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New Laws in Central Florida Boost Complete Streets, Bust Gas Gauging

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 06:39 PM

(Orlando, Fla. — Mark Simpson, WMFE) Central Florida lawmakers took action to stop gas gauging and create complete streets last week. Tourist attractions aside, many towns in Central Florida can be pretty inhospitable to pedestrians and cyclists, with roads so busy it's difficult to ride a bike or even cross the street. Now Winter Park is joining a growing national movement to adopt "complete streets" that accommodate more than just cars. City Commissioners passed a resolution last week that lays out rules for a gradual adoption of complete streets.

The complete streets philosophy calls for features that improve roads like wider sidewalks, narrower lanes, and moving buildings closer to a road’s edge, according to Washington state-based Transportation expert, Dan Burden, who was in town for a presentation to Winter Park City Commissioners. Orlando is the third Central Florida city to adopt such a plan.

Right now, crossing a street in Winter Park legally, even to get to a bus stop could mean walking as far as 20 minutes to find the next official crosswalk. For a more detailed picture of pedestrian challenges and complete street initiatives in Winter Park, read the full story on WMFE.

Orlando, hasn't adopted complete streets planning models, but the city recently enacted tougher rules targeting gas stations near Orlando International Airport. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was concerned that two gas stations close to OIA were regularly charging about $2 higher than the average price for gas with little signage about the price. Unwary customers, usually tourists, often fill up without seeing the price as they head to return their rental cars and end up stuck with an inflated bill. That leaves a bad memory on the way out of town, harming the Orlando tourist brand.

Since Orlando can't regulate the price of gas, it passed an ordinance requiring the stations to post a sign with the price visible from the street or face a fine of $250 a day. As of Wednesday afternoon there were still no signs posted though.

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