News To Use

Bike 5 Cities Grows into a Permanent Route for Safe Cycling

It started as a desire to feel safe on the road. It started as a way to inform people about Central Florida’s bike-friendly infrastructure. It started as a simple idea and is now a more than 400-person strong movement.

Bike 5 Cities is a 28-mile regional bike-ride on trails and bike-friendly, comfortable roads through five Orlando-area cities. From an inaugural ride of 250 people, Bike 5 Cities has grown over three years to include more than 400 riders. They come together for fun, laughs, and to offer a message to their elected officials—safe bike infrastructure matters.

As the movement has grown stronger, the route has grown into a tool used to heighten awareness toward places that need safer connections, while celebrating the comfortable places to ride. The Bike 5 Cities route isn’t just a one day ride any more, it’s about showing people how to get around on bike-friendly roads and enable them to feel safe to travel between cities on two wheels.

Recently, officials from the five cities of Winter Park, Orlando, Maitland, Casselberry and Eatonville, along with members of the GAI Community Solutions Group embarked on a project to create the Bike 5 Cities Wayfinding Master Plan, which will permanently install signage along the Bike 5 Cities route for cyclists of all ages to use all year long.

The project consists of three main parts: riding the route to decide on signage placement, designing the signs themselves and presenting the project to the five cities. GAI and Bike/Walk Central Florida worked together with the cities during each of these steps to ensure maximum benefit for the community and accessibility of the route.

Read GAI’s article on the Bike 5 Cities Permanent Signage Project

Now, with the master plan completed, we’re closer than ever to having permanent Bike 5 Cities signs throughout our cities. At Bike/Walk Central Florida, we hope this year’s event will be our biggest yet, and that even more people will continue to use the route for recreation and commutes.

“We are absolutely focused on the livability of our community and all the communities we work in,” said GAI Urban Planner Wes Shaffer in GAI’s article. “We do our best to empathize with peoples’ needs and aspirations – and many times, we live in these communities ourselves – a lot of us are cyclists, and so many of us have kids, relatives and friends who bicycle, so we are BikeWalk Central Florida’s dedication to supporting a walkable, bikeable Central Florida.”

Thank you to the GAI team who made this project come to life, and to our dedicated family of Central Florida cyclists. Find the full route here, or check out the Bike 5 Cities page for more info. Happy cycling!

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