May 20, 2013
To receive City Council Meeting Highlights by email each Friday,
subscribe to City News.
Remembering Lydia Gardner
I would like to honor and remember Orange
County Clerk of Courts Lydia Gardner, who recently died at 68 after
a long battle with cancer. I attended her service last Friday along
with many others in our community who came to honor this amazing
I personally am eternally grateful for everything Lydia did for our
community; she will be remembered for the incredible legacy she
leaves in Orlando. She gave generously of her energies and talents;
was strongly committed to our citizens and worked tirelessly to
improve the clerk’s office here in Orange County.
While in office, Lydia pioneered online services
and was recognized with the Governor's Sterling Award. She was also
a leader on domestic-violence issues and a founding member of Orange
County's Domestic Violence Commission.
Let us continue to keep the families and friends of Lydia in our
thoughts and prayers in the days, weeks and months ahead.
UCF Medical School
Friday was the commencement ceremony for
the UCF College of Medicine’s charter class. After four years of
milestones and their education paid for by generous donors, the
students will now move on to residencies across the United States in
specialties ranging from primary care to brain surgery.
A few years ago, the College of Medicine and the Medical City were
just a vision. Today, it’s a reality thanks to the leadership of
this City Council. The many developments and accomplishments at Lake
Nona in such a short time is a testament to our community’s ability
to partner and collaborate. One thing is for certain, the message
that Orlando is a great place to live, learn, work and play will be
carried to many other parts of the world as this charter class of
the UCF Medical School moves to the next chapters in their lives.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
This Thursday, I will join with our City
Commissioners and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Board of Directors to celebrate another construction milestone - the
topping off of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
The construction of this world-class facility will create
approximately 4,000 jobs and will open in 2014.
Items of Note
Monday’s agenda included an item that will further the construction
of the I-Drive congestion relief project.
The 1.5 mile project from Universal Boulevard to Oak Ridge Road will
relieve traffic congestion in the area. It will include an exclusive
lane for buses and right-turning vehicles that will create easier
access to businesses located in the corridor. The project will also
include sidewalk and bike lane improvements making this heavily
traveled area much safer for pedestrians and bikers.
The project is expected to break ground this July.
Carsharing and Bicycle Route Study
Monday’s agenda also included other items related to expanding
transportation options in the City of Orlando.
In partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation, the
city is launching a carsharing program that will provide convenient
short-term rental cars for our residents. This amenity will
complement and connect our existing and future transit modes such as
SunRail and the expanded LYMMO. The program will begin operations
The City is also working on a comprehensive study that will further
efforts to promote bicycling in Orlando. The study will look at the
City’s future plan to continue to connect our existing trail network
with newly constructed bicycle trails and on-street routes. The City
of Orlando has been recognized as a bicycle friendly community since
2000 and is currently home to more than 290 miles of urban bicycling
trails, signed routes and lanes.
Mobile Food Vending
On Monday, the City Council approved a pilot program for mobile
food vending in the City.
When the City’s code was written, it did not contemplate the
popularity of food trucks and food carts, which have become quite a
phenomenon in recent years, not just in Orlando, but across the
As our code is written today, there are few opportunities to operate
a food truck or cart and be compliant with our City code. For a
mobile food vendor to follow the appropriate processes, it is quite
costly and time intensive.
City staff has been working with a number of mobile food vendors on
a pilot program that would establish clear guidelines for operating
within certain areas of the City.