Bike/Walk Central Florida Trail Audit Team
Today we welcome guest blogger Barbara Giles of Bike/Walk Central Florida.
The seats of their bikes became a productive office space and vantage point for a group earlier this summer along the Seminole Wekiva Trail. A team led by Bike/Walk Central Florida with participants from Seminole County Public Works and Planning, Florida Department of Health and some Seminole County active residents took a ride to review road and trail intersections, crossings and other hazards during a recent trail audit.
“Many cyclists feel safer when riding trails than on the open road,” said Bike/Walk Central Florida’s (BWCF) Emily Hanna. “But even on trails, you’ll eventually need to cross roads and sometimes high-traffic roads.”
The Seminole Wekiva Trail is a beautiful 14-mile multi-use trail used by bicyclists, joggers, walkers, skateboarders and skaters, including people with disabilities. On any given day, you will encounter any or all of these enthusiasts enjoying the trail, and you’ll also eventually come to an intersection of a roadway that you’ll need to cross. But how do we ensure that these crossings are optimal for the safety and comfort of all trail and road users?
That was the question these riders kept in mind as they reviewed many points of conflict along the trail. The purpose of this trail audit was to review the trail signage, striping and crossings at pre-selected locations along the trail. Following the audit, the group members’ photos, observations and recommendations were provided in a report to Seminole County partners.
“The audit team hopes that these recommendations will help as Seminole County moves forward with its Master Trails Plan and beyond,” said Hanna. “More and more people are using the trails, and we want them to feel safe and comfortable when doing so and crossing the roadways. Seminole County has a great trail system and our focus was to make it even more comfortable and safe for all users.”
Some examples of these recommendations at different intersections included:
- Install additional signage to alert drivers of trail crossing
- Plant additional trees on certain sections for shade and cooling
- Add additional in-trail markings
- Relocate pedestrian push buttons at some locations where cyclists can reach from their bikes
- Consider adding “Do not block trail” signs where private driveways emerge
- Consider footrest stops for cyclists near push button signals and road crossings (easier for cyclists to stop there and use signal)
The following Seminole County crosswalks were analyzed along the route:
- R. 434 & Orange Ave.
- R. 436 & Laurel Ave.
- Seminole Wekiva Tr. & Spring Oaks Blvd.
- Seminole Wekiva Tr. & E.E. Williamson Rd.
- Longwood Markham Rd. & Via Bonita St.
- E. Thomas Jr. Pkwy. & International Pkwy.
“It’s all in a day’s work, and if I can do part of it from my bike, all the better,” remarked BWCF’s Cody Johnson.
The Trail Audit Team
The trail audit team, who got out on their bikes to inspect the trail crossings included:
- Seminole County Public Works: Vasu Persuad
- Seminole County Planning: Jeffrey Hopper
- Florida Department of Health in Seminole County: Amanda Beal
- Seminole County residents and community advocate: Irwin Bellinkoff
- Seminole County residents and community advocate: David Brown
- Bike/Walk Central Florida: Emily Hanna
- Bike/Walk Central Florida: Cody Johnson
What’s your cycling story? Is it in the Messenger? Our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure, just visit the FBA website Home page . Want a hard copy of our Messenger? FBA members have the Messenger delivered to their door every quarter. Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members to pick up a copy and use the membership form inside to join!