Before we get into the most recent win for bikes and road safety, we ask everyone to take a moment of silence for Ja Williams who was killed while crossing the street in St. Augustine along a portion of the loop yesterday morning on his way to school. He was no stranger to VeloFest and veloteered at many an event. Rest in peace young man.
The last day of March 2016 will be long remembered as a day of extreme lows and extreme highs but that is the way it goes when a topic must be advocated. In an almost serendipitous fashion after a long day of sadness reflecting on another loss of life the update came from the Office of Greenway & Trails that in fact our efforts have not been in vain and our River to Sea Loop has been selected as a priority for the state to be completed. This effort was chartered many years ago by names like Linda Crider, Kraig McClain, Billy Zeits and of course the godfather of trails Herb Hiller. To VeloFest, projects such as this loop represented the next phase of life for infrastructure that made it more relevant to the masses moving bicycle trail and greenways towards connected access for commuters and kids alike. We researched the loop, drew letters of support and never looked back. Additionally, many of our members including the board have committed years of their time and expertise to create the maps and studies needed to even accept funds from the state like ETM.
So what does this mean? Of the $125 Million approved dedicated funds by our state for trails in Florida one third will be dedicated to the River to Sea Loop. Please click here for a map of the loop.
We are excited and proud supporters of this life long vision of many and are looking forward to the day when we can ride from the beautiful beaches of St. Augustine Beach through the City of St. Augustine and connect to the existing trail and onto our neighbors in Putnam County. Along the way creating access to
communities like Armstrong, Hastings, Vermont Heights, West Augustine, Davis Shores, Lighthouse Park, Crescent Beach and Butler Beach.
We are appreciative of those who had the vision to create this connection. We are forever thankful to those in Tallahassee who committed and fought for these funds including Senate President Andy Gardiner. And we most certainly look forward to the ride along the loop.
VeloFest will continue to support and advocate for safer roads but needs your support. Please consider donating today. More info can be found at www.velofest.org/gofundme or under the Partners section of our website.