Counter argument: “Would millions in Irma’s path still have power if the lines were underground?”

Counter argument: “Would millions in Irma’s path still have power if the lines were underground?”

Photo: C.M. Guerrero, Miami Herald

Severe flooding and storm surge can also put the grid out of commision after storms, according to NPR.

‘You’re simply trading off one type of risk for another,’ Ted Kury, an energy expert at the University of Florida, told NPR. ‘Yes, you’ve mitigated the risk of losing power because of a failure in the pole or a tree getting blown into the lines. But you’ve traded that risk off for outages due to storm surge or to flooding.’

Across the country, only about 20 percent of U.S. power lines are underground, the Energy Information Agency reports.

Compare that with Germany, where nearly all low and medium voltage lines are buried safely underground, providing electricity to homes and apartments across the country, according to CNN. That’s led to fewer outages in Germany, CNN reports — but then again, the northern European county doesn’t deal with hurricanes..

–Jared Gilmour, Mcclatchy via Miami Herald

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Additional counter arguments in the Palm Beach Post

Orlando Placemaking: Adaptive reuse as “building owners weigh preservation vs demolition”

Orlando Placemaking: Adaptive reuse as “building owners weigh preservation vs demolition”

Photo: Richard Ramirez Buxeda, Orlando Sentinel

“Church Street Exchange, Grand Avenue Elementary and the former home of the Orlando Ballet are the latest Orlando landmarks to face the prospect of new identities instead of demolition.

The fate of those buildings comes into play as some developers and owners are looking at ‘adaptive reuse,’a movement gaining momentum nationally.

‘I think people are finally realizing that these kind of place-making buildings, you really can’t re-create,’said Richard Forbes, historic preservation officer for Orlando.

Sitting atop some of the most valuable land in Central Florida, the Church Street Exchange in downtown Orlando was recently listed for sale. Grand Avenue Elementary southwest of downtown sits vacant with school officials discussing its fate. And the Orlando Utilities Commission has started weighing options to sell or renovate an Italian Palazzo Revival-style 1920s power plant and one-time arts center overlooking Lake Ivanhoe…

Beyond preserving the charm and character of a building, reused buildings help ignite nearby neighborhoods, said Orlando attorney Kimberly Ashby. She pointed to the former Orange County Courthouse’s renovation as a history museum and the relocation of the Casa Feliz and Capen houses to become cultural venues in Winter Park.

‘It not only repurposes the building, it repurposes the neighborhood and the whole community,’she said.”

Photo: Orange County Regional History Center

“The First National Bank building (left) was designed by Orlando architect Howard M. Reynolds during the Great Depression. In 2017, a Walgreens store moved into the four-story building that once housed the downtown bank….”

–Mary Shanklin, Orlando Sentinel

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Complete Streets: “Pedal power surges in Cape Coral”

Complete Streets: “Pedal power surges in Cape Coral”

Photo: Randy Kambic/Special to The News-Press

“Thanks to considerable behind-the-scenes work in recent years, pedal power is stronger and safer than ever for recreational biking, putting fitness and social benefits in high gear…

Michael Swanson and Rob Seibert are major organizers of Cape Coral Bike-Ped’s ‘slow-roll’ events held on the last Friday night of each month. ‘We have all kinds of bikers and it’s leisurely paced,’ said Swanson. ‘The police escort us which is especially helpful going across the intersections along the way…’

It’s been ‘a true private-public partnership,’ said Cape Coral’s Conant-Adair. She recounted how seven inter-connected bike routes consisting of bike lanes, shared roads and sidewalks on canal bridges were first defined and planned in 2012. Within two years, 90-plus miles of routes were designated that border nature preserves, canals, marinas, golf courses, the Caloosahatchee River and more. Also, 1,000-plus directional and adopt-a-route signs have been installed…

In 2015, Cape Coral was designated a Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists and last year by the Florida Bicycle Association, and an eighth route was created…” 

— Randy Kambic, Special to The News-Press

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“Hollywood launches Complete Streets construction project”

“Hollywood launches Complete Streets construction project”

Illustration: City of Hollywood

“…Officials recently broke ground on construction that will develop into the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization’s flagship. A two-year timeframe for completion is expected.

From City Hall to Dixie Highway, the corridor will change into an efficient multimodal transportation system. The city was awarded a $7.6 million grant for the project…”

— Helen Wolt, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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