Submitted by Kevin Grogan
Yesterday at the Puryear Building in Downtown Groveland, engineers and transportation authorities met with community leaders & local residents to answer questions and concerns.
South Lake Trail IIIB takes the Trail 1.8 miles further from Silver Eagle Road to Second Street in West Groveland. The plans have been designed by the Florida Department of Transportation and have the trail parallel along State Road 50 extending west through most of the City of Groveland.
While the final design hopes to be completed by the Fall (of 2018), the actual project is planned to be finished by 2024.
Obviously, the 14 foot wide trail brings this additional length to the current trail. While the addition is planned along side of State Road 50, the design gives ample distance between the trail and the road. This portion brings walkers, runners, and cyclist a bit closer to connecting to the Van Fleet Trail in the future.
The main concerns at the meeting centered around safety at the six main intersections in the new portion of the trail. There were suggestions for flashing lights and stop signs before the trail crossing as vehicles approach from side streets. A need for benches, water fountains, and bathrooms was addressed as this section is a good distance from the Hiawatha Preserve facilities.
It was also mentioned that Groveland has an opportunity to set a safety protocol precedent with attention to detail and using best practices for vehicle and pedestrian interaction or lack thereof. The more attention to details of safety and amenities, the more the trail will be used.