Orlando celebrated the completion of more than a mile of streetscaping work designed to remove blight and bring jobs to State Road 436 in the area around Curry Ford Road. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told a crowd of three dozen people that making the road more beautiful gives the city a better image, especially for our out-of-town visitors.
"It's certainly one of the most important gateways we have. Thirty-seven million people go through our airport, and a large percentage of them travel on this corridor, and it's important that we show our best face."
The sidewalks are now substantially wider. There are brick walls on each side of the intersection of SR 436 and Curry Ford Rd., plus new energy efficient lights installed by the Orlando Utilities Commission. We asked Commissioner Tony Ortiz if he thought it would help create jobs.
"The making our area much better, more attractive brings businesses to the area, and of course raises the property values."
Mayor Dyer says the $500,000 worth of upgrades are worth it to improve our pedestrian safety standard alone.
"Look at the improvement to the sidewalk, and the pedestrian safety aspect, so it's certainly worth the money."
Ortiz says he will continue efforts to bring new businesses to the corridor.
"It was a little blighted. So we are enhancing our area to bring better businesses."
The city plans to spend much more extending the improvements south of Grant Street towards the airport. They plan to apply for federal and state grants to supplement what they plan to contribute to the beautification.