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Wheel of Achievement Awards 2024: Reflecting on a Milestone Event

The Second Annual Wheel of Achievement Awards took center stage on June 13th, marking a significant day for all of us at Bike/Walk Central Florida. Hosted with an air of anticipation and excitement, the event unfolded into an extraordinary morning that left us inspired and ready to pedal forward towards a brighter, more bikeable and walkable future.

Our esteemed Board Chair, Kelly Brock, set the wheels in motion with a warm welcome that captured the essence of our mission and introduced the guest of honor, Dan Burden. Dan is revered as America’s preeminent expert on walkability and bikeability, and his presence at the Wheel of Achievement Awards was a testament to the importance of the occasion.

Dan Burden took us on a compelling journey through the modern landscape of transportation and community design. He painted a stark picture of today’s youth, disengaged from the outdoors due to the shortcomings in safe, secure land use—a tragic legacy we’ve handed to the next generation.

Provocatively, Dan declared the era of motoring bliss in America over, urging us to re-evaluate our entire transportation ecosystem. This includes learning from the world’s top visionaries, like Jan Gehl, whose transformation of Copenhagen resonated deeply with us as an example of urban rebirth. Burden’s narrative extended to the story of New York City’s metamorphosis, where once congested arteries like Broadway have been reimagined into pedestrian-friendly spaces.

Dan Burden also highlighted the groundbreaking Culdesac initiative, representing the dawn of car-free neighborhoods focused on transit-oriented development—a beacon for our own aspirations in Central Florida.

Linked with Dan Buettner’s work on the Blue Zones, Burden emphasized the “Power of 9,” underscoring the “Built Environment” concept. His message was clear: by designing communities that encourage walking and biking, we not only improve our longevity and health but also advance towards the Vision Zero ideal, reducing fatalities by prioritizing people and place.

Following the impactful keynote, Emily Bush, our Director, and Patrick Panza, Programs Director, led a memorable awards ceremony. It wasn’t just the award winners who basked in applause; honorable mentions were celebrated with equal enthusiasm, reflecting the breadth of commitment in our community.

The ceremony was also a platform to celebrate local organizations that were recently awarded the Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) award. Congratulations to Retro City Cycles for achieving the Gold level, Fehr and Peers for securing the Silver level, and Audubon Park Church for their Bronze level reward. These organizations exemplify the efforts being made to foster cycling-friendly environments in the corporate sector.

As the event drew to a close, Emily Bush shared our community’s progress and the organizational impact. Her words resonated with the audience, embodying the collaborative ethos that’s steering Central Florida towards safer, more vibrant neighborhoods – where the joy of walking and biking is not just possible but a daily reality.

While we bask in the success of the Awards, we’re reminded that our journey is far from over. Excitement is already building for our next big event, BIKE 5, slated for October 26. There’s an open invitation for everyone to participate, volunteer, or sponsor, with ride options catering to all—5, 10, and 30-mile routes.

The Wheel of Achievement Awards was not just an event; it was a reflection of shared visions, relentless endeavors, and an enduring commitment to the heart of our mission at Bike/Walk Central Florida. Together, we’re not just imagining but actively constructing a walkable, bikeable, and joyous Central Florida.

A heartfelt congratulations to all our award winners and those receiving honorable mentions for your dedication and contributions to our mission. Your achievements pave the way for a thriving, sustainable Central Florida.

Together, We Roll Forward.

Patrick Panza (on the left) joins the City of Orlando team in proudly receiving the Special Achievement Award.

Award Categories and Winners:

  • 2024 Special Achievement Award
    • Winner: City of Orlando
    • Corrine Drive Quickbuild Bike Path
  • Outstanding Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Project or Effort: Small Scale
    • Winner: FDOT District 5
    • Silver Star Road Pedestrian Safety
  • Outstanding Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Project or Effort: Large Scale
    • Winner: WBQ Design & Engineering, Inc
    • Shingle Creek Regional Trail, Phase 2
  • Outstanding Bike/Ped Advocacy Organization
    • Winner: Orange Blossom Trail Development Board
  • Outstanding Bike/Ped Advocacy Champion
    • Winner: Laura Hardwicke, City of Orlando

Relive the inspiring moments and insights shared by Dan Burden—catch the keynote speech again on our YouTube channel @BikeWalkCFL or check out some additional highlights on our Flickr channel @BikeWalkCFL

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