Urban Cyclers Need Support from Architects, Planners

Ah ha! Finally an article within an architecture publication that speaks to the importance of bicycle-oriented planning and urban design. (“Urban Cycling: A Tale of Two Cities”)

Be sure that I shall forward Ms. Cameron’s article to many design colleagues and fellow cyclers here in Central Florida and back in Phoenix and the West Coast.

In resisting the lower prices and larger home products offered in locations remote from Orlando’s urban core, I recently purchased an “attached” residence here in a charming, 50-year-old neighborhood just a half-mile from downtown. In doing so, I’ve not only rejected the 30-minute freeway commute and its corresponding costs, but I’m also rewarded with a leisurely, eight-minute ride to/from my the office at least three times a week. To see me, grin on my face and neck tie flapping behind me as I cheerfully pass the grumpy, suburban SUV commuters backed-up at each street light is, I’m told, priceless (especially as I apparently look like Pee-Wee Herman, too).

While acknowledging the need to keep such articles at a tolerable length, I wished Ms. Cameron’s report had included the growing number of successful cycle-facilities planning and design projects in the many other corners of this SUV Nation.

The battle against remote, suburban, Euclidian developments is ugly. New Urbanist planners and designers need assistance from each of the development professions, especially architects. Architects in particular can contribute by convincing their clients to include convenient and secure bicycle storage facilities [in their communities], along with plentiful and convenient shower facilities.

Cheers and happy cycling,

Jim Ward, AICP, RLA
Senior Urban Designer
Orange County Planning Dept.
Orlando, Florida

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