Commissioner’s Message – April 2019
April is a busy month in the City of Orlando. The weather is postcard perfect and lends itself to many different activities. Keep reading for all that is going on around our great city.
The City is currently updating its bicycle plan, which hasn’t been updated since 2008, in order to expand and improve conditions and facilities for bicycling throughout the city and is hosting two open house meetings this month to gather community input. Each meeting will provide the same opportunity to learn about closing existing gaps in the bicycle network, connecting to community destinations, and improving safety for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
The meetings will be held on Tuesday, April 9th from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center (1723 Bruton Blvd) and Wednesday, April 17th at the same time at Lake Nona High School, 12500 Narcoossee Road, in the cafeteria.
We have received much feedback about the dockless bike sharing that the City is piloting through private vendors. Users can rent bikes, equipped with GPS technology, without the need to return them to a specific location. Most dockless bike companies offer smartphone applications where riders can locate a bike, unlock it, and pay for the trip. The upside to this program is how much these bikes are getting used; on weekends, the dockless bikes are clocking more than 2,200 rides a day in the City of Orlando. The downside is when inconsiderate individuals illegally leave a bike blocking a sidewalk, access ramp, a neighbor’s driveway, a fire hydrant, a parking space, or an entryway into a business. These are the issues the city is working to mitigate, but we need your help as a considerate rider. If you see a bike parked illegally, you can find information on how to report it at our new Orlando.gov page by searching “bike share.”
Another great opportunity for bicyclists and pedestrians alike is the now-open 200-foot long Colonial Overpass which connects at the northeastern corner of Orange Avenue near the Steelhouse Apartments and crosses Colonial Drive to Concord Street, taking us one step further to connecting the Urban Trail to downtown and further on to SODO. Join us on April 16th at 10 a.m. on the overpass for a ribbon cutting and celebration of this important milestone.
Other great activities to get us outside this month are taking place at the Orlando Fire Museum and Leu Gardens. Join the Orlando Fire Department for their second annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 13th from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Randall R. Tuten Orlando Fire Museum located at 814 E. Rollins Street in Loch Haven Park. There will be music, snacks, and beverages! You can enjoy museum tours, kids will get a chance to collect prizes while learning about fire safety, view new and antique fire trucks, and take a photo with the Easter Bunny.
And that evening, enjoy a jazz and blues concert under the stars at Leu Gardens. With many great acts, the concert begins at 7 p.m. Visit leugardens.org for details and ticket information.
In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, the City is hosting an adults-only evening clean-up of Lake Baldwin. The event is sponsored by City Beverages and starts promptly at 5 p.m. where volunteers will plant and remove litter, sprucing up a portion of the lake shoreline. The work portion of the evening will conclude at 7 p.m. then volunteers can celebrate their accomplishments with complimentary snacks and drinks at Gator’s Dockside. RSVP required to email@example.com.
Also in celebration of Earth Day, bring your blankets, chairs and snacks to Lake Eola at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 26th for a family-friendly movie screening of the film Wall-E. There will be activities before the movie and vendors selling food and drinks.
As always, thanks for your support and I look forward to seeing you out and about this month!