Board of Directors

Board effectiveness and competency are influenced by a great many factors. Arguably a critical factor is the skills held by board members and how these are used in concert to strengthen both the board and the organization. That’s why the Bike/Walk Central Florida (BWCF)  Board of Directors have deep experience and rich understanding of the challenges to walk and bike in our region and want to be part of an organization making positive progress in improving the safety of our streets and health of our community.

The Bike/Walk Central Florida Board is a ‘working’ board and are more active than their counterparts serving on larger, more established nonprofits. In other words, our Board members are volunteers and work as unpaid staff for the nonprofit – everything from researching policies, scheduling speakers, and attending public meetings to organizing the Bike 5 Cities event, writing for newsletters, and submitting public comments on local projects.

Bike/Walk Central Florida is always seeking passionate leaders with the experience, talents and expertise to Bike/Walk Central Florida. If you’re interested in serving on the Bike/Walk Central Florida Board, please contact Executive Director, Emily Hanna at [email protected]

Meet the Bike/Walk Central Florida Board

Under the direction of Board Chair Lisa Portelli, the Bike/Walk Central Florida Board of Directors consists of a team of members who represent a diverse range of disciplines and community interests with one common goal – to advocate for safe, comfortable bikeable and walkable communities throughout Central Florida.

Lisa Portelli, M.P.A., Bike/Walk Central Florida Board Chair

Lisa Portelli is the City of Orlando’s Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Homelessness and Social Services.  Lisa has more than 30 years of experience working with vulnerable populations, including time as the Executive Director of the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless in Jacksonville, the Vice President for Housing for the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.  Most recently she was a Program Director for the Winter Park Health Foundation from 2002-18 doing collective impact work in Eatonville Florida to improve community health and design. In spring of 2014, Lisa became an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Florida and teaches courses in the Masters in Non-Profit Management Programs.

Lisa is a founding board member of Bike Walk Central Florida which was Central Florida’s first cycling and pedestrian advocacy organization developing scalable programs demonstrated to improve safety on the roads.

Lisa has a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida. She is a devoted cyclist and Ironman Triathlete who recently road her bicycle across America.

How did you get started with Bike/Walk Central Florida?
Ten years ago, I worked with an influential group of people to help start Bike/Walk Central Florida because we wanted to promote civility on our roads.   “Slow down, be careful and watch out for each other” became our message as we worked to make the roads safer for all users, especially those who are vulnerable – first responders, cyclists, runners and pedestrians.

Are you a biker or a walker?
I’m 4-time Ironman triathlete that simply enjoys being active outdoors – whether it’s for transportation, exercise or just for fun. I ride 200 miles a week, commute to work on bicycle and run/walk for fun.

Earliest memory of biking or walking?
When I was 5 years old, my little red two-wheeler set me free!  We were allowed at that age to ride to school and the public pool.

What is the most notable achievement thus far toward safer streets in Central Florida?
Best Foot Forward has changed driver behavior!  We know it because we measure the yield rates—how many drivers are yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians.  Equally as important, we have become the voice for the vulnerable road user, especially those who are bicycling for transportation and don’t have time to advocate for safe infrastructure to help with their commute.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?
It is ALWAYS one road at a time isn’t it?   In Orlando, I’d change Corrine Drive; in Winter Park, it’s Fairbanks/Aloma. We have a serious shortage of east/west connectors that make the use of SunRail unrealistic for most people who need protected infrastructure to feel comfortable riding.

In 15 years, what does this region look like?
More and more trails!  That is the solution – it will take 50 years to evolve our roads away from their car-centric nature, but trails are comfortable for everyone.

Richard Geller, Esq., Vice Chair

Rick Geller received his B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and his J.D., cum laude, from Temple University.  He is a partner at Fishback Dominick, representing government and private sector clients including in the areas of business litigation and land use.  Rick is board certified by the Florida Bar in City, County and Local Government Law. Mr. Geller was an adjunct professor at Rollins College teaching Land Use Law in the Masters of Planning in Civic Urbanism program and also served as the Planning and Zoning Commissioner for Orange County, District 1.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?
Central Florida has numerous roads warranting safer configurations for walkers and bicyclists.  In the City of Orlando, Corrine Drive is a prime example of a dreary, overly-built road calling for wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes or, better yet, a linear park with a multi-use trail down the middle, inspired by Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue.

What is the most notable achievement thus far towards safer streets in Central Florida?
Winter Park is building Metro Orlando’s first cycle track, a project I proposed three years ago to sharply reduce the number of conflict points between motorists and bicyclists.  The half-mile cycle track will begin at Cady Way Trail, giving many in Central Florida their first opportunity to experience riding in one.

Christy Lofye, P.E., Secretary

Christy Lofye is a lifelong Central Floridian. Working in transportation for more than 20 years has allowed Lofye to witness both growth in the region, as well as the safety challenges facing bicyclists and pedestrians. She is currently a Senior Project Manager at Inwood Consulting Engineers in Oviedo where she reinforces a Complete Streets approach on all road projects.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

Before working at Inwood, Christy was the Traffic Engineering Division Manager for Orange County Public Works, where she had the opportunity to partner with Best Foot Forward on a regular basis, both on project and outreach activities.  She helped to develop Orange County Mayor Jacobs’ Pedestrian Safety Program, Walk-Ride-Thrive! She is a certified Bike Helmet Fitter and has hosted Road Safety Audit trainings.  She has also served as a technical advisor for the Pedestrian Facilities and Bicycle Facilities chapters of the Florida Greenbook and developed the first Orange County Pedestrian Crossing Treatment Selection Guidelines to improve consistency in applications countywide.

In 2015, Lofye was a recipient of a National Road Safety Award from the Federal Highway Administration and Road Safety Foundation for her Texas-Americana Road Safety Small Area Study.  In 2019, she accepted an FDOT D5 Pedestrian Safety Engineering Award on behalf of Orange County.

On a personal level, Christy rides her bike and walks regularly, mainly on low-stress streets and trails.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?
I find the rise in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in the region to be troubling and want to be part of the solution.  It’s a real challenge, but a challenge I embrace. I want to work with community leaders and agency partners to work toward zero!

Earliest memory of biking or walking?
My earliest memory of biking was my father teaching me to ride my bike at the age of five.  I remember him running beside me, holding my banana bike seat, and then letting me go without telling me!  When I noticed he yelled, “Keep pedaling, keep pedaling!”  I’ve ridden ever since.

What is the most notable achievement thus far toward safer streets in Central Florida?
I think the Edgewater Drive road diet in College Park was a pretty successful project and dispelled a lot of the fears of business owners and residents alike. It is safer for pedestrians and bicyclists with documented crash reductions. It is inviting and businesses are thriving.

Kelly Brock, Ph.D., P.E., Treasurer

Kelly Hans Brock, Ph.D., P.E., LEED AP, ENV SP, currently works as Deputy Public Works Director and City Engineer for the City of Casselberry. There, Brock manages capital and maintenance programs in transportation, parks, stormwater, lakes, and more. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida. He has led efforts to promote complete streets in the City – enhancing walkability, bike-friendliness, safety, accessibility, connectivity, and sense of place.

Brock was instrumental in developing the City’s Multimodal Transportation Master Plan and Healthy Community Complete Streets Policy and Design Guidelines. He also serves on two advisory committees for MetroPlan Orlando.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?
In the past several years, I have become passionate (some would say, obsessed) with planning and building a transportation network that promotes walking and bicycling as safe, comfortable, and viable forms of transportation—not only for recreation but for everyday trips. I believe creating a built environment that encourages biking, walking, and transit is essential to individual health, community health, achieving equity, protecting the environment, and economic prosperity.

Are you a biker or a walker?
I am both, but predominately I am a walker, as I am lucky to live in a somewhat walkable neighborhood where I can take my dog for long walks!

How will bicycles save the world?
Bicycles have been called the most efficient form of transportation ever invented. For many trips, bicycles alone can replace the car, and coupled with transit, bicycles can often make car ownership unnecessary. Bicycling improves physical health and mental health. Bicycling is fun. It protects the environment by reducing the number of single occupancy vehicle trips needed. And bicycling is good for business – studies have shown bicyclists and walkers outspend their driver counterparts on a monthly basis at many businesses. Finally, better bike infrastructure has been shown to save lives – not just for people biking, but for everyone.

In 15 years, what does this region look like?
Copenhagen. Just kidding. But in 15 years it is my hope that Central Florida has made incredible progress in building a fully connected and complete transportation network focused on making biking, walking, and transit safe, comfortable, and viable for people of all ages and abilities. In my view, that means many more shared use paths, protected bike lanes, protected intersections, traffic-calmed and skinnier streets, bus rapid transit, and expanded rail service. The benefits of such infrastructure will have paid off in better job opportunities for everyone, better quality of life, a bustling economy, and a thriving and healthy community.

Billy Hattaway, P.E.


Billy Hattaway, P.E. is the Transportation Director for the City of Orlando. Previously, he served as District Secretary for District One of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). He has more than 35 years of transportation and program management experience with FDOT and the private sector. He has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology and an MBA from Florida State University.

His professional experience includes transportation planning, street design, and safety and traffic analysis for a wide variety of transportation projects including redevelopment, transit-oriented development, and master plan charrette projects to create walkable, bike and transit friendly communities.

Hattaway was recognized by Governing Magazine as a 2014 Public Official of the Year, and by the Florida Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism with the John Nolen award for his leadership on the Department’s bicycle/pedestrian safety and Complete Streets initiatives.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?
I became focused on transportation safety when I was the State Roadway Design Engineer for FDOT during a previous tour. I learned about the number of fatalities on our roads at the time and felt that more could be done to reduce the fatalities for all users. As time passed, there have been significant reductions in fatalities concerning motor vehicle occupants due to improved protection by the auto manufacturers. However, little if any improvements have been achieved concerning vulnerable users such as bicyclists and pedestrians.

When Dangerous by Design was published, I decided to get involved in trying to improve safety in Central Florida by joining Bike/Walk Central Florida. Within a couple of years of joining Bike/Walk Central Florida, our past Secretary Ananth Prasad asked me to return to FDOT to lead a statewide effort to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Are you a biker or a walker?
I was a runner until 2009, and I decided because so many of my runner friends were having knee replacements I should try another form of exercise. So I picked up bicycling.

Now, I lead a 40-mile group ride every Saturday. Unlike some other group rides, the one I lead is focused on safety and creating good will with motorists. I’ve been doing that for years now.

How will bicycles save the world?
Bicycles can be used for a much larger percentage of our trips than most Americans take advantage of. This will save money for those riding, increase the health of our population, reducing health care costs, and increase engagement between the citizens since they won’t be hiding behind a windshield.

Sum up your transportation philosophy.
We should always be looking at trends nationally and regionally. And it’s clear that people want more choice in places where they live and how they get around. I think people accept the idea that they’re going to have to drive to work, but when they get home they want to be able to walk and ride to shops and restaurants and other things. We need to find ways to accommodate that.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?
My personal choice would be Robinson Street which divides the neighborhoods and Lake Eola from one another. Using a road diet to reduce the width by one lane and adding on-street parking would reduce the speeds on Robinson, and increase opportunities for retail to be successful on Robinson in downtown. The reduced speeds would benefit walking conditions and cycling.

Franki Gonzalez

Franki Gonzalez is a positioned realtor within the Central Florida community. In 2010, she started her career as a sales agent grossing more than 50 million to date. She was born in Southern Illinois but moved to south Florida in the 4th grade. Franki considers herself a Floridian, especially since she loves the beach and warm climate. In 2006, she and her husband, Arby, and two children relocated to Central Florida to be closer to family. In 2010, she moved to Winter Park and that is where she found her passion for cycling—riding her mom’s mountain bike on the Cady Way Trail.

On October 3, 2017, her life took an unexpected turn. As she and her husband were on their weekly Tuesday morning ride, they were hit from behind by a driver on State Road 434 while in the cycling lane.  The driver was traveling about 55 mph then swerved into the bike lane causing her to plow into her husband, who was riding in front. Ultimately, this slowed the impact, but Franki was thrown 30 feet and ended up unconscious on the sidewalk. After spending 12 days in the ICU, with her T12 vertebrae fractured in three places, and a five-vertebrae spinal fusion surgery, she wondered if her life would ever be the same.

It was a long road back before she could get on her bike again, but she was determined to make it happen. Almost a year after that incident, she began to enjoy group rides two days a week and several additional rides with her husband.

After this life altering experience, she has made it a point to reach out to several Florida representatives to become an advocate for pedestrians and cyclists.  She takes advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to become more involved in the pedestrian and cycling community.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?
As an avid cyclist, I want to spread the joy of riding safely to all those who enjoy this hobby as much as I do.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?
It is difficult to limit to just one road since the number of riders and walkers varies daily in Central Florida. However, if I had to choose one, I would say South Orange Avenue is in dire need of some changes in favor of pedestrians and riders.

What city do you look to as a model for safe streets and courteous road users?
There are multiple models out there that are inspiring, however, given the distances and circumstances our city presents, we would have to come up with a model that satisfies our needs.

Eliza Harris Juliano, AICP

JulianoEliza Harris Juliano is the Director of Urbanism at Canin Associates in downtown Orlando where she leads the Urban Design and Planning studio. Canin Associates’ multidisciplinary team tackles projects including master-planned communities, infill, form-based coding, transportation design, and public sector planning.  She also led the development of an innovative approach to MetroPlan Orlando’s Long Range Transportation Plan that addressed how land use and urban design impact multimodal transportation outcomes. She completed a Masters of Urban Planning Degree at the Harvard School of Design and is currently on the board of the Florida Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Eliza also served on the sustainability committees for Orlando and Orange County.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?
I encountered the New Urbanism while pursuing a Biochemical Sciences degree at Harvard.  It immediately resonated with my contrasting experiences growing up in Manhattan and in suburban South Carolina, and I vowed that no teen should be trapped in sprawl again.

In 15 years, what does the region look like?
In fifteen years, Orlando will be a paradise for bikers and walkers with towns and city centers are that are very walkable and bikeable. And the gaps in our trail system with connect those central places to far and wide recreational opportunities throughout the region. An important key to making walking and biking a part of everyday life is having enough places within a reasonable distance to walk and bike to. That means higher density development in the right places with the right walking and biking connections.

Earliest memory of walking or biking?
I got a tricycle with red accents and streamers when I was three. Best Christmas gift ever.

Street, sidewalk, or trail rider?
Street; except when I am thwarted by one-way streets.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?
Corrine Drive is such an amazing opportunity because there is already a thriving community there and many people are walking and biking even though the conditions are pretty miserable. Imagine how many people would if it was actually pleasant. Behind that I would say Mills Ave but that’s going to be a lot more difficult because it carries more traffic.

Jamie Krzeminski, P.E.

Jamie Krzeminski is a senior transportation engineer at HDR Engineering, Inc. in Orlando, Florida. Jamie’s passion is working to promote the concept of “complete streets”, or streets that accommodate the needs of all roadway users, no matter their age or ability, into planning and engineering projects. He has successfully worked with both public and private clients across the country on projects ranging from intersection and corridor-level multimodal improvement projects to region-wide bicycle and pedestrian master plans.

As a regular bicycle commuter and recreational cyclist, he brings a true cyclist’s perspective to his work, which adds to his credibility with clients and advocates.  Jamie is a charter member of the Bike/Walk Central Florida Board of Directors; a past Chairman of the City of Winter Park, Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Board; an active member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Pedestrian and Bicycle Council; and is certified to teach bicycle safety and education courses as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) for the League of American Bicyclists.  Jamie is a graduate of the University of Florida (where he raced on and was President of Team Florida, the University of Florida cycling team), and is a registered Professional Engineer and certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineer.

Why are you devoting yourself to this cause?
I am a big believer in making our streets safe for users of all ages and abilities.  If our streets are safe, accommodating and inviting for children, seniors, and those with disabilities, they will work for everyone.  With me having parents in their 70s and an 8-year old son, accommodating people on both ends of the age spectrum are always in my mindset.  Unfortunately in Central Florida, we have a ways to go – it seems like there’s hardly a day that goes by when you don’t hear of a crash or fatality involving a non-motorized user on one of our roadways, and it’s heartbreaking to hear about these incidents.  However, by addressing this issue from many angles – from engineering roads that encourage slower speeds, to educating motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, to working with many community partners such as law enforcement – I believe we can make Central Florida a much safer place for people walking and riding bikes.

How many times did you ride a bicycle in the past year?
Nearly 250 times – that total includes recreational/group road rides, biking to work, and rides with my family.  I ride to work as often as I can, typically about 3 to 4 days a week.  It’s a relatively short trip of just over 3 miles that only takes a handful of minutes longer than driving.  Also, my son and I try to ride to his school (a 2-mile ride) at least one morning a week.

What city do you look to as a model for safe streets and courteous road users?
I took a trip to Victoria, British Columbia about 10 years ago and was very impressed with how courteous the drivers were there.  Drivers would slow down and yield even before my wife and I would get to a crossing, sometimes stopping when we were near a crosswalk but not even intending to cross the street!    Victoria is very active with people walking and riding bikes everywhere, it was easy and safe to get around without a motor vehicle, and is a great model for Central Florida to aspire to.  In particularly, if we could even get close to their level of driver courtesy towards people walking and riding bikes, it would make such a huge difference here.


P.J. Smith, AICP

PJ Smith, AICP is the founder of xGeographic, a software and urban planning firm focused on improving urban mobility, livability and land use planning through integrated product platforms. PJ graduated from the University of Florida in 2009, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Urban and Regional Planning, and also received a Master’s Degree in Civic Urbanism from Rollins College in 2012.

PJ focuses on the link between land use and transportation mobility in much of his work, providing insight into areas of practice including bicycle and pedestrian mobility, transportation network safety, and destination accessibility algorithms. 

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?
I am devoting my time to Bike/Walk Central Florida to assist in the development of a healthy dialogue among community planners, elected officials, transportation engineers and local residents about improving bicycle and pedestrian safety and mobility in the Orlando metro area. I will use this opportunity to advocate alongside fellow board members for infrastructure projects that prioritize bicycle and pedestrian safety enhancements while strategizing methods of communication and outreach to increase walking and biking rates in Central Florida. Over the intermediate to longer term, I hope to assist the group in the development of online mapping products that visualize current or future bicycle and pedestrian projects, bicycle lanes, trails, the Best Foot Forward yielding program, and other map resources that allow Central Floridians to engage with their city and the Bike/Walk Central Florida mission digitally.

What city do you look to as a model for safe streets and courteous road users?
I’m going to have to go old school and pick Rome, Italy. An important element about Rome is that it was laid out centuries before cars existed. Because of this, the vast majority of roadways in Rome are generally narrow, open up into public squares, have supportive ground level land uses and – most importantly – favor the scale of the pedestrian over the automobile. These design elements place motorists in a ‘discretionary’ position relative to pedestrians, improving driver awareness and overall network safety.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?
Mills Avenue between Colonial Drive and Virginia Drive could be an excellent retrofit option for the City of Orlando. The corridor is flanked by some of Orlando’s most well-known food, retail and nightlife options and is supported by an east-west grid network featuring some of Orlando’s most historic bungalows. The only ingredient missing from the corridor is a livable street design. The roadway could potentially be narrowed down, allowing more room for bicycle lanes, wide sidewalks, and much-needed tree coverage that would enhance bike/ped connectivity, comfort and utility north of downtown.

Brenda Young, P.E., MSCE

Brenda Young has worked for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) since 2002. She is currently the Passenger Operations Manager, overseeing transit, bicycle and pedestrian commuter assistance, and park-and-ride staff and programs. She is the District 5 champion for FDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian safety initiative, FDOT’s statewide champion to provide more transportation choices for people and goods, and serves on the Central Florida Transportation Planning Group Board. She stays involved in state and local initiatives and professional organizations to support the future sustainability of multimodal transportation.  Ms. Young received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida and is a licensed engineer.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?
I want to make Central Florida a place where you can live, work, play and have multimodal transportation choices. Having walking, biking and transit options are better for our health and the sustainability of our infrastructure, environment and economy.

Are you a walker or a biker?
Both, for utility and recreation! I would walk and bike everywhere if I could, but for now I settle for biking to and from work when I can, and daily walks with my dog.

What part of Orlando would you most like to see become more friendly for people walking and bicycling?
I would love to see more of Central Florida’s multi-lane highways become more walking and biking friendly, with more crossings and improved land use patterns to provide more accessible places for all people to safely travel on our roadways. People want and need to travel across large roads such as Colonial Drive, Semoran Boulevard, and Orange Blossom Trail, to access places such as jobs, housing, shopping, healthcare, and schools.  Our land uses and multimodal transportation infrastructure need to be coordinated as a cohesive system to meet the needs of all travelers.

In 15 years, what does walking and biking look like in the region?
In my perfect world, people make different life choices in how they work, shop, and recreate, ultimately affecting transportation demands and patterns. Land use development, workforces, social networks, and technology are already changing to meet the evolving market demands, focusing more on quality of life and making better use of space. Philosophies on sharing are changing too—we’re sharing cars, bikes, even homes. Ultimately I foresee the demand for single-occupancy vehicles significantly dropping, and we’ll need to repurpose all the pavement people have been using for driving and parking, creating more space for people using transit, walking, and biking.

Executive Director

Emily Hanna, AICP, CPM

Emily Hanna

Emily is the Executive Director of Bike/Walk Central Florida, a bicycling and pedestrian advocacy group that promotes safe and active modes of transportation for a healthy community. Before her role at Bike/Walk Central Florida, Emily was the Development Services Manager at the City of Casselberry, where she was instrumental in updating the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations focused around health and active transportation. Emily currently services on many boards and advisory roles. Emily won the 40 under 40 award in 2019 from the Orlando Business Journal for her efforts in improving communities around Central Florida, specifically Casselberry.

How will bicycles save the world?
I love this question! There are many ways in which a bicycle can save the world. First, riding a bicycle helps save the environment. Unlike cars, bicycles have no carbon emissions. Bike riders are reducing their carbon footprint and helping to fight climate change. Second, bicycling is a great form of physical activity. Obesity is a growing problem in the U.S., and active transportation gets you outside, burns calories and helps increase your heart rate–all actions that are known to fight chronic illness and help people live longer. Third, bicycling will save the world because it is a more economic form of transportation than driving a car. Money that would otherwise be spent on gas, insurance and car payments, stays in the pockets of bicyclists. This allows them to spend their money on their community, rather than on their vehicle, supporting local businesses and charities.

What is the most notable achievement toward safer streets in Central Florida?
For the first time we are seeing local public works departments partnering with their law enforcement agencies to look at infrastructure and safety countermeasures that will help reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. Planners are understanding that transportation has a big impact on land uses. Engineers are realizing they are not just sending cars through a road, they are sending cars through a community, full of  businesses, people, parks, etc. Conversations are occurring about how to work together, which is the biggest hurdle, in my opinion! I can’t wait for Bike/Walk Central Florida to continue promoting these conversations and pushing the needle for safer more complete streets for ALL users!

What city do you look to as a model for safe streets and courteous road users?
I’m biased of course but I think the City of Casselberry is doing an excellent job normalizing bike riding and wide sidewalks in their community. They have sharrows on their neighborhood streets. They have wide sidewalks and trail connections that lead to parks. Most importantly, they have a Commission, City Manager, and staff (hats off to their City Engineer) that get it. They know all the benefits of having people walk and bike in their community. They also get the fiscal benefits. Fewer cars equals less parking needed– which means there’s more buildable area. This, in turn, increases property taxes (bigger building = bigger tax). More people walking and biking means more people using their disposable income on goods and services in the community (instead of paying for gas, car repairs and insurance). More people walking and biking means they are more healthy, and therefore, spend less on services like EMT (ambulances), fire, and police. More people walking and biking means less roadway maintenance which means spending fewer tax dollars on streets. Sidewalks and bike lanes are much cheaper than building new roads, and they get that. In 2019, the City of Casselberry made a commitment to be the most “walkable, bikeable, and rollable city in Central Florida by 2040”! If all cities thought about this like Casselberry does, we will be in a much better place in 10-15 years!


IMG_0807Linda Chapin, former Mayor of Orange County

On average, a pedestrian is killed every week in Metro Orlando, and two are injured every day. This, for doing something as simple, and necessary, as crossing the street. In fact, the Metro Orlando Area has ranked as the MOST dangerous region in the country for pedestrians for more than a decade. With the rapid growth in Central Florida, this problem is likely to only get worse.

As a former Mayor of Orange County, and a concerned citizen, I think we should address this problem – today, before anyone else gets hurt. It’s time for us to come together as a community and put our best foot forward for pedestrian safety. After all, whether we drive, bike, or ride the bus as our primary transportation, we’re all pedestrians at some point every day.

It is going to take the support of the whole community to turn this  around, and I would like to thank those that have stepped up to show their support. It is community-minded people like you who make me proud to call Central Florida my home.

Thank you for putting your best foot forward and supporting Bike/Walk Central Florida.

Linda Chapin
Founding Chair