Lakeland is designated as a Bronze-level community due to its vibrant system of trails and parks; education and enforcement efforts focused on pedestrian safety; and the city’ political support for walking initiatives. Highlights of Lakeland’s application include:
- Lakeland’s Pathways Plan includes sidewalks, bike lanes, and multi-use paths. The city has 26.5 miles of trails, and another 100 miles planned. The hub of the “Lake-to-Lake” network is Lake Mirror Park in Downtown Lakeland, which includes Barnett Family Park, Lake Mirror Center, and Hollis Gardens. Lakeland’s trails also connect schools, medical facilities, and neighborhoods.
- The City Commission adopted a resolution re-confirming its support of existing plans, policies and programs to promote walking. Another example of Lakeland’s political leadership encouraging active lifestyles is the twice-monthly walks hosted by a city commissioner: “No timers, no medals, just an opportunity to get up, get out and start walking.”
- The Lakeland Police Department (LPD) has produced a nice series of videos called Rules of the Road to educate the public on pedestrian and bicycle safety. The LPD also has a representative on the city’s Bike-Pedestrian Safety Team, which reviews bike/ped projects.
- Lakeland has partnered with its transportation planning organization and the Florida DOT to identify pedestrian safety issues using tools like Road Safety Audits, Intersection Safety Indices, and walkability audits.
- Lakeland uses maximum parking standards that are applicable everywhere except the Central Business District, where there is no off-street parking requirement (although there is a bike parking requirement).