Lakeland: Two decades after the road diets

In recent years, the concepts of complete streets, right-sizing streets and traffic calming have taken the transportation planning industries and cities across the country by storm. If you live in a municipality that still questions the economic impact these concepts can have on your community, look no further than the implementation of Lakeland, Florida's 1990 Downtown Redevelopment Plan.

Lemon Street (former eastbound Business US 92)

During the mid-20th century, Lemon Street became the eastbound one-way corridor for Business US 92. In the early 1990s, it was “right-sized” to create space for a 50-foot-wide linear park. The $770,000 project led to the development of a $8 million office building for SunTrust Bank by 1997. In 2001, a second office building called Heritage Plaza was built on an adjacent promenade block.

After working with FDOT to take over the maintenance of Lemon Street, the city closed and converted the east segment of the former highway into a pedestrian promenade and park. Additional public and private investment in the park has turned it into one of the most attractive urban public spaces in Central Florida.

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