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Apopka’s New Trail Network: A Giant Step Towards a More Walkable and Bikeable City 

Apopka, Florida, plans to become a friendlier city to all who bike, walk, or roll with the unanimous approval from the Apopka City Council of a new proposed trail network. The network will connect downtown Apopka to essential destinations like healthcare services, grocery stores, parks, and restaurants, making it easier for residents to navigate their community without a motorized vehicle. 

The Active Transportation Network Study, completed by Bike/Walk Central Florida, a nonprofit regional advocacy organization for bicyclists and pedestrians, and xGeographic, a geospatial technology company, identifies opportunities to increase and improve trail network connectivity to points of interest throughout the city. Additionally, the plan provides recommendations for supplemental improvements such as infrastructure, landscaping, lighting, and signage to enhance existing conditions and facilitate the establishment of a high-quality city-wide active transportation network. 

The study serves city staff, residents, and developers as a communication and planning tool to: 

  • Guide future trail development along prioritized corridors 
  • Identify signature trail corridors for integration into the regional trail network 
  • Use trail infrastructure as a catalyst for economic development 
  • Use trail standards and policies for use by developers and planners 
  • Identify safety countermeasures to enhance the biking network 
  • Identify comfort countermeasures to encourage an increase in walking and biking 

The organization collaborated with the city and surveyed residents to develop a plan that met the community’s needs. The survey was offered to residents to gauge interest in trail amenities and to gather information on when and where residents like to walk or bicycle in the city. A workshop at the Apopka Community Center identified opportunities for new bicycling infrastructure. Some of the ideas mentioned include: 

  • Creating a loop network that easily integrates into the Coast-to-Coast Trail corridor 
  • Marketing the Lake Apopka Wildlife Area and Wekiva Springs to Coast-to-Coast Trail riders 
  • Creating a signature trail network and themed signage that differentiates the network from secondary connector trails 

The City of Apopka will complete the trail network in phases over several years. The project’s first phase will connect downtown Apopka to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Trail network via Binion and Boy Scout roads. Eventually, the new trail network will connect to the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail, allowing people to bike or walk from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Adopting the trail network provides city staff the leadership support needed to continue efforts to improve active transportation in Apopka through coordination with developers, pursuit of grant funding, and collaborative partnerships with Orange County. 

In addition to the above connections, the new trail network will connect with the following statewide and regional trail networks: 

  • Orlando area: The Apopka trail network will connect to Orlando via the Coast-to-Coast Trail and the future Pine Hills Trail extension. 
  • Coast-to-Coast Trail: The proposed new trails will connect to the Coast-to-Coast Trail via the West Orange Trail and the Orange County connector trail along McCormick Road. The extension of the West Orange Trail to the Wekiva Trail also connects the proposed network to the Coast-to-Coast Trail in Seminole County. 
  • Ocoee & Winter Garden: These areas connect via the West Orange Trail. The Healthy West Orange Trail Connection plans additional trails. 
  • Seminole County: The Coast-to-Coast Trail and the Wekiva Trail will connect the city to Seminole County. Building the West Orange Trail extension and the Clarcona-Ocoee Gap on the Coast-to-Coast Trail will complete this connection. 
  • Lake County: Numerous planned trails will connect the city to areas in Lake County. The Wekiva Trail extension will connect to Mount Dora and Tavares. 

For more information on the Active Network Transportation Study, contact Patrick Panza, Programs Director for Bike/Walk Central Florida, or Pam Richmond, Transportation Coordinator for the City of Apopka. 

See the complete study here

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