To dig deeper, visit each individual byway page on this site for highlighted county, nature and tourism links applicable to each byway.
A1A bike trail: FDOT studying feasibility of multiuse trail along A1A in St. Johns County
By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax
Aug. 6, 2019
- ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A new multiuse trail on State Road A1A could stretch from Vilano Beach to Mickler Road in St. Johns County.
The Florida Department of Transportation is conducting a feasibility study for a 10- to 12-foot paved lane along the 16-mile stretch. The lane would be separate from the road, giving drivers and families more space.
It's been talked about since the early 2000s, according to St. Johns County Public Works Director Neal Shinkre.
The plan is moving forward with FDOT footing the bill for the study, which is estimated to cost $150,000.
"A wider lane would be great for everybody," Patrick Murphy said.
Murphy bikes up and down State Road A1A every day.
"I'm always watching out," he said. "Up there, it gets to be 55 mph. Fifty-five (mph) turns into 65 (mph), realistically, when no one's around."
Drivers say State Road A1A is also a concern for them, especially when cars block the bike lanes.
"They're parked on the side of the road and the cyclists have to veer around them. With traffic coming through there, we have to veer around the cyclists, as well. You have to be very cautious," David Ruzeck said.
The FDOT study is expected to take up to a year. Shinkre said it's second on the county's list of priority projects, right behind the River to Sea Loop.
NEWS ABOUT TRAILS
Donald Morgan, Florida Office of Greenways and Trails Regional Coordinator, Paul Haydt, East Coast Greenway and Friends of Scenic A1A Director, Sallie O’Hara, Vilano Beach Main Street Executive Director and Committee Member, National Scenic Byway, Dr. Michael Shirley, GTM Research Reserve Director, and Mark Atkins, North Florida Bicycle Club President, at the February Main Street meeting.
- - - - -
The push to prioritize a feasibility study for a proposed A1A Multi-Use Trail accelerated during February, as the newly appointed Regional Coordinator for State Greenways and Trails, Donald Morgan, visited Vilano Beach and was given a tour on A1A, followed by a meeting with Multi-Use Trail Committee Members and then a question and answer public presentation at the February 20th Vilano Beach Main Street Meeting chaired by Vivian Browning. Our Vilano Beach Town Center was recently designated a Florida Trail Town.
Also attending the prior Trail Committee meeting were representatives from Velofest, St. Johns County Parks & Recreation Department, Rodney Cooper, Transportation Engineer for the County Public Works Department and North Shores Improvement Association. Mr. Morgan also met with Reuben Franklin, the City of St. Augustine’s Mobility Manager for the proposed link-in.
The A1A trail is anticipated to pass through a number of miles on existing hard packed trails in the Research Reserve and State Wildlife Preserve, as well as through Mussallem and North Beach county parks. Following the completion of the county River to Sea Trail, the committee is working to get our A1A ranked as #1 priority in order to enhance goals for design, funding and completion, given a number of constraints we have in certain areas of right of way on a roadway initially built in the 1920s.
Click below to support our efforts to sign a petition or provide Letters of Support.
We have now OVER 1000 names endorsing the community need for a Multi-Use Trail along A1A from Vilano to Ponte Vedra.
Vilano Beach Town Center is now a
FLORIDA TRAIL TOWN
St. Augustine, FL- Vilano Beach Town Center was designated as a Florida Trail Town at the September 14, 2018 Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT) Council meeting held in Titusville, Florida. A “Trail Town” in Florida is a community located along or in proximity to one or more long distance non-motorized recreational trails. This includes cycling, paddling, equestrian or hiking trails where users can venture off the trail to enjoy the services and unique heritage of the nearby community. The town is a safe place where both town residents and trail users can walk, bike, jog to find the goods and services they need, and easily access both the trail and the town. Along with Vilano Beach Town Center, the City of Malabar and City of Clermont attained designations joining Titusville and Dunedin as the first five designated Trail Towns in the State of Florida.
Thanks for joining us October 17, 2018 in our celebration at the Vilano Beachfront Pavilion !
This is also our 10th Anniversary Celebrating the completion of the
Vilano Town Center Streetscape and Infrastructure Project!
SUPPORT THE A1A MULTI-USE TRAIL PROPOSAL
How do we do this?
We must show that an important number of our residents are in favor of the new trail. How can you help and participate? Individuals and families are as important as A1A sub-divisions and businesses. Our citizen group will provide a presentation and question and answer meeting at your request.
- To sign up ONLINE, please click this link and sign and submit.
Your comments will be added to the growing list of citizens supporting this initiative. The list will then be provided to the decision makers in St. Johns County and the Transportation Planning Organization to demonstrate the byway community's support.
- You may wish to form a neighborhood group to support the initiative. Use the Blank Paper Petition to gather signatures from your neighbors if you strongly agree. Neighborhood captains may return names gathered to the trail planning committee member, Mark Atkins, [email protected].
- A “Resolution of Support” may be available to sign as we visit your neighborhoods and civic meetings as well.
- Or you can send a Letter of Support (on your letterhead if you are an organization or business). For sample letter - click here.
Email it to [email protected], (425-8055), or Mail it to: A1A Multi-Use Trail, c/o Danielle Anderson, Executive Director, Friends of A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway, 2175 Mizell RD, St. Augustine, FL 32080
We need YOUR help in selecting a unique name for this trail!!!
Click the link to take a 60 second survey!
A1A is the sole connective road for the North Coastal Corridor north of the Vilano Bridge – for neighborhoods, restaurants, parks, and beach access points. It remains without sidewalks, presenting a growing safety problem for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists as traffic volume increases. This section of A1A is currently designated as part of the East Coast Greenway, and is included on the St. Johns County and FDOT bike and pedestrian plans. Completion of this trail would bring to fruition recommendations approved by the County Commission in 2006 to provide pedestrian and bike paths for the north corridor of A1A.
The current proposal would create a 10-foot wide trail along the west side of A1A, separated from the current road by a 3-foot grass buffer on the west side of A1A. This would provide a 9 ft. separation (3 ft. grass buffer plus 6 ft. existing bike lane) between the trail and the vehicle lanes, very similar to the separation presently provided along A1A between the Vilano Bridge and May St. This would significantly improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists traveling this road.
Funding for this trail is available through several state and federal programs, but community support is needed to tap into these resources. Below is a listing of some of the organizations who have come forward to support this project, but more support is needed. Please sign the on-line petition (see link below). Also, please let us know if you or your organization has any questions or would be able provide us with a letter of support.
In addition to over 500 individuals who have signed the petition, below is a partial list of organizations providing letters of support for this project: Friends of A1A Scenic & Historic Byway, St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, East Coast Greenway, North Florida Bicycle Club, Velofest, North Shores Improvement Association, GTM NERR, Porpoise Point Homeowners Assn., Marshview Homeowners Assn.
Does your group need more questions answered?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a multi-use trail?
A multi-use trail is a paved 10 ft. wide path with a separation buffer between it and the roadway.
Where would this trail be located?
This trail would run along the west side of A1A from the Vilano Town Center to Mickler Road. The trail would be located within the existing state-owned right-of-way for A1A...no private property will be used for the trail.
Why is a multi-use trail needed?
The present bicycle lanes along this section of A1A provide only a six inch wide stripe of white paint to separate pedestrians and cyclists, and vehicles traveling from 40 to 60+ MPH. This creates a real safety concern for recreational cyclists, families, and pedestrians. This trail would provide a safe means of travel for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized means of transportation (skate boards, roller skates, etc.) along this section of road. The trail would not only allow residents to travel between communities, restaurants, parks, and shopping along the A1A corridor, but also to GTM NERR (Guana).
How would this trail improve the safety of A1A?
The trail would be 10 ft. wide, with a 3-ft. grass buffer between it and the existing roadway. This would provide 9 ft. of separation (3 ft. grass buffer plus 6 ft. existing bike lane) between the vehicle lane and the trail. This separation is similar the separation provided between the sidewalk and road along A1A in the area of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.
Who will pay for this trail?
The State of Florida and the Federal Government have recognized the value of trails to improve safety, promote physical exercise, and foster connected communities, and as such there are numerous grant programs available for the design and construction of trails. One these, the SUN (Shared-Use, Non-motorized) Trails through the Florida Department of Transportation, provides up to $25 million a year for trials across Florida. This money is designated for trails, and as such would not affect funding for other projects such as beach re-nourishment.
When would the trail be built?
Timing is contingent on when we can obtain grant funding, which in turn is largely dependent of how much community support we can demonstrate. We estimate a realistic time fame of two to five years.
How can I get more information concerning the details of the trail?
A copy of a PowerPoint Presentation describing the trail can be viewed at:
I think the trail is a good idea, how can I support making the trail a reality?
Please sign the online petition at:
Click the link above for some of the most helpful general references. All support the Florida Byways.