If you’ve lived in Orlando long enough, you’ll know what I’m talking about. In the neighborhoods of Lake Highland, Thorton and Delaney Park, the beautiful driving surface that not only looks good but has been found to raise property value. I’m talking about the brick roads which cover the residential areas of Downtown Orlando.
The sound is unmistakable. Clack, clack, clack. They add that ambiance that is normally reserved for more suburban upper scale communities. And in those communities they experience much less wear and tear then they do downtown.
On Marks and Summerlin, it’s more like clack, clack, clack, boom! Accompanied by the sound of a cash register opening to give you the change for the new wheel you bought, after a pothole or cracked paver caused you a flat tire and a dented rim.
It’s the problem everyone knows exists but never acts on. Yesterday, during the City’s budget meeting, Commissioners Robert Stuart, and Patty Sheehan both expressed the concerns they were hearing from constituents and those concerns are very valid.
Every year those brick roads get worse. They’re forced to absorb tropical storms followed by sweltering heat, as well as heavy commercial vehicles that have no business being on the roads, but are used to deliver services to residents.
The bricks crack, they break, they flatten tires and damage vehicle suspension. Car repairs during these tough times can break a family on a tight budget.
It’s not just drivers. It’s the kids that ride their bikes to schools and parks, when they flip right over the handle bars on a poorly maintained street.
Drivers wince as their cars deal with that approach down Kaley, just passed Boone HS, down to Fern Creek. There’s less turbulence in space travel.
What are the answers? You could pave over them with asphalt if you don’t mind losing the charm. You could have the bricks redone but that’s expensive. Both options have drawbacks. Construction detours. Residential construction noise. Temporary bulldozer eyesores.
Both are better options than what we’re seeing now. Nothing.
Sheehan and Stuart were right when they called attention to the upkeep of their road ways. Street maintenance for commuting and trading. Perhaps the most basic responsibility of municipal government.
Brick Roads. It’s a luxury problem. Maybe we should turn to District 5 and Daisy Lynum’s concern about basic pedestrian safety problems. It’s why we’re the most dangerous city in America for pedestrians.
We’re talking about the issue. Let’s hope it’s not forgotten or the next reminder you’ll get, will be the sound of those bricks getting weaker with every vehicle that goes over them.
Clack, clack, clack..