“5G coverage coming to Orlando, bringing potentially 20,000 small-cell nodes”

“5G coverage coming to Orlando, bringing potentially 20,000 small-cell nodes”

Photo: A small cell tower across the street from the Orange County Courthouse. The corresponding radio equipment is located in a portion of the adjacent garbage can. Ryan Gillespie, Orlando Sentinel

“…Orlando’s planning department has projected carriers will need about 20,000 nodes to bring about 60% coverage, with the most needed to bring strong coverage to dense downtown and touristy International Drive. At a City Council workshop this month, officials said they and the municipally-owned Orlando Utilities Commission were studying how to encourage carriers to attach their antennas and radio equipment to the same poles, preventing equipment clutter on Orange Avenue.

‘What we have beginning to happen is a lot of nodes occurring on Orange Avenue. If you were to line them all up, you’d be looking at a node every 90 feet,’ Chief Planner Doug Metzger said. ‘In my perfect world, I’d love to get two providers on every node.”

For that to happen, carriers would need to either agree to share new poles installed throughout the city or reach an agreement with OUC to install equipment on the utility’s tower. OUC has some small-cell agreements for antennas to be installed on its poles, though they currently don’t yet have 5G antennas, utility spokesman Tim Trudell said.

The study is underway, and Metzger said he hopes a plan is developed by early October.

Florida cities maintain limited leverage over carriers in Florida, as state legislators pre-empted municipalities from regulating wireless infrastructure in 2017 and further restricted it in 2019.

The 2017 legislation, sponsored in the House by state Rep. Mike La Rosa, R-St. Cloud, is being challenged in a lawsuit filed by the Florida League of Cities, along with Naples, Port Orange and Fort Walton Beach, which contend the law allows private businesses to take over city property, with a $150 per pole cap as a fee.

‘We felt the Legislature’s actions were pretty egregious in those two narrow areas,’ said Kraig Conn, general counsel for the League of Cities…

Elsewhere in Central Florida, Winter Park could also see early interest from 5G companies. The city has had talks with carriers, though its city commission hasn’t formally reviewed policy on 5G.

However, Winter Park shares aesthetic concerns, as it has spent millions in recent years burying its power lines, while state law now allows carriers to build poles in the public right of way…”

— Ryan Gillespie, Orlando Sentinel
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“Trees transplanted on Florida’s highways provide motorists’ benefits”

“Trees transplanted on Florida’s highways provide motorists’ benefits”

Photo: As seen in Villiages News
“…Beauty and stress relief are probably the two most meaningful benefits trees bring to highways,’ said Andrew Koeser, an assistant professor of environmental horticulture with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences…

Recognizing these advantages, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) transplants many kinds of trees along the state’s highways, including palms, the variety most widely associated with the Sunshine State. Indeed, about 51 percent of the transplanted trees are palms. The rest include crape myrtles, buttonwoods and many other varieties.

To assess the success of its tree-planting program, FDOT awarded Koeser grant funding to study how well the transplanted trees survive and thrive.

Koeser and his team surveyed 2,711 trees along rural and urban stretches of the state’s highways. They found that more than 98 percent established themselves. That’s another way of saying the trees have survived the hardships of planting and are growing into the surrounding landscape.

‘The establishment rate is among the highest on record,’ said Koeser, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, Florida…

Brad Buck is with the University of Florida.”

— Brad Buck, University of Florida in the Villages News
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Protecting paradise: International Coastal Cleanup Day is Sept 21

Protecting paradise: International Coastal Cleanup Day is Sept 21

Photo: WPTV
“The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest, one-day volunteer effort to clean up the marine environment. Every September, volunteers from over 100 countries descend on local beaches, rivers, lakes and canals to show their commitment to cleaner waterways…”

Cleanup locations in Palm Beach County are included in this article and this popular activity will be held along beaches and waterways throughout our state.

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“A New Vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS)” 2019-2023 Plan and Maps Update

“A New Vision for the Florida Greenways and Trails System (FGTS)” 2019-2023 Plan and Maps Update

Photo: Florida DEP
“The FGTS Plan establishes the vision for implementing a connected statewide system of greenways and trails for recreation, conservation, alternative transportation, healthy lifestyles, a vibrant economy and a high quality of life. The original FGTS Plan was completed in 1998 and adopted by the Florida Legislature in 1999, laying the groundwork for many programs, projects and initiatives that exist today. The updated FGTS Plan and maps guides implementation of the connected statewide trail system from 2019 through 2023.

The Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT) has also updated its statewide opportunity and priority trail maps. Many trails are eligible for certain types of funding if they are on one or both maps.

As part of the update, OGT held 14 public workshops throughout the state to receive input from trail users, local planners and the public. OGT also received hundreds of e-mails and letters and input from the Florida Greenways and Trails Council. The input is helping to shape the direction of trails for years to come! The final versions of the Plan and maps are posted below…”

— Florida DEP
Download Plan (.pdf)
Visit DEP website for more about Florida Greenways and Trails programs

“Pollen, not pollution: Utrecht’s new bus stops are buzzing”

“Pollen, not pollution: Utrecht’s new bus stops are buzzing”

Photo: Mobilane, One of Utrecht’s green roof bus stops.
“Utrecht’s bee friendly bus shelters are capturing the world’s imagination with media from across the globe reporting on a solution to urban pollution that is both simple and effective.

From Mexico City to Melbourne, local officials have been in touch about how to make bus shelters a part of efforts to combat pollution and protect bees, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.

When Utrecht city council started looking for ways of making the city more sustainable Reclamebureau Limburg (RBL), which specialises in advertising in public spaces, was quick to take up the gauntlet.

Apart from bamboo seats, RBL’s new bus shelter, of which there are now over 300 in Utrecht, has a green roof . The hardy sedum plants provided by family firm Mobilane reduce the amount of lung-damaging fine dust, store rain water and combat heat. They also promote biodiversity, and the ‘bee stops’, as the foreign press dubbed them, could well play a part in saving this endangered insect.

With July entering the history books as the hottest ever recorded the shelters were put to the test almost immediately. RBL, which built and maintains the shelters from the proceeds of advertising, told the Volkskrant that the plants survived the heat wave ‘surprisingly well’. Sedum plants need little water and are able to withstand extreme temperatures…

While the sustainable shelters are not going to save the world, the 2,000 m2 of additional green roofs will contribute to cleaner air in the city and 96 of them have also been equipped with solar panels…”

— DutchNews.nl
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