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Bike trail would connect Florida's coasts

It's exactly what many cyclists have been waiting for-- a continuous biking and walking trail stretching from one coast of Florida to the other.

"It's the freedom of being able to go wherever you want to go on a bike. You're not really restricted," said James Gaetano of Trek in South Tampa.

And soon that freedom may take them further than ever in Florida. The so-called "Coast to Coast Connector" would run from St. Pete to Titusville, connecting more than a dozen existing trails, starting with the Pinellas trail.

The finished trail would be 275 miles – the longest in the state.

"Riding on the road is not really a safe option, and with the trails, I can take my 5-year-old, and she can ride with me, and we can take a family ride as slow or fast as we want," cyclist Christy McKella said.

Lawmakers want to spend $50 million to connect the trails over the next five years.

It's a lot of money, but supporters say it's worth it.

"The return on investment is definitely there. There are projections that range from 3-to-1 return. upward to a 9-to-1 return,"" said Ken Bryan of Rails to Trails Conservancy.

A study of bike trails in Orange County show they pumped more than $42 million into the local economy there.

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