FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Nov. 17, 2020
Florida Department of Transportation and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy have long-standing commitments to enhance trail, bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the State of Florida.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) have long-standing commitments to enhance trail, bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the State of Florida. The Department is currently experiencing revenue reductions, however we are committed to developing transportation solutions for the safety and mobility of all users. We are pleased to share that this commitment includes the continuation of the SUN Trail program and continued administration of the Transportation Alternatives set-aside program.
The Florida Legislature passed measures in 2014 and 2015 to fund and develop multi-use trails. Specifically, Section 339.81, Florida Statutes (F.S.), established the Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized (SUN) Trail program. Section 339.81 (5) F.S. states “the department shall allocate in its program and resource plan a minimum of $25 million annually”. Following the most recent Revenue Estimating Conference, the Department was required to reduce the Work Program by $760.3 million in Fiscal Year 2021. As a result, the Department determined the SUN Trail program would be reduced by $9.2 million in the Fiscal Year 2021 or 1.2% of the total reduction. It should be noted that $23.6 million of funding remains for the SUN Trail program in Fiscal Year 2021. Projects programmed with the remaining funding will proceed as scheduled. The Department will monitor the results of the December Revenue Estimating Conference and modify the Work Program as necessary and will continue to interact with our many partners.
Also of interest to trails and active transportation facilities, FDOT administers the Transportation Alternative set-aside program in coordination with the 27 Metropolitan Planning Organizations throughout the state, providing funding for programs and projects consistent with details described under 23 U.S.C. 133(h)(3), including 1) Transportation Alternatives, 2) Recreational Trails Program, 3) Safe Routes to School Program, and 4) planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways. This program is authorized through the Federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) act and has not been impacted in the current fiscal year and will proceed as planned.
FDOT looks forward to working with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and other statewide partners to advance trails, walking and bicycling.
Huiwei Shen Chief Planner Florida Department of Transportation
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. Connect with RTC at railstotrails.org and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.