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Miami-Naples Bike Path Faces Critical Vote in Collier County

Photo: Everglades National Park via Flickr
Biking at Long Pine Key Nature Trail at Everglades National Park.

The "River of Grass Greenway," a proposed 75-mile bike trail along US-41 that would link Naples to Miami, faces a critical vote in Collier County today. The project has been in the works for years

The Collier County Metropolitan Planning Organization began a meeting at 9 a.m. to discuss whether or not to withdraw support for the project, first given approval in 2008. The majority of the proposed corridor crosses public lands, including national and state parks, preserves, and wildlife refuges but needs county support to pursue state funding for the project.  The Miami-Dade Department of Parks and Recreation recently released a Feasibility Study and Master Plan for the project.

Proponents of the trail tout it as a draw for cyclists and tourists, and appealing to locals interested in biking for fitness and leisure.

Critics of the plan argue the project would damage the environment and its costs—estimated to be anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million per mile—are too high.

Friday at 1 p.m. on Gulf Coast Live, Dayna Fendrick with Friends of the River of Grass Greenway joins the project to explain its origins and

Also on the program is Collier County Commissioner Penny Taylor to discuss the Collier MPO meeting the county's support the project.

Don Scott from the Lee County MPO, which worked with the Collier MPO while appraising the project, will also join the program to discuss the details of the project.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.