Orlando says improvements are coming after city scores 41 out of 100 for walkability

ORLANDO, Fla. — An annual report for the City of Orlando found taking a walk isn’t always easy for everyone in the city beautiful.

The Growth Management Plan Indicators Report tracks different kinds of growth measures including how many people walk to work and something known as a walk-score.

According to the report, just 2.7% of Orlando residents currently walk to work.

It also shows Orlando’s Walk Score is 41 out of 100, meaning people are car-dependent and require a car for most errands.

Some in wheelchairs say getting around the city can be especially challenging: they point to missing sidewalk ramps at pedestrian crossings, incomplete sidewalks, and areas where sidewalks are altogether non-existent.

“With a wheelchair, you can be continuing on a sidewalk and then it ends, but there’s no ramp to grant you access to the street,” said Orlando resident Cameron Grant.

On Thursday, Channel 9 met the Grant family when they were out for an afternoon walk around Lake Davis.

Cameron’s father Wallace Grant uses a wheelchair to get around, and the family said Lake Davis is one of the better locations for a stroll.

The family said there was room for improvement across the city as far as walkability and several advocacy groups agree.

Julian Cintron is the Chapter Lead for the advocacy group Orlando YIMBY. The group wants to see more housing and sustainable building in Orlando.

“We need to make it safer to walk,” said Cintron, “It makes sense. It’s better for business, better for the tax revenue, and it’s better for people to be outside living and walking.”

Cintron said improving walkability is a matter of safety and community building. He points to Vision Zero 2022 Dashboard data for the city of Orlando, which showed there were 10 fatal pedestrian crashes and 17 pedestrian serious injuries in the city alone.

“Having a built environment that prioritizes pedestrians, that slows down cars is how we get to lower pedestrian deaths and a Vision Zero in Orlando,” said Cintron.

According to the 2023 Growth Management Plan Indicator report, over the last year, the city didn’t meet its annual goal to create 25 miles of new sidewalks, and it also failed to meet its goal of reducing vehicle miles traveled.

However, a city of Orlando Spokesperson notes several ongoing efforts to improve walkability and highlighted four recently completed projects: Raleigh Street Improvements, Michigan Street and Cayman Way Improvements, Roberto Clemente Road and Yucatan Drive Intersection Improvements, and Corrine Drive Improvements.

The spokesperson also noted that the city continues to explore additional funding opportunities to further this effort.

You can see the cities full response below.

“The City of Orlando continues to make walkability a focus here at the City, including the City’s Transportation Department’s investments in new Quick-Build infrastructure program, which aims to implement high-impact safety projects quickly and are more cost effective than traditional capital improvement projects. Quick-Build projects, such as crosswalks, bike lanes and parklets, are all part of Orlando’s Vision Zero efforts to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries within the city by 2040.

Specific to the downtown core, the latest Downtown Quick Build Infrastructure Project will add murals, artistic bulb-outs (or curb extensions) and crosswalks at key intersections along Rosalind Avenue, Orange Avenue and Magnolia Avenue. This project will not only support the goals of the City’s Project DTO 2.0 Action Plan to make it a more walkable downtown, but it will also further the city’s Vision Zero goals. Most of the intersections selected for the project are identified on the city’s High Injury Network (HIN), which uses data and risk-based methodology to prioritize safety improvements.

Similarly, along Corrine Drive, future plans include wider sidewalks, raised intersections, speed reductions and more mid-block signalized crossings, which will begin construction in 2026.

Additionally, we continue to explore additional funding opportunities to further this effort, most recently the Orlando CROSS (Connecting Residents on Safe Streets) planning grant to help build a systematic phased approach to safe streets implementation and the FORWARD Orlando (Focusing on Resilient Walkways and Rethinking Design) grant that the city was awarded that will address identified gaps with sidewalks and allow for a seamless user experience by creating a safe, sustainable and equitable sidewalk network. This grant funds the creation of a pedestrian facilities plan and 28 quick build demonstration activities to improve pedestrian safety near schools, parks and community centers near out High Injury Network.

Here is a list of other completed projects that highlight this effort to increase walkability:

Raleigh Street Improvements:

Safer school crossings and accessibility to public transit.

Michigan Street and Cayman Way Improvements:

Pedestrian refuge islands and safety improvements.

Roberto Clemente Road and Yucatan Drive Intersection Improvements:

ADA-compliant ramping and crosswalks.

Corrine Drive Improvements

Pedestrian hybrid beacons for safe crossings to local businesses for goods and services.

The work does not stop here. We will continue to innovate in this area, explore pilot projects, additional funding and other ways we can further make real change.”

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