Local road extension provides safe access to West Orange Trail.
Florida has the dubious distinction of being one of the least bike-friendly states in the Union, so it’s always nice to see improvements in that area. Recently Florida Governor Scott approved funding to connect many of the trails already in existence here in Florida, creating a “super trail” that will stretch across the entire state. This was a huge step forward.
On a more local level, yesterday I was very happy to see that a small–yet significant for many local cyclists–road extension was finally ready to open. This short road extension has a wide bike path running adjacent to it, and connects a very large residential area of Apopka to the 35 kilometer/22 mile West Orange Trail.
The Lester Road extension will officially open to through traffic on Monday, June 30, 2014. On my ride yesterday I noticed that the road was done and not being worked on, so I rode it. Here’s the bike path running next to the road (click to enlarge):
The West Orange Trail also connects to the ~15 kilometer/~9 mile South Lake Trail (not including the ~4 kilometer/~2.5 mile Hancock extension), so many of the local residents now can take the bike lanes (which run along several of the streets, see below) to access more than 110 kilometers/~70 miles (out and back) of closed bike trails.
The lines in green indicate roads with bike lanes, the line in red is the new Lester Road extension, and the east-most green line running south is the start of the West Orange Trail (click to enlarge):
I don’t ride the West Orange Trail very much anymore, but with this extension I can now get to it from my house by bike and avoid a very dangerous stretch of 435 (Rock Springs Road) south of Ponkan where there are no bike lanes and a constant stream of fast-moving vehicles.
What I really like about this extension is that casual cyclists and families can now enjoy riding from their homes to the West Orange Trail without needing an automobile.
Group ride this morning, and I’m late! Have a great Saturday!