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Orlando bicyclists discuss Robinson Street redesign project

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Department of Transportation held a public meeting Wednesday evening where they gathered input on a plan to improve safety along a stretch of Robinson Ave.

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According to FDOT, the project aims to “create a safer and more efficient roadway for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.”

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However, more than 100 bicyclists showed up to the meeting at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando to tell FDOT their plan has serious design flaws.

For years, FDOT has considered redesigning the busy stretch of Robinson Ave. between Hughey Ave. and Mills Ave., and from Mills Ave. to Maguire Blvd.

The project would reduce the number of travel lanes from four to two and would improve the sidewalks and crosswalks while adding bike lanes to the west of Mills Ave.

FDOT spokesperson David Parks says they also plan to reduce the speed limit to 25 miles-per-hour.

Hannah Gutner is the President of the Orlando Bike Coalition. She says she tries to avoid Robinson Street with the way it’s set up right now.

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“I think for speed, it will hopefully reduce it a little bit,” Gutner said. “But for bike and pedestrian infrastructure, not much will be changing in the Milk District part of it.

Zac Alfson, who represents businesses in the Milk District, says he’s eager to see a drop in the number of car crashes in the area, but he’s not optimistic about the plans he saw.

“The plans presented have absolutely no detail,” Alfson said. “They don’t even include businesses on the renderings.”

Alfson says he’s talked to people on the project team and has requested more meetings with them.

Meanwhile, Parks says the project is moving along, but they’re not at the end by far, which is why they were still taking public comments Wednesday night.

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“We’re about 60 percent complete with the design, so there’s still an opportunity to make some changes, some tweaks,’ Parks said. “We want to make sure we’re inclusive and we’re meeting the needs of the community.”

FDOT says they’re planning to start construction on the project as early as 2024.

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