Major Makeover Shaping Up for Legacy Trail


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 2nd, 2015 – A longer and safer Legacy Trail linking several parks and other amenities within Sarasota County is fast shaping up, thanks to the concerted efforts by private groups and local government agencies. Realtors hail this looming major makeover of the scenic 10-mile paved carless pathway as yet another strong draw for Sarasota homes for sale.

Much of this renovation involves a 7.5-mile extension of the multiuse trail to Payne Park just east of Sarasota downtown from the trail’s present terminus at the Culverhouse Nature Park on Palmer Ranch. The Sarasota County Commission has already approved the preliminary plans for this extension and is determined to raise the project cost estimated to roughly approximate the $30 million amount spent when the original LegacyTrail was builtin 2008.

Strong public support

Major Makeover Shaping Up for Legacy Trail

A feasibility study concluded in March 2015 has recommended a six-foot wide-pedestrian path and eight-foot wide bike lane for the trail extension, plus other features, like trailheads, parking, shelters and restrooms. Notably, this two-phase study was funded jointly by private local organizations and government agencies, indicating total community commitment to the trail expansion.

Popular public support, meanwhile, is also being accorded to the construction of a $2.8 million pedestrian overpass for Legacy Trail crossing at Laurel Road in Nokomis. Currently, trail users coming from or headed to the Oscar Scherer State Park stretch of the trail need to activate a pedestrian signal to stop traffic on the undivided four-lane Laurel Road.

Widespread benefits

In July 2015, the Florida Department of Transportation behind the planned pedestrian bridge conducted public hearings for this federally funded project expected to start within a year. Besides contributing pedestrian and cyclist safety, the proposed overpass will likewise help ease vehicular traffic in the Laurel Road area and benefit many residents as well as communities offering Sarasota homes for sale around this locality.

A bit farther south of Laurel Road, the Legacy Trail is also linked with the new Legacy Park now under construction in Venice. Among this park’s amenities is a nature trail along Hatchett Creek leading down to the Venetian Waterway Park, a 9.3-mile concrete path on both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). This stretch accessible via the new park thus further extends the Legacy Trail network to the ICW in the south. For the long-term, similar linkage is also being considered to northern pathways in Longboat Key and eventually to Citrus and Polk Counties.

Less car-dependent generation Y

Having such an extensive infrastructure like the Legacy Trail is pivotal as the Sarasota housing industry strives to diversify from its major market of retirees or empty-nesters and draw more millennials or the generation Y born between the mid-1970s and the 1980s. Considered as a potential growth segment among buyers of Sarasota homes for sale, millennials are said to be a generation less inclined to automobile use and would rather walk, bike, car-pool, or take public transportation.

Being more health-conscious and environment-friendly, millennials likewise want to live in community environments not only offering a less car-dependent lifestyle. What they would also prefer is living in communities with residents, private groups and government bodies supportive of facilities like the rapidly expanding Legacy Trail.