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Coming Soon: Packing District Trail System – BWCF Collaborates with Landowners, Government, and Organizations for Regional Trail Project

The changes coming to the Packing District in Orlando may one day include multi-use trails and bike lanes that connect the historic area to other parts of the city and a state network. Bike/Walk Central Florida (BWCF) is contributing its experience and expertise to make that a reality.

Dr. Phillips, Inc. is in the process of converting 97 acres zoned for industrial and commercial use, the site of the original Dr. Phillip’s packing house, to mixed-use and residential, including a projected 3,500 residential units and under 1 million square feet of projected retail and office space.

Located just two miles from Downtown Orlando, it is expected that the district’s transformation will bring higher demand for walking, cycling and roller-skating. Already primary streets have been reoriented for pedestrians and cyclists.

BWCF representatives met in late 2021 with Kenneth “Ken” D. Robinson, president and CEO of Dr. Phillips, Inc., and his construction manager, Shane Taylor, after which BWCF created a scope of work to conduct a feasibility analysis and stakeholder engagement. This would guide the development of internal trails and external links.

“The Packing District will be such a gem to Central Florida once fully developed,” says Emily Hanna, Executive Director of BWCF. “We are very fortunate to have worked with stakeholders and Dr. Phillips, Inc. to establish a well-connected trail network that connects the district to local amenities along Edgewater Drive and Lake Ivanhoe, Downtown Orlando, through Pine Hills, and eventually to the Coast-to-Coast Trail.”

Many trail alignments are slated for unused rail routes that fed into what began as an industrial area. With rapid redevelopment of those areas into other uses, those spurs will soon be obsolete. Large multi-use paths can take their place.

BWCF collaborated with xGeographic to develop a plan and presented it to stakeholders spring of 2022, including the Florida Dept. of Transportation, the City of Orlando, MetroPlan Orlando, Orange County, Orlando Bike Coalition, Third Wave Development and surrounding business owners.

MetroPlan Orlando’s Active Transportation Network has tentatively identified which trails may be adopted by the end of 2023.

As envisioned in the Packing District, the project would create trail segments, signed routes, hybrid routes and sharrows within the district and link them to nearby activity centers, parks, points of interest and statewide corridors.

Some portions have already been completed. The cycle track along Princeton Street was widened to accommodate bi-directional bicycle travel. It will connect to a planned trail alignment along Orange Blossom Trail at the intersection with Princeton Street.

Within the Packing District, a highly connected network of on-and-off network trails will link townhomes, a regional park and amphitheater, a tennis complex, a YMCA greenspace and facilities, and a juice stand plaza.

The City of Orlando has plans to expand the network’s reach with an extension of the Pine Hills Trail to Barnett Park and routes near Texas Avenue and along Orange Blossom Trail. The city also envisions building a bicycle boulevard in the Packing District’s northern portion. At Silver Star Road, it would connect via Edgewater Drive to the Health District and Orlando Urban Trail.

Bike/Walk Central Florida looks forward to seeing this master plan come to life over the next several years. We believe it will create a truly interconnected region for all pedestrians to navigate the area safely and with the most efficiency.


Click here to see the full report. 
To see an interactive map of the connectivity study, click here.

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