The City of Orlando held three initial public outreach meetings to introduce the Bicycle Plan Update project to the community and gather feedback. The meetings were held at three separate facilities located in the northeast, southeast and southwest sections of the City. The meeting locations, dates and times were as follows:
- Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 5:30 – 7 p.m., at the Beardall Senior Center, 800 South Delaney Avenue
- Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 6 – 7:30 p.m., at the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center, 1723 Bruton Boulevard
- Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 6 – 7:30 p.m., at the Lake Nona High School Cafeteria, 12500 Narcoossee Road
These initial public outreach meetings allowed the community to learn about the project and provide input to help the City develop a plan to improve network connectivity and safety for bicycle riders of all ages and abilities.
A total of 77 people attended the three meetings. The first meeting at the Beardall Senior Center drew the largest crowd, with 46 individuals signing in. Ten community members signed into the April 9 meeting, while 21 signed into the meeting in Lake Nona on April 17, including Commissioner Jim Gray.
The meetings were held as open houses. Attendees were greeted by project staff and asked to sign in. Each attendee was given a Public Workshop Tour Route / Comment Card explaining each of the four stations they could visit. Participants were encouraged to obtain a sticker for the tour route card at each of the stations. The first 20 people to turn in a completed tour route card at each meeting received a set of bicycle lights. Attendees also were given a reminder card at the sign-in table, directing them to the project’s website and online survey tool. Maps of the city’s bike trails were also available.
After signing in, attendees were invited to place a push pin to mark where they live on a city map displayed on the welcome sign next to the sign-in table.
The four stations were Biking Today, Connect the Dots, Funding Your Priorities and Tell Us More. The stations were set up around the room and labeled with station numbers to help guide attendees through the meeting.
Station 1 - Biking Today provided an overview of the project’s purpose and existing conditions. The information was conveyed using four display boards titled About the Project, Biking in Orlando by the Numbers, Existing Bikeways Network Map and Types of Bikeways Matrix.
At Station 2 - Connect the Dots, attendees had an opportunity to use colored string on a large map to illustrate origin and destination points of places they currently travel and those they would like to travel. The goal of Station 2 was to gain an understanding of the locations of the highest demand for bikeways. Attendees added to the map at each meeting to provide a single, compiled view.
The intent of Station 3 - Funding Your Priorities was to learn which types of facilities are most important to the community. Participants were given $100 in play money (two $20s, four $10s and four $5s) and asked to place the bills in any of the following boxes:
- Off-road multi-use trails;
- Separated bike lanes / cycletracks;
- On-street bike lanes;
- Neighborhood bikeways / signed routes; and
- Bicycling programs (education, encouragement / events, enforcement).
The results varied slightly among the meeting venues. Overall, separated bike lanes / cycle tracks had the most support, followed by off-street paths / trails and on-street bike lanes.
Separated bike lanes / cycle tracks received the most dollars among attendees at the first two meetings, while off-street paths / trails garnered the most support at the third meeting in Lake Nona.
Station 4 – Tell Us More provided participants an opportunity to give input using the online mapping tool and by taking an online survey either using tablets provided by the project team or on their phones. The online survey remained open through April 29, 2019. The live polling results were displayed at each meeting.
The online survey included nine multiple choice questions to help understand the types of riders that the survey participants represented as well as questions related to their priorities for the bike plan update. The survey also included four open-ended questions to allow participants to provide additional comments.
The online mapping tool allowed participants to indicate desired routes and locations, safety concerns, and network gaps. More information on the mapping tool is included in the Meeting Comments Summary section of this report.
At this station, attendees also had an opportunity to fill out comment forms.
Meeting notification flyers were sent via email to City of Orlando elected and appointed officials, Orange County officials, and 46 other interested stakeholders, including regional transportation and planning organizations, bicycling organizations / clubs, and local bicycle businesses.
Copies of the flyer were hand-delivered to eight bicycle shops, four public libraries and the Orange County Health Department.
The City of Orlando posted the invitation on several social media platforms, including Facebook and the Nextdoor neighborhood network. A media advisory was provided to the City of Orlando, which also shared the public meeting as Mayor Buddy Dyer’s “Story Idea of the Week” post.
Attendees had several ways to provide comments on the project. Comment forms were distributed at the sign-in table and were also placed at Station 4: Tell Us More. Comments also were received via the online Mentimeter survey and through the online mapping tool.
Overall, the comments demonstrated enthusiastic support for continued investment in creating a safe, connected bicycle network. Several comments noted the importance of bicycling to the city’s economic well-being and quality of life for residents and visitors. Many comments also urged education for bicyclists and drivers, and better traffic enforcement. A few of the comments expressed opposition to replacing traffic lanes with bike lanes.
Mentimeter Survey Comments
As part of the Mentimeter survey, participants were asked to provide their biggest obstacle to bicycling. There were 193 responses offered, with safety cited most frequently. Many of the safety-related responses pointed to driver behaviors on the roadways and the lack of separated bicycle facilities, especially trails. Other obstacles mentioned included the hot weather in Florida, time, and issues with connectivity.
The survey also provided two opportunities for comments. One question invited participants to be quoted in the Bicycle Plan. A total of 105 comments were offered in this section. The last question invited participants to provide additional input, and a total of 79 comments were provided.
Common themes expressed in the survey comments included the following:
- Having a connected, safe bicycling network is key to the city’s vitality
- Reduce fragmentation within the network and connect to key facilities outside of the city
- Network needs to connect to business centers
- Separated bicycle lanes / paths are needed on major roadways for safety; many do not feel safe riding on major roads
- Ensure adequate resources for bike / ped projects; improve equity between roadway and bike / ped funding
- Bicycling contributes to residents’ health, builds community and improves quality of life
- There is a need for more driver education and enforcement of laws to increase safety and build a culture where cars and bicycles coexist
- Concerns over safety of multi-use trails from cars turning to cross a trail without looking for bicyclists
- Support for additional bicycle facilities such as the pump track and mountain bike course at Druid Park 5 BIKE PLAN UPDATE
- Keep bike shares in the city and provide more bike parking
- Concern over removing automobile travel lanes and its effect on congestion
- Support for more facilities in MetroWest
- Encourage more bike sharing
Online Mapping Tool Comments
Another way interested persons were invited to comment was using the online mapping tool. The mapping tool was accessible at the public meetings, as well as on the project webpage. Using this tool, residents could draw desired bicycling routes and leave comments associated with specific geographic locations within the city. Additionally, subsequent users could click on a point already mapped and click to agree or disagree, as well as add comments. More than 100 comments were posted on the mapping tool under the following categories:
- Route I Currently Bike
- Route I Want To Bike
- Route Is Not Bike-Friendly
- Other Route Comment
- Location I Currently Bike To
- Location I Want To Bike To
- Network Gap / Crossing Barrier
- Safety Concern
- Other Location Comment
Five comment forms were turned in at the March 26 meeting. No comment forms were received at the April 9 or April 17 meetings. Comments turned in on the comment forms at the March 26 meeting were as follows:
- Great Work! Looking forward to seeing so many of these projects come to fruition.
- More bike racks please! Great job increasing bike lanes.
- Thanks for the meeting. I live near Curry Ford and would bike a lot more often if it was safer in that area. Coming to this meeting I watched a cyclist nearly get hit while stopped at a red light.
- More funding! We need to be more equitable in split between roads / transit / bikes / peds / etc. I would happily pay more taxes to allow for funding in non-road priorities.
- Paved bike lanes on brick streets such as Livingston. Good candidates: Ivanhoe in College Park, Summerlin, Delaney. Road diet on Princeton Street. Off-peak parking lane conversion on roads such as Mills Avenue. More signalized intersections to slow traffic and provide bike crossings. Contraflow bike lane could be way to save space on roads like Edgewater. Multiuse trails on high-speed roads such as Semoran.
Staff from three local television stations attended the March 26 meeting: WESH 2 News, Spectrum News 13 and Fox 35 News. City of Orlando Transportation Director Billy Hattaway provided on-air interviews. WFTV Channel 9 attended the April 9 meeting and interviewed City of Orlando Transportation Planner F.J. Flynn. No media attended the April 17 meeting in Lake Nona. The City of Orlando issued a second press release after the April 17 meeting to notify the public that the online survey would remain open until April 26.