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The latest happenings in your city government.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

           

CONTACT:

Chuck Barmby

Transportation Planner

863/834-6011

 

 

  CITY TO CONDUCT PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING ON LAKE BEULAH TRAIL PROJECT

 

LAKELAND, FL (June 21, 2013) - The Florida Department of Transportation and Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency (LCRA) are funding improvements around Lake Beulah in order to beautify this gateway into Lakeland and the surrounding neighborhoods and to improve conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit patrons.  Through this project, the existing five-foot wide concrete sidewalk will be replaced with an eight- to ten-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail.  This project also includes the installation of decorative lighting along the trail, landscaping and transit stop improvements including the construction of a new transit shelter at the Hartsell Avenue intersection.

 

The City of Lakeland will conduct a public information meeting on Monday, June 24, 2013, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District (Citrus Connection) Offices located at 1212 George Jenkins Boulevard, Lakeland.  The meeting will be conducted in an open-house format with no formal presentation, allowing attendees to view the displays at their convenience.  Materials on display will include illustrations of the proposed improvements and project schedule. City staff will be available to answer questions and address concerns.

 

For more information, contact Chuck Barmby, Transportation Planner, at 863/834-6011.

-END-

 

 


CITY OF LAKELAND TO HOST INDOOR TRIATHLON

Make the City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Indoor Triathlon your first indoor triathlon. This fun challenge is perfect for everyone – from seasoned triathletes to first-timers. Race a 20-minute swim, 20-minute bike and a 20-minute run in the controlled environment of the Kelly Recreation and Gandy Pool Complexes.  The Indoor Triathlon will be held on Saturday, April 13th, with check-in at 8:00 am at the Kelly Recreation Complex. 

You set your own pace. Performance is measured by distance covered in each of the three legs. The more distance you cover, the higher your score.

All participants will receive a City of Lakeland Indoor Triathlon T-shirt and a medal. All ages are welcome, but minors must have parental consent at time of registration. Deadline for registration is April 6, 2013. Entry fee is only $20.00 Full details and registration forms can be found at  www.lakelandgov.net. For more information contact the Kelly Recreation Complex at 863-834-3283.

Today, the City of Lakeland was designated as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.  The Bicycle Friendly America program provides incentives, hands-on assistance and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling. 

Rick Perez, Senior Planner for the City of Lakeland said, “We received a request from the locaorganization, Bike Lakeland to apply for bike friendly status and the City Commission approved a resolution to pursue the designation soon after that.”  He added, “The Community Development Department worked with staff from Public Works, LPD and Parks and Recreation as well as the bicycling community and other agencies such as the School Board to complete the application.  It is exciting to know that Lakeland was designated as a Bronze level Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.”

Over the past 10 years, the League has worked with hundreds of engineers, government officials and bicycle advocates to identify the DNA of bicycle friendliness. Using that expert knowledge, the League evaluates communities on the following criteria: 

1.      Engineering: Physical infrastructure and hardware to support cycling

2.      Education: Programs that ensure the safety, comfort and convenience of cyclists

3.      Encouragement: Incentives, promotions and opportunities that inspire cycling

4.      Enforcement: Programs that ensure motorists and cyclists are held accountable

5.      Evaluation: Process that demonstrates a commitment to planning for the future

Celeste Deardorff, Long Range Planning Manager for the City of Lakeland said, “This award means that the City is being recognized for its continued commitment to cycling as a means of recreation and as a mode of transportation.  Lakeland is now among the few localities in Florida who have achieved such a level of recognition.”  She added,  “This award will help the City to attract avid bicycle enthusiasts of all ages and highlights one aspect of Lakeland’s quality of life that can be used in economic development and recruiting efforts by our local businesses, educators and others in our community.” 

In four years the community will be re-evaluated and based on that assessment, the City of Lakeland can either improve or lose the bike friendly designation. Deardorff said, “In order to maintain our award recognition and aspire to a new level, it will be important for Lakeland to enhance cycling initiatives by working with local enthusiasts, bicycle clubs and other partner organizations within the community.”

There is already a framework in place to improve Lakeland’s bike friendly status such as:

1.      Engaging the public and employers in cycling through leadership with bike to work days, ride with the Mayor/Commissioner events, promoting bike commuter programs, and creating a citizen advisory board to provide input on cycling projects and programs.

2.      Improving upon existing infrastructure with a trail network throughout the City and work closely with schools to create safe bike routes to school.

3.      Promote cycling as an economic development tool: Market Lakeland as a bicycling destination for tourism, conduct an economic impact study on bicycling in Lakeland, initiate a bike share program and attract more bicycle related events.

The Bike Friendly designation demonstrates that the City of Lakeland is committed to improving the safety, convenience, and enjoyment for all cyclists in the community whether they are recreational, commuter or sport riders.  The end result is a higher quality of life that furthers the City’s vision as a world class community and it helps attract those that enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.  Please visit www.bikeleague.org for more information on Bike Friendly Communities.