Let’s talk Urban Planning!


In case you didn’t know, when I’m not moonlighting as a blogger, as I work as an urban planner full-time.  One major aspect of urban planning is non-vehicular circulation, which is a fancy way of saying pedestrian paths and multi-use trails.


Most cities plan for two general types of bicycle pathways.  The first type is a Bike Trail, which may be hard-surface (like concrete or asphalt) or soft-surface (like packed dirt).  These Bike Trails are set away from the road and typically feature amenities like trailheads, informational kiosks, mile markers, and the like. 


The second type of bike path is a Bike Lane.  Bike Lanes are a paved shoulder on the road that is marked off so cars do not enter it and bicyclists can safety ride.


I have been really frustrated with the biking opportunities around my house because there are NO Bike Trails within riding distance.  Orlando has a very poorly planned trail system (in my professional opinion).   So, I have to rely on Bike Lanes.


The last few times I went riding, I used a Bike Lane near my house.  The great thing about this Bike Lane is that it winds down a basically unused stretch of roadway, but the trouble with it is that it dead-ends at a toll-booth, which I assumed led to a highway. 


On my last ride, I noticed that bicyclists were magically appearing on the road, but coming from the direction of the tollbooth.  They couldn’t be on the highway, right?  So I looked on Google Earth to try and find a continuation of the Bike Lane or the sidewalk that hiding near the tollbooth, but it wasn’t there.


Next, I tried googling "Orlando Bike Lanes" and found this wonderful site, which had maps of all the Bike Lanes in the city.


AH HA!! I discovered that the Bike Lane did, in fact, goes through the toll booth, travels on a small stretch of the highway, and pops out on the other side.  So that’s where the disappearing bicyclists were headed!  According to the map, this Bike Lane is about 9.0 miles in total length from my house – YAY!


So, if you’re looking to find good bike pathway near you house, google both "Bike Trails" and "Bike Lanes," and I’m sure you’ll find a nice path in no time!


Running Hiatus Workout # 13


Per the Metric Century/Triathlon Training Plan, I biked about 11.0 miles.  I was scheduled to do 12.0, but I did 2.0 miles further than required yesterday and my bum needed a break! :) 


  • Duration: 53 minutes
  • Distance: 11.0 miles




My afternoon snacks included a big bowl of cereal:


A date with some PB:


And a Green Monster with a side of dachshund:




Dinner was simple but delish.


I had (from left to right) a serving of Coconut Carrot Soup, a slice of toast with melted cheese, steamed broc, and a plum.


Off to watch LOST.  Have a great night!



  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) May 6, 2009, 5:34 pm

    Thanks for the bike lane tip! I have been dying to find some trails and long paths in Tampa!!!

  • lilveggiepatch May 6, 2009, 5:46 pm

    I had no idea you were an urban planner! VERY cool… you’d make my mama proud; she thinks I should do it! The fact that you can work from home is very appealing…

    Your cheese bubbles look so good! I think I’ll be having some for dinner 🙂

  • Weight and Meditate May 6, 2009, 5:47 pm

    Cool! Thanks for the tip!

  • janetha May 6, 2009, 5:48 pm

    seems like a really cool job! CUTE DOG!

  • Meganerd May 6, 2009, 5:50 pm

    aaah!! you’re an urban planner?! That’s what I want to do! I’m in school for civil engineering and I just took urban systems design and loved it!! That’s super cool!
    I totally agree that Orlando has poorly planned bike lanes! Know of any urban planning jobs? LOL… jk sort of.

    Ps- nice pic of the new bike lane guy! but where is his helmet!

  • K from ksgoodeats May 6, 2009, 5:51 pm

    Mmm cheesy bubbles! Perfect LOST fuel 😉 I hope it’s a good episode tonight!

  • Lauren May 6, 2009, 5:51 pm

    Thanks so much for the bike lane info. I will be giving this a try very soon.

    Your job sounds very fun and interesting. What other kinds of things does an urban planner do? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this occupation.

    Hope you are having a fantastic week girl! Take care.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 6, 2009, 5:56 pm

    urban planning is not as cool as it sounds. 🙂 i do a lot of environmental and legal writing (in fact, that’s all i really ever do). i work for a private consulting firm, i think working for a city or county might be little more interesting.

    unfort, there are not many jobs in planning right now. no development = no need for planning. 🙁 hopefully the market will pick up soon!

  • Brandi May 6, 2009, 5:59 pm

    that’s awesome that you found that map with all the bike lanes and trails!

    looks like the pup is eyeing your green monster 🙂

    Here comes LOST! I gotta get my cookies and get ready!

  • Bec May 6, 2009, 6:11 pm

    glad you solved the case of the disappearing bicyclists!

  • Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) May 6, 2009, 6:15 pm

    I have to use the bike lanes around here more often! I’m going out biking with my friends some night this week, but it’s more like a bike pub crawl 🙂

  • Meg May 6, 2009, 6:26 pm

    Great bike lane tip! That soup looks delicious!

  • Victoria May 6, 2009, 6:34 pm

    Ugh. Fort Wayne has no bike lanes, very few “trails” and nearly no sidewalks… but man, they have a TON of chain restaurants. 🙁

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health May 6, 2009, 6:41 pm

    Urban Planning is wonderful! Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the subject!
    I am not a biker so I have no idea how the trails/paths are here in Toronto. Good I hope!

    Great looking dinner! Love cheese!

  • Adi (oatonomy.com) May 6, 2009, 6:50 pm

    Way to solve the mystery! 🙂 Gotta love googling.

  • Niki May 6, 2009, 6:51 pm

    Thanks for the tip but unfort we don’t have any bike lane/ paths around here. The poor cyclists have to take their chances on the roads with the cars.

  • NYgirl@heart May 6, 2009, 6:52 pm

    My last semester of college I wrote my final paper on the rebuilding of America’s transportation system and the major need for safer walkways and bike paths in cities. It was a real eye opener to see how unreliable transportation and a lack of safe bike/walkways can hurt our environment by making us depend on our cars for much more than we should.
    I’m glad you were able to find a nice, safe, a lengthy bike path you can use! Yay!

  • Run Sarah May 6, 2009, 6:53 pm

    Sounds like a crazy bike ride! Your soup looks delish.

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) May 6, 2009, 6:56 pm

    What a cool job!

    Love the eats (and the pooch!)

  • Abby May 6, 2009, 7:06 pm

    Have you ever been to Montreal? We were there last summer and I was blown away by the bike-friendliness of the city. I think I read that they have more than 600 kilometers of bike lanes. We parked the car when we got there and didn’t move it until we left town, five days later. It was incredible!

  • Beth May 6, 2009, 8:13 pm

    Woot urban planning! My husband is a planner.

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous May 6, 2009, 11:01 pm

    How did you go about being able to work from home? It seems like it would be ideal!

    Glad you found some great paths. Awesome bike ride!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 7, 2009, 3:28 am

    leah – when we moved from PA to Orlando, i just asked if i could keep my job and work remotely, and they said yes. 🙂

  • Jordan May 7, 2009, 4:48 am

    Hahahhaha. That’s something that would’ve driven me nuts too until I figured it out. I’m glad to know the answer!

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous May 7, 2009, 10:15 am

    Amazing! what a great work place! You are very lucky 🙂 I don’t think I could do that with teaching.. unless I did it via webcam lol

  • Michelle May 7, 2009, 6:08 pm

    This post made me laugh 🙂 YAY for urban planners!

  • gutenmegan May 8, 2009, 11:39 am

    In Germany they build bike lines into most sidewalks. So many more people there bike to get to work or just to get around town, that it’s safer to keep cars and bikes separate. It’s never an issue for pedestrians either because there are designated lanes (one for bikes, one for walkers) in the sidewalk!

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