Ciclovia (seek-low-vi-a), also known as Open Streets, was derived from an event held in Bogotá, Colombia in the 1970s. The initial event had grown into a worldwide practice by the 90s and made its way into the heart of Pensacola this year on March 25th. Promising a unique opportunity to enjoy community space while taking part in special activities, Ciclovia was met with enthusiasm in the downtown areas that hosted Pensacola’s first Open Streets event.
Based on the simple concept of closing streets to motor vehicles and opening them to biking, skating, skateboarding, walking, dancing and any activities that promote health and community, local resident, Sally Rosenthal, launched and organized the Pensacola event. Pensacola joined the global movement by closing five miles of downtown streets with an invitation from Mayor Ashton Hayward to “everyone with a heartbeat” to attend and enjoy the streets safely.
More than 10,000 people attended and the inaugural event was an overwhelming success. The West Florida Regional Planning Council played a significant role in planning, promoting and hosting the event. During the event, the planning council staffed a free bicycle helmet-fitting and distribution booth to promote bicycle safety. This ensured a safe experience for attendees who were able to rent bicycles onsite and participate in the “slow ride” during the five hours of open.
Pictured below are just a few of the memorable moments of the worldwide phenomenon that is sure to be repeated in Pensacola and will undoubtedly spread to its surrounding communities.
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Workshop Helps Cities and Counties Comply with State’s Peril of Flood Act
On March 3, 2017, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council held its first Peril of Flood workshop at TBRPC’s conference facility in Pinellas Park. Workshop participants heard a presentation from TBRPC Principal Planner Brady Smith about the 2015 Peril of Flood Act requirements for local governments. Shawn College of the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission presented an overview of the City of Tampa’s sea level rise vulnerability assessment, which was developed to support Tampa’s recently proposed Peril of Flood comprehensive plan amendment. Participants also engaged in a facilitated discussion to share knowledge about how flood mitigation and adaptation strategies may be incorporated into comprehensive planning goals, objectives, and policies. The event was attended by nearly 60 people, including local government planners, building officials, and floodplain managers, along with other public and private-sector stakeholders and interested citizens. This event was the first of four TBRPC Peril of Flood workshops being held in March/April 2017.
Northeast Florida Regional Council Hosts Hurricane Matthew Post Storm Forum
On Tuesday, February 28, a Hurricane Matthew Post Storm Forum was held at the Thrasher Horne Center in Orange Park. The Forum featured the Director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Rick Knabb and Storm Surge Lead, Jamie Rhome. Over 75 participants heard the NHC speak on the track, forecast and impacts of Hurricane Matthew as well as new decision making products in use by the NHC for the upcoming 2017 Hurricane Season. This event was held as the capstone to a yearlong planning process for the creation of a Regional Evacuation Plan.
Avon Park Air Force Range Joint Land Use Study
The Central Florida Regional Planning Council (CFRPC) recently completed work as part of the Avon Park Air Force Range (APAFR) Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) second implementation grant awarded by the Office of Economic Adjustment, U.S. Department of Defense.
Development of an expanded communications plan to notify the public of activities at the APAFR was included in this work. As part of this effort, a series of three short public awareness videos was developed and will be available for viewing and use by others beginning in April 2017. The videos titled: 1) Protecting the Community – Preserving Our Freedom; 2) Living Near the Avon Park Air Force Range; and 3) Developing the JLUS, provide an overview of activities and mission of the APAFR, possible impacts such as noise and vibration that may be experienced by people living near the APAFR, and the process through which the JLUS for the APAFR was developed. The APAFR JLUS has received national recognition for its extensive public engagement and coordination with the seven local governments (the Counties of Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola, and Polk, and the Cities of Avon Park, Frostproof and Sebring) within the Military Influence Planning Area.
Avon Park Air Force Range (APAFR) plays an important role in the training of the men and women that defend our nation. The largest bombing and gunnery range east of the Mississippi River, APAFR has approximately 400 square miles of restricted airspace and 1,000 square miles of military operating area. Located in central Florida in Polk and Highlands Counties, APAFR’s 106,000 acres provide an important training facility for active duty, guard, and reserve military units from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.
For more information about the award winning JLUS, contact Jennifer Codo-Salisbury at the Central Florida Regional Planning Council at (863) 534-7130 or visit the project website http://www.cfrpc.org/jlus-avonparkafr/.