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New University of Florida Campus-Archer Trail Good News for Cyclists

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A new trail for cyclists and pedestrians has been proposed for the University of Florida campus.

“People who just solely bike like I do, it’ll make things a lot easier and make a nice convenient path to get from point A to B,” said UF student Lara Drondoski.

A three-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail will start near the Hilton on 34th Street, run east along Hull Road toward Shands and connect to the existing bicycle trail at Archer Road.

“In the community there’s a lot of interest in being able to commute by bicycle, and right here on campus, of course you can’t ride right up to the front door of your classrooms very often,” said Linda Dixon, associate director of UF facilities, planning and construction.

The campus section of the trail is coming from federal funding and will cost $2.5 million.

Construction is supposed to start near the end of 2014.

“Everyone is always biking in the city and I love the trails because I’m safe. I’m away from the road, and I know when I bike like to Southwest I’m on the road with the cars, and I don’t like it at all. So I think it’d be great to have another trail there,” said UF student, Kelley Naus.

This path is part of a bigger trail from the city of Archer all the way through Gainesville to the city of Hawthorne.

Last year, the design was rerouted around Haile Plantation.

“There are some loud voices in every community that oppose bike and pedestrian infrastructure, but it really doesn’t bear out in what we need and what we want for our communities,” said Advocacy Director of the Gainesville Cycling Club, James Thompson.

Bicycle paths always have an impact on traffic and Gainesville ranks number seven in the country for the percentage of people who commute regularly by bicycle.

Bicycles and pedestrians share the road with vehicles right now, but this new trail will allow those two to be separated and make everyone a little safer.

About Michal Higdon

Michal is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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