Florida Town Master Plan Encourages Active Living

Lake Wales is redesigning its car-oriented streets to make it easier for residents to walk and bike.

1 minute read

January 7, 2024, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Map drawing from Lake Wales, Florida master plan highlighting green networks.

Map from the Lake Wales Envisioned master plan. | Lake Wales Envisioned / Lake Wales Envisioned

A small Florida town has adopted a master plan that focuses on providing opportunities for physical activity and movement. The Lake Wales Envisioned plan encourages active living through a built environment that includes safe and comfortable infrastructure for walking and biking that provides access to local businesses, parks, and amenities. “Also, the plan identifies a Big Green Network of open space preservation in corridors surrounding the city, connected by trails to downtown.”

As Robert Steuteville writes for the Congress for New Urbanism, “The city is working on retrofitting automobile-oriented streets, including thoroughfares due for resurfacing.” For example, a five-lane road that only serves 8,000 vehicles per day can be redesigned to include protected bike lanes and roundabouts. Steuteville notes that “The Florida DOT now allows street retrofits to enable more mobility choices when streets are resurfaced.”

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