North Florida Gator Trail System

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North Florida Gator Trail System linking Gainesville and Waldo to the Sun Trail Network
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Gator Trail System
Mahoney, James Alexander ( author )
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1 online resource (58 pages) : illustrations ;


Subjects / Keywords:
trail -- multi-use -- system -- conservation -- connect
Landscape Architecture capstone project, B.L.A


Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
landscape architecture capstone project
Statement of Responsibility:
James Alexander Mahoney.

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University of Florida
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035647010 ( ALEPH )
LD1780.1 2017 ( lcc )

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1 North Florida Gator Trail System :Linking Gainesville and Waldo to the Sun Trail Network James Alexander Mahoney




3 Natures peace will ow into you as sunshine ows into trees. e winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop o like autumn leaves. John Muir, Our National Parks




5 North Florida Gator Trail System :Linking Gainesville and Waldo to the Sun Trail Network Senior Capstone Project James Mahoney Spring 2017 University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning Department of Landscape Architecture




7 Acknowledgments My advisor Less Linscott has been a monumental help. With an eye for subtle details you were able to point out aspects of my design that I would have never considered needing addressing. You were there to answer any question that I had, understanding when I couldnt make a deadline because of computer issues or my own ADHD, and by far the most accessible professor I have ever worked with. Thank you I would like to thank my studio family for all the support and all of the times that we have had. I would never have been able to complete this program without you and I sessions and the bike rides on the Hawthorne trail, to our infrequent potlucks. I am glad that it was with you.




9 Table of Contents Introduction ..................................................PG 10-17 Case Studies ..................................................PG 18-25 Inventory.......................................................PG 26-29 Analysis.........................................................PG 30-33 Alignment..................................................... PG 34-37 Trail-Heads.....................................................PG 38-43 Trail Experience...............................................PG 43-55 Bibliography....................................................PG 56-57




11 Introduction




13 Project Narrative The Florida SUN (Shared Use Non-motorized) Trail network is aimed at creating a system of green-ways and trails throughout the state, connecting existing trails whenever possible. These trails promote the use of routes that follow abandoned railways, canal banks, scenic highways, or utility transmission lines. These areas are ones that would not typically be used for other types of development, but are well suited to facilitate the construc tion of a multi-use trail. The regional facet of the SUN trail system is rapidly becoming reality and more of Florida is being linked by the trail network. In fact Gainesville is slated to be connected through the network via an east to west connection. This is going to be a very successful portion of a regional trail, however due to the way the SUN trail network is currently planned it is not easy to access this trail from Northern Florida. This issue is one of the main reasons why the North Florida Gator trail system is needed. The trail system will provide a much needed North South connection from the existing portion of the SUN trail network to the proposed East to West running trail that will come through Gainesville and make its way to the coast. The North Florida Gator trail system will also highlight some of the spectacular conservation lands in-be tween the cities of Hampton, Waldo, and Gainesville, while providing regulated access to their more scenic areas. This trail will allow for regional connectivity, as well as recreation and education in and about natural areas, economic outlook of the community. This type of economic boon would be ideal for the city of Waldo, and help reshape it into a viable form.


14 Florida Sun Trail Network The Florida SUN (Shared Use Non-motorized) Trail network is aimed at creating a sys tem of green-ways and trails throughout the state, con necting existing trails whenev er possible. These trails pro mote the use of routes that follow abandoned railways, canal banks, scenic highways, or utility transmission lines




16 Location The site is located between the Cities of Gainesville, Waldo and Hampton in Alachua County and Bradford County.






19 Case Studies


20 West Orange Trail 1 2 3 4 tion of Asphalt, Concrete, Dirt, and Wood chips. It has been a major economic boon to the city of Winter Garden, reshaping it of cyclists and tourists, providing bike rentals, restaurants, bike repair, and much more. It does an excellent job of connecting multiple small communities to one another as well as drawing attention to the areas rich history. The result of all of this is one of the most popular trails in Florida.


21 Powerline Trail (PA) 4 5 6 The Powerline Trail is located in Montgomery county Pennsylvania. It is a Green way trail, paved with asphalt and approximately 4.8 miles in length. The trail takes advantage of a power line easement and connects multiple portions of the community, as well as forming a corridor for wild life to move through. Though not the most well known trail the Powerline Trail is one that does an excellent job at utilizing the space provided from powerlines and should be emulated wherever the opportunity arises.


22 Barton Creek Greenbelt 7 8 The Barton Creek Greenbelt is located in Travis County Texas and is one of Austins most popu lar trails. It is nearly 8 miles long and has a dirt mountain biking, and walking. The trail does an excellent job at highlighting the beauty of Barton Creek Wilderness Park, allowing city residents better access to it while preserving the ecosys tems integrity.


23 Fairmount Trail 9 10 Colorado and is approximately 3.7 miles long. It is paved with a combination of Dirt and Gravel, the trail itself is categorized as a green way. The Fairmount Trail does an excellent job of moving through residential areas while highlighting the natural views and vistas of the area. It is an ex cellent example of how a trail can pass through a populated area without necessarily encumbering the user with the residential experience.


24 Leon Creek Greenway 11 12 The Leon Creek Greenway is located in Bexar County Texas, is 17.5 miles long, and is paved with a combination of asphalt and concrete. The ecologically protected areas, highlighting them and providing easy access for tourists.


25 Iron Horse Regional Trail 13 14 meda and Contra Costa Counties in California, it is approximately 27.2 miles long, is paved with As Like many regional trails the Iron Horse connects highlighting their individual histories and cultures.




27 Inventory




29 Site Inventory The site itself is rather large and has a high percentage of its land either dedi cated to conservation, or slated for conservation. There is an existing portion of the SUN Trail system that runs through the City of Hampton on site, as well as a multiple parks on site, some that are already trail heads for nature trails. The site has many utility lines that run parallel to major roads and they form an almost unbroken path from Gainesville to Waldo. In addition to the high speed highways that run through the site there are a few lower speed scenic highways that form connections between the cities on site. The conservation land that is on site is mainly composed of either Pine Uplands, Mesic Hammocks, Wetlands, or the odd prairie, and has the quality of needing to be periodically burnt to maintain its Alto in Waldo.




31 Analysis


32 WALDO HAMPTON GAINESVILLE Trail towns Major roads suntrail existingtrail 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 02468 1 Miles WALDO HAMPTON GAINESVILLE Trail towns Major roads suntrail existingtrail 1 9 02468 1 Miles WALDO HAMPTON GAINESVILLE Trail towns Major roads suntrail existingtrail 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 02468 1 Miles WALDO HAMPTON GAINESVILLE Trail towns Major roads suntrail existingtrail 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 02468 1 Miles WALDO HAMPTON GAINESVILLE Trail towns Major roads suntrail existingtrail 1 4 9 02468 1 Miles WALDO HAMPTON GAINESVILLE Trail towns Major roads suntrail existingtrail 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 02468 1 Miles WALDO HAMPTON GAINESVILLE Trail towns Major roads suntrail existingtrail 1 3 4 5 7 8 9 02468 1 Miles GIS Data Sets Suitability to Acquire Land Use Conservation Flood Prone Soil Drainage Land Use Physical Suitability The existing conserva tion areas on site are by far the easiest to utilize for trail development. Following that the ac quisition of lower valued land was prioritized. The resulting maps were overlayed and created a composite which shows the areas that are most suitable to acquire. combined with how fast the soil would drain creates a basic map of where trail can exists easiest year round, that in combination with what the land is already being used for creates a map that shows which areas on site are best physically suited for trail development.


33 WALDO HAMPTON GAINESVILLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 02468 1 Miles Suitability Analysis When combined the physical suitability map and the suitabil ity of acquisition map creates a general suitability map that shows where a trail would be best located on the site. This map in combination with a least cost analysis will gener ate alignments that are suited to the site.




35 Alignment


36 N a tur e T r ail Concep t 2 Sun T r ail N a tur e T r ail Concep t 3 N a tur e T r ail Concep t 1 R oad Side T r ail Concep t 1 R oad Side T r ail Concep t 2 Final Alignment Conceptual Alignments The General suitability analysis allows for the generation of an alignment most suited to the site, in relation to the data provided in the GIS layers. These concepts were created from the combination of least cost analysis as well as the consideration of destination, scenic areas, and the experience of each potential trail.


37 Trail TypeUtility Corridor Length10.4 Miles Paving MaterialAsphalt Trail TypeWildlife Trail Length6.2 Miles Paving MaterialDirt Trail TypeScenic Highway Bike Lane Length5.3 Miles Paving MaterialAsphalt Trail TypeComplete Street Length.6 Miles Paving MaterialAsphalt Trail TypeUtility Corridor Length2.6 Miles Paving MaterialAsphalt Trail TypeWildlife Trail Length2.7 Miles Paving MaterialDirt Trail TypeWildlife Trail Length6.5 Miles Paving MaterialDirt Trail TypeScenic Highway Bike Lane Length7.5 Miles Paving MaterialAsphalt Final Alignment The Final Alignment is the result of a synthesis of variance of experience is available to the user no matter which trail system they choose to access, as well as an ease of accessi bility. Gainesville, Waldo, and Hampton are directly connected by paved high er speed trails, and these higher speed trails them selves could be bypassed by the user if one of the lower speed conservation trails are taken instead. Each trail has a trailhead that acts as a way for users to access the trail, they are also destination points where people will journey to.




39 Trail-heads


40 Trail-head Analysis There were a series of parks located on site, these areas were prioritized as potential trailhead locations as they require the least amount of sites they were not devel oped with the ideal distance between them to facilitate comfortable transit. To ad dress this the analysis takes the average trip ranges of cyclists and judges which portions of the site most fall outside of these ranges. The areas that were most removed were prioritized as locations for trailheads. The locations were then consid ered in relation to the level of connection they had with the destination points of the site and their proximity to conservation. From these points the parts of the site that were in the most need of a trailhead were identi tributed to the formation of the trail alignments, so as to better connect the site.


41 Waldo Trail-head The Waldo Trailhead takes advan tage of a newly renovated park in the city. Few adjustment were made to the site as it was already quite successful. Additional park that users of the trail could load and unload equipment easily, the underpass was cleared so that public events could take place un der it, and public washrooms were added. In addition there were a series of trees added to provide thru area and the railroad track. trail users, but creates an area that local pollinators can use to help improve the ecosystem health of the area.


42 301 Trailhead The 301 Trailhead is an example of trailhead used throughout the site. The design focuses on a min imal impact to the surrounding wildlife area, it provides parking for direct access to the conserva tion trail as well as a linkage to the greater Gator Trail System as a whole. Though not intended to be a scenic destination the trail head does provide enough space fortably, it also has the consider that users can easily locate them selves on site.


43 Citrus Canal Trailhead The Citrus Canal Trailhead is by far the most scenic area on the entire site. It provides a stellar view of the Lake Alto Conservation area as well as an access point to the conserva tion trails through it. The piece of land that the trailhead is located on is the result of a dumping of sand from an earthmoving project in the Waldo city area years before. It has since become a destination point for the residents of Waldo and is prized this the Trailhead design incorporat tion, cleanup and safety. The design also incorporates a shade structure so that the vista of the lake can be appreciated even during the full heat of the Florida sun. Though accessibly by vehicle this trailhead is intended to be a destination that users mainly reach by biking or walking, so as to preserve the char acter of the natural space.




45 Trail Types


46 Utility Corridor Trail Type The Utility Corridor Trail type is in tended for high speed travel along side high speed roadways. The trail occurs under power lines, this allows for a corridor that is easily acquired, easily maintained and is wide enough for a fair amount of curvature in the trail itself. There is a total length of 13 miles of this trail type on site.


47 Trail Width 10 3 Clear zone 15 Vegetated Zone 25 Vegetated Swale


48 Waldo Complete Street The Waldo Complete Street Trail type is the shortest length of any trail on site, it is only .6 miles long. It replaces one lane of parking on the Waldo Main street, creating This allows for unabated sidewalk access for pedestrians and their subsequent access to street shops and parks.


49 24 Driving Zone 9 Parking 6 Biking Lane 3 Vegetated Barrier


50 Roadside Bike Lane Trail Type occurs alongside slower speed roads, where there are scenic views to be seen. They occur where a roadside trail is not feasible due to Way. There is a 2 foot lane of rum ble strips that divide the cyclists there are 12.8 miles of roadside bike lanes.


51 5 Bike Lane 24 Driving Zone


52 Conservation Trail Type By far the most diverse and scenic portions of the site are those that are encapsulated within the conser vation areas. The Conservation Trail Type moves through those pictur esque areas allowing for many peo ecosystems that the users will pass through, this allows for a diverse experience as they move through miles of the Conservation trail type.


53 Trail Width 10 3 Clear zone 3 Clear zone Mesic Hammock Experience


54 Trail Width 10 3 Clear zone 3 Clear zone Prairie Experience


55 Trail Width 10 3 Clear zone 3 Clear zone Pine Uplands Experience


56 Bibliography Textual Sources for the Development of Bicycle Facilities. N.p.: n.p., 2012. Print. -A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets: 2004. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Associates, 2000. Print. A History of Waldo, Florida, USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017 GIS Sources -ConservationUS Fish and Wildlife service, National Wetlands Inventory -Future ConservationFlorida Forever Department of Transportation, University of Florida GeoPlan Center Trails - - - - - -


57 GIS Sources Trails Bibliography Images 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12- 13- 14-