Overview

The Pinellas Trail Loop is a 75 mile regional trail network that will improve access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation for the residents of Pinellas County, Florida.The majority of the project has been completed with overwhelming support from the community; however, two significant gaps, a “North Gap” and “South Gap,” remain. This project will complete the two gaps in the Loop and serve as a Ladder of Opportunity by connecting people, including low income and minority populations, to services, jobs, and educational opportunities.

Concept

The current, incomplete Loop stretches from the northernmost to the southernmost areas of Pinellas County however, the increased mobility provided by the current trail is limited largely to the western portion of the County. The two gap segments are located on the eastern side of the Loop and the residents of unincorporated Pinellas County and the Cities of Oldsmar, Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park, and St. Petersburg, as well as the County as a whole, would greatly benefit from the increased connectivity to major employers, institutions of higher education and vocational training, public schools and many other community resources and services.

This is Pinellas County’s fourth request for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funding, and this application has been updated to reflect USDOT’s Notice of Funding Availability for the FY 2015 TIGER program and to reflect the progress made in the past year.

Pinellas County has some of the highest levels of crashes involving bicycles and pedestrian nationwide. The Pinellas Trail provides a safe way to get to work, shopping, restaurants, and many other destinations. Safer bicycle and pedestrian travel will increase significantly when the Loop is complete, creating an environment that enhances the quality of life for Pinellas County residents, businesses and visitors.

- Brian Smith, Vice President of the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation

Historically, the majority of Pinellas County’s development occurred post-World War II which resulted in suburban-style land use patterns with small and somewhat dispersed centers of commercial, industrial, residential uses.An unintended consequence of these land use development patterns was the need for an automobile-oriented transportation network that has resulted in a lack of connectivity to destinations and a poor safety record for vulnerable road users.Once complete, the Loop network will provide a bicycle and pedestrian network that is unprecedented in Florida.This will be a transformative improvement, enhancing the current economic, health and safety benefits of the Loop as it is now and expand Pinellas County’s multimodal transportation network.

The completion of the Pinellas Trail Loop is supported by regional organizations and major employers, including the Florida Greenways & Trails Foundation, Inc. and Raymond James and Associates, Inc. as well as numerous other political leaders and agencies. In addition, over 100 letters of support have been submitted for the project, representing a remarkably diverse group of legislators, businesses, educational institutions, community groups, and citizens.