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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXVI
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Chapter 339
TRANSPORTATION FINANCE AND PLANNING
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F.S. 339.81
339.81 Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail Network.
(1) The Legislature finds that increasing demands continue to be placed on the state’s transportation system by a growing economy, continued population growth, and increasing tourism. The Legislature also finds that accommodating alternative travel modes to meet the needs of residents and visitors and providing trails for bicyclist and pedestrian travel that allows for the appreciation of the conservation and stewardship of environmentally important lands in Florida are of significant importance. The Legislature finds that the investment of the state in the Florida wildlife corridor as defined in s. 259.1055 is of significant interest to the public and that the provision of paved multiuse trails within or between areas of the Florida wildlife corridor would provide the public the ability to enjoy Florida’s natural resources and bring ecotourism and economic opportunities to local trail town communities. The Legislature further finds that improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety for both residents and visitors is a high priority. Therefore, the Legislature declares that the development of a nonmotorized trail network will increase mobility and recreational alternatives for Florida’s residents and visitors; enhance economic prosperity; enrich quality of life; enhance safety; reflect responsible environmental stewardship; and facilitate support for the protection, preservation, and enhancement of the natural and recreational value of the Florida wildlife corridor by providing minimally invasive public access to it when feasible and compatible with the lands. To that end, it is the intent of the Legislature that the department make use of its expertise in efficiently providing transportation projects to develop and construct the Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail Network.
(2)(a) The Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail Network is created as a component of the Florida Greenways and Trails System established in chapter 260. The Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail Network consists of a statewide network of nonmotorized trails that allow bicyclists and pedestrians to access a variety of points of origin and destinations with limited exposure to motorized vehicles.
(b) The multiuse trails or shared-use paths of the statewide network must be physically separated from motor vehicle traffic and constructed with asphalt, concrete, or another hard surface.
(c) The statewide network provides nonmotorized transportation opportunities for bicyclists and pedestrians statewide between and within a wide range of points of origin and destinations, including, but not limited to, communities, conservation areas, lands of the Florida wildlife corridor, state parks, beaches, and other natural or cultural attractions for a variety of trip purposes, including work, school, shopping, and other personal business, as well as social, recreational, and personal fitness purposes.
(3) Network components do not include sidewalks, nature trails, loop trails wholly within a single park or natural area, or on-road facilities, such as bicycle lanes or routes. However, components that connect to nature trails, loop trails, or other points of public access wholly within a single park or natural area may be included in the network, as well as any of the following:
(a) On-road facilities that are no longer than one-half mile connecting two or more nonmotorized trails, if the provision of non-road facilities is infeasible and if such on-road facilities are signed and marked for nonmotorized use.
(b) On-road components of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail.
(4) The planning, development, operation, and maintenance of the Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail Network is declared to be a public purpose, and the department, together with other agencies of this state and all counties, municipalities, and special districts of this state, may spend public funds for such purposes and accept gifts and grants of funds, property, or property rights from public or private sources to be used for such purposes.
(5)(a) The department shall include the Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail Network in its work program developed pursuant to s. 339.135. For purposes of funding and maintaining projects within the network, the department shall allocate in its program and resource plan a minimum of $50 million annually, beginning with the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
(b) The department shall give funding priority to projects that:
1. Are recommended priorities by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council as regionally significant trails pursuant to s. 260.0142(4)(c).
2. Have national, statewide, or regional importance.
3. Are otherwise identified by the Florida Greenways and Trails Council as a priority for critical linkage and trail connectedness within the Florida Greenways and Trails System under chapter 260.
4. Facilitate an interconnected system of trails by completing gaps between existing trails.
5. Support the transportation needs of bicyclists and pedestrians.
(c) For trail projects to be constructed within the Florida wildlife corridor as defined in s. 259.1055 or on conservation lands or other lands subject to conservation easements, land management plans, or agreements, to the greatest extent possible, the department shall ensure projects are constructed using previously disturbed lands, such as abandoned roads and railroads, utility rights-of-way, canal corridors and drainage berms, permanent fire lines, and other lands having appropriate potential to serve the purposes specified by law of both the trail network and the Florida wildlife corridor. In developing the planning and design of trails, the department shall coordinate with other state agencies to ensure that appropriate recreation or public access is available for such projects.
(d) To the greatest extent practicable, the department shall program projects in the work program to plan for development of the entire trail and to minimize the creation of gaps between trail segments. The department shall, at a minimum, ensure that local support exists for projects and trail segments, including the availability or dedication of local funding sources and of contributions by private landowners who agree to make their land, or property interests in such land, available for public use as a trail.
(e) Each metropolitan planning organization or board of county commissioners, as appropriate, shall include in its list of project priorities required under ss. 339.135(4)(c)1. and 339.175(8) one or more projects that are a priority under paragraph (b) and meet the requirements of this section. When developing the district work program under s. 339.135(4), each district must ensure that projects are included in the work program which are a priority under paragraph (b) and meet the requirements of this section.
(6)(a) The department shall create uniform signage to identify trails that are part of the statewide network and shall, when feasible and permissible, erect signage on all such trails open to public use, regardless of when the trail was first opened. The department is not otherwise obligated to provide funds for the operation and maintenance of any trail on the statewide network.
(b) The department may enter into a memorandum of agreement with a local government or other agency of the state to transfer maintenance responsibilities of an individual network component. The department may contract with a not-for-profit entity or private sector business or entity to provide maintenance services on an individual network component.
(7)(a) The department may enter into a sponsorship agreement with a not-for-profit entity or private sector business or entity for commercial sponsorship displays on multiuse trails and related facilities. The department shall deposit any sponsorship agreement revenues into the State Transportation Trust Fund to be used for maintenance, signage, and provision of amenities on the multiuse trails and related facilities. Local governments may also enter into sponsorship agreements and likewise use the revenues for maintenance, signage, and provision of amenities on the multiuse trails and related facilities. A sponsorship agreement shall be administered by the department or the local government, as appropriate, and the department or the local government shall ensure that the sponsorship agreement complies with the requirements of s. 335.065(3)(b) and (c).
(b) Commercial sponsorship displays are subject to the requirements of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 and all federal laws and agreements, when applicable. This subsection does not create a proprietary or compensable interest in any sign, display site, or location.
(8) By June 30, 2026, and every third year on June 30 thereafter, the department, in coordination with the Department of Environmental Protection, shall submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives summarizing the status of the Florida Shared-Use Nonmotorized Trail Network. The report may include recommendations for any legislative revisions deemed appropriate to facilitate connectivity of the statewide network.
(a) At a minimum, the report must include all of the following:
1. The total number of completed miles of nonmotorized trails on the network.
2. The total number of completed miles of nonmotorized trails on the network not adjacent to a roadway facility.
3. The total number of completed miles of nonmotorized trails on the network adjacent to a roadway facility.
4. The total number of completed miles of nonmotorized trails on the network which are within or between areas of the Florida wildlife corridor as defined in s. 259.1055.
5. The total remaining miles of nonmotorized trails on the network which are planned for acquisition and construction.
6. The total expenditures, by funding source, associated with implementing the network.
7. The total expenditures, by project phase, including preliminary and environmental planning, design, acquisition of right-of-way, and new construction of trail surfaces and bridges on the network.
(b) The department shall also coordinate with the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, local governments, or other entities who have related information to include in the report. For each existing trail on the network which is open to public use, identified by the department’s trailway identification number, segment name, segment length, and county of location, the department’s report must provide nonmotorized trail operational and performance measures that include, but are not limited to:
1. The total number of trail visits.
2. The primary travel modes used on the trail.
3. The frequency of trail usage.
4. The average duration of trail usage.
5. The distance traveled during a trail visit.
6. The average amount spent by a user during a typical trail visit.
7. The total amount of user expenditures.
8. Any other measure deemed appropriate.
History.s. 2, ch. 2015-228; s. 3, ch. 2021-53; s. 9, ch. 2023-20.