Seminole Heights residents discuss trail to link neighborhoods
SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - More than 30 people met Wednesday at the Seminole Heights Garden Center to discuss creation of a trail linking the city’s core neighborhoods. It was the last of three workshops held at various locations in Tampa to gather ideas for a draft study focused on the trail. A report based on the study by consultants with Tindale-Oliver is expected in coming weeks. It will be reviewed by committees at the Metropolitan Planning Organization before a presentation to the MPO’s full board. City officials also will review the study which will include recommendations on inexpensive projects that can take advantage of existing trails and pathways. “Political support and neighborhood support are really critical,” said Demian Miller, associate principal at Tindale-Oliver. “You have to have buy-in from the neighborhoods it runs through.”The perimeter trail generally would follow a large loop sweeping through downtown, Ybor City, McKay Bay, Palmetto Beach, the Riverwalk, Tampa Heights, Ybor Heights, Seminole Heights, Riverside Heights, Live Oaks Square, the Rogers Park area, the Channel District and the Encore site. Some residents in Ridgewood Park hope a segment of the trail will follow Ridgewood Avenue. “We think it would help calm traffic,” said Stacy Warder. Others said they want the trail to link parks, shops and restaurants within Seminole Heights. Trails for walking and bicycling also should connect to area schools, “to promote students getting to and from school on their own power,” said Seminole Heights resident Margaret Shepherd. The workshops were hosted by the Green ARTery, which is a nonprofit volunteer organization founded by two community activists, Tampa Heights resident Lena Young-Green and Seminole Heights resident Myron Griffin. The group began more than two years ago with a grass-roots movement to promote neighborhood connections through a system of greenways, paths and trails. Members have collaborated with city planners on a long-range plan to make Tampa a safer place for walkers and bicyclists.