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MetroPlan Orlando to Develop Regional Complete Streets Program

MetroplanlogoPedestrian and bicyclist safety has a champion in MetroPlan Orlando.  The organization has announced their plans to develop a regional Complete Streets program, in line with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)’s new Complete Streets policy.

Complete Streets is latest set of buzzwords to come to Orlando – but for the non-techies in the room, what exactly does it even mean?  Well, it applies to you more than you think.  Complete Streets are streets designed to enable safe access for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders – in other words, not just moving cars.  The design is with everyone in mind – by creating a road network that takes into consideration all users, it’s safer and easier to cross the street, bike to work, and get to the train station.

Among the places with some form of Complete Streets policy are the states of Oregon, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Connecticut.  FDOT passed their Complete Streets policy in late 2014, paralleling local and national efforts to design and build streets with all users in mind equally.  FDOT’s top ten focus counties are Orange, Volusia, Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Lee, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Duval.  With MetroPlan Orlando’s support, the Orlando region will be well-positioned to offer projects consistent with the new policy.

Deerfield Beach was the first Florida community to adopt Complete Streets guidelines in 2013 and integrated this approach into their planning for designing new streets projects to accommodate all users.  The City is currently considering several projects that would improve options for pedestrians and bicyclists while partnering with state and regional government to manage costs.  Moving forward, the city plans to develop a Complete Streets plan to be integrated into the Deerfield Beach Comprehensive Plan.

To get started, MetroPlan Orlando plans to set up a project task force of 20 members representing a Technical Advisory Committee, Citizens Advisory Committee, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, LYNX, FDOT, ECFRPC, and the Winter Park Health Foundation.  The study is scheduled to be completed in eight to ten months.

Interested in contributing your ideas or recommendations?  The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 2:00 pm at the MetroPlan Orlando office at 315 E. Robinson Street, Suite 355 in Orlando, with the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 25.  Meetings are open to the public.

Click here to learn more about MetroPlan Orlando’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.