Over a year ago, I wrote a post about the importance of connector trails.
There are 2 trails near my home that make strategic connections to destinations. One is the Mead Garden trail (which used to be part of my commute to Maitland), the other is Cady Way.
I use the Mead Garden trail whenever I go to Winter Park or Maitland. Using it to get to downtown Winter Park actually makes an easier route than any I could use by car. By car, I would have to drive out to 17-92 or endure the horrible bricks on Lake Sue & Lakeview (they are intolerably rough even for a car driver), and then I would still have to hunt down a parking space and walk from wherever I parked to my destination. Here’s what the route options looks like (blue is by bike, red are by car):
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The other great advantage is lack of traffic. Even at rush hour, I might encounter 1/2 dozen cars between my house and Winter Park. Tuesday night, I went up there for a gathering of friends at rush hour, I forgot it was even rush hour. There were a bunch of cars queuing at Bumby and Corrine, but a motorist stopped short of Cole and waved me to come in front of him. I think I was passed by 4 cars the entire trip.
The Cady Way trail is a regular part of my routes. I use it to get to Publix, the bank, my massage therapist, and other destinations in Baldwin Park. It’s a slightly longer way to get to Baldwin Park than by car, but when you add in a traffic light, stop signs and time to park the car, there is very little difference in time. And going by bike is just way more pleasant with the lake and the birds and all. One afternoon, I even got a white ibis escort!
I also use Cady Way to get to Best Buy and the Colonial Promenade. Those destinations are much quicker for me to access by bike than by car because of Cady Way. At rush hour, other than crossing Maguire, I have very little exposure to traffic. If I were to try to go to one of these destinations by car, I’d be sitting in a traffic jam.
Here’s that route (blue is by bike, red is by car):
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Even though Cady Way isn’t thought of as a connector trail, the fact that it intersects a lot of low-volume streets allows it to serve this purpose in Orlando. It would be nice if it had similar connectivity/access out past 436.
Are you using trails to access important destinations? Let us know what trails you’re using and how.
Shortly, I will be posting a collaborative map where you can indicate easements you’ve noticed and other potential for short connector trails to increase access to destinations via pleasant streets.