Trails Win Big in Florida's 2015-16 State Budget
Funding for trails remained strong, despite a record $461 million in reductions from the initial statewide budget proposal. In total, $50 million will be directed towards Florida trails over the next year, with an additional $25 million coming from Amendment 1, which is a new land and water conservation fund approved by voters last Fall.
The new trail funding will be directed through Florida’s Department of Transportation to implement the Florida SunTrail plan. The SunTrail (Shared Use Non-Motorized Trail Network) is a series of paved, long distance biking and walking trails connecting metro regions, coastlines, and Florida’s interior. Some of the trails parallel major transportation corridors, but the concept is that all trail segments will be separate from roadways, helping to move bikers and walkers safely and comfortably, and bolster Florida’s image as a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly state.