The Blue Spring Gap is one of the most critical gaps in the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop and should be one of the easiest to fill.
- it's short, only about a mile
- it crosses county land
- most of it follows an existing road
- and it forces a long and dangerous detour when traveling between DeBary Station and the southern Spring-to-Spring Trail and Blue Spring State Park, Deland and points north on the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop.
And yet it's not scheduled for construction in 2017. Why is this and what can be done to accelerate the closure of this critical gap? The Alliance is exploring and will report.
The Blue Spring section of the Spring-to-Spring Trail was opened last spring and it's a wonderful new trail that extends from the former terminus of the Beresford Trail, along Blue Spring Park, across the rail road tracks at Blue Spring Avenue and continues south over 2 miles to a terminus at the latitude of Detroit Terrace. Unfortunately it dead ends there and there are no connections south of Blue Spring Avenue so cyclists following the SJR2C Loop are forced to leave the trail at the overpass and continue south on highway 1792 to around Highbanks or cross 1792 (twice) and wander though the streets East of the highway. Both these routes are convoluted and involve 2 to 4 extra miles and exposure to traffic and dangerous situations. So the section of the trail south of the rail road overpass is of no value to cyclists heading south and there is no sign to advising southbound cyclists to exit, so unsuspecting cyclists following the map would have to double back from the dead end, resulting in 4.5 miles extra miles on top of the extra miles of the detour.
Below is a brief presentation with more photos that explain the situation. The Alliance is hoping to continue positive discussions with FDOT on this matter.