota held a Roll and Stroll event Saturday at Payne Park in downtown Sarasota. Along with promoting cycling/walking, participants were asked to try one of three routes less than two miles long from Payne Park to connect to the Sarasota waterfront and access the Barrier Islands. While survey data is still being accumulated, it appears the Oak Street route is the clear favorite among participants over the Ringling and Main Street routes. The latter two featured many businesses but gathering congestion, while Oak street traversed a classic old Florida residential neighborhood leading to Selby Gardens and onto a panoramic vista of Sarasota bay along a multi use regional trail.
The Sarasota/Manatee Bicycle Club and Friends of the Legacy Trail again joined with new sponsor the Trust for Public Land Tour de Parks. A record number of riders participated Sunday in the 20, 35 and 62 mile scenic routes, fueled by breakfast from First Watch, and lunch by Mattison’s. Event pics are available for viewing here.
Traveling from downtown to St. Armands is about to get easier for cyclists, runners
When: April 29, 2018
Where: 1600 Harbor Dr S, Venice, FL 34285
Registration and Info:
Sharky’s Ride the Beaches Celebrates 16 Years
SCENIC BIKE RIDE WITH A HUGE HEART
Venice, FL—-March 1st, 2018—- Cyclists from near and far will be traveling to Sharky’s in Venice on 29th to be a part of THE bike event of the season – Sharky’s Ride the Beaches. Celebrating it’s 16th year, Ride the Beaches has a rich history of giving back to the community. This year the ride will support three charities:
Team Tony, a local Sarasota based foundation helping, hands on those going though cancer treatment and their families.
Friends of the Legacy Trail, dedicated to the maintenance and expansion of Sarasota County’s best cycling asset, the Legacy Trail Park.
Livestrong Foundation, helping people nationwide finding the resources and strength to fight cancer.
In 2017 Ride the Beaches hosted 1,200 cyclists and raised over $35,000 for charity. Over the past 15 years, Ride the Beaches has donated $255,000 to charity. The owners and employees of Sharky’s, as well as community members, donate their time to this event. Every penny over cost is donated.
All riders will start the day with complimentary breakfast on the beach at Sharky’s consisting of fresh fruit, juice, bagels, fruit bread, and coffee. All rest stops will be stocked with water, sports drink, fresh fruit, snacks and/or sandwiches. After riders work up a sweat, they will be able to sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch complete with beer, smack dab on the beach at Sharky’s.
Riders will have the choice of three scenic bike rides – 15, 35 or 70 mile rides. The 15 mile ride stays on the island of Venice, with an optional extra 4 miles that goes off the island, on the Venetian Waterway Trail. This ride is suitable for almost anyone with a bike and a desire to see some of the most beautiful spots on the Island of Venice. You will ride to Casperson Beach and access the Waterway trail. After riding the trail to the north side of Venice you will ride low traffic roads to the Venice Yacht Club for a rest stop. From there you will meander through residential side streets back to Sharky’s. The 35 mile ride will take you over the intracoastal waterway to the neighborhood streets of south Venice. You will cross the intracosstal waterway again, and have your first rest stop. Now ride down beautiful Manasota Key. In some places you will be so close to the beach, you have to watch for sand in the road. After returning on the key you will hit the rest stop again and head back to Venice, this time using the Venetian Waterway Trail part of the way.
Carolyn Brown, head of Sarasota County’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources, addresses the County Commissioners about The Legacy Trail Extension. The Commissioners unanimously approved including a referendum on the trail extension funding in the November general election.
Click here for video of Carolyn Brown’s presentation to the county commissioners on the funding referendum.
The Legacy Trail Will Be 10 Years Old This Year!
A special anniversary event will be held on Friday, March 23 from 4pm to 6pm at Laurel Community Park in Nokomis.
Join your fellow trail users and celebrate the most popular multi-use recreational trail in Florida!
Cake, ice cream, giveaways, music, snacks, prizes, bike safety check, Trail Extension information and more!
Don’t miss it! Mark your calendar! Click here for brochure.
- Friday, March 23 – Legacy Trail 10-Year Anniversary
- Saturday, March 24 – Roll & Stroll Downtown Sarasota Street Closing with Walking and Bicycle Tours. “A Car-Free Way To Live, Work and Play”.
- Sunday, March 25 – Tour de Parks Bicycle Ride
Free Bike Helmets for Children at the Venice Farmers Market – Saturday Feb. 3
Friends of The Legacy Trail’s certified bike helmet fitters will be at the Venice Farmers Market on Saturday, February 3 fitting children under 16 years of age with a free bike helmet. Children must be present and fitted for the helmet.
The Venice Farmers Market is in downtown Venice on Tampa Avenue. Hours are 8am to 1pm.