Nowhere else in the nation do walkers and drivers collide more often than on the streets of Central Florida. On average, three people are hit each day for doing something as simple as crossing the street in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties. It’s no wonder the region consistently ranks as one of the deadliest for pedestrians in the nation.
The Best Foot Forward pedestrian safety initiative was launched in June 2012 to reduce the number of car versus pedestrian collisions by focusing on getting more drivers to yield to people in marked crosswalks. More than a campaign, this “Triple-E” behavioral change process seeks to create lasting social good through the consistent and persistent application of low-cost engineering, community education, and high-visibility enforcement. Scroll down to learn more about the BFF program, coalition partners, and how you can join the BFF movement.
The Best Foot Forward for Pedestrian Safety coalition includes:
MetroPlan Orlando, Orange County Government and Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Government and Sheriff’s Office, the City of Kissimmee Government and Police Department, the City of Orlando and Police Department, Florida Department of Health, School District of Osceola County, Orange County Public Schools, Orlando Health, Lynx, Winter Park Health Foundation, the Florida Department of Transportation, Orange Cycle, the University of Miami’s WalkSafe and Bike/Walk Central Florida.
Bike/Walk Central Florida manages the Best Foot Forward program on behalf of the coalition partners. For a list of the BWCF board members, the team and to learn more visit bikewalkcentralflorida.org.
Best Foot Forward Program Summary
Situation: The objective is to improve pedestrian safety by getting drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and getting pedestrians to be more careful crossing the street. On average, at least 15 people are injured or killed each week crossing the street in Central Florida. The Best Foot Forward program integrates several community organizations to build a formidable pedestrian safety coalition to increase drivers’ yielding behavior to over 60%, with the goal to reduce the number of collisions between drivers and people walking.
Audience Coalition: The audience includes the involvement of transportation planners & traffic engineers, local governments, law enforcement agencies, transit authorities, metro planning organizations, school administrators, health professionals, non-profits, entrepreneurs, homeowner associations, and safety advocates who have a role in Enforcing the laws, Educating people, Engineering roadways and Evaluating outcomes.
Audience Public: The primary audience is drivers. Secondary audiences are people walking. The geography covers Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.
Methods: The strategic approach was to develop a branded, grassroots pedestrian safety initiative to be piloted to drivers in Orange County and City of Orlando for three to four years. Under the direction of the Best Foot Forward (BFF) coalition, they adopted the “Triple E” method of combining high-visibility Enforcement, Education, and low-cost Engineering at those crosswalks with a low level of driver compliance to pedestrian-right-of way laws. Best Foot Forward would collect data and evaluate whether the “Triple E” method increases drivers yielding on a city or countywide basis and could produce a change in the culture to favor drivers yielding and stopping to pedestrians. NHTSA: High-Visibility Enforcement on Driver Compliance with Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws, Report no. DOT HS 811 786
Results: The percentage of drivers yielding to pedestrians in marked crosswalks within the City of Orlando and Orange County increased from the baseline of 12% in 2012 to more than 45% in 2017 on streets posted 35 mph or less. On roads posted 40 mph and higher, only 2% of drivers were yielding in 2012 and now the number hovers closer to 25%.
BFF Program Presentation Summary
2012 Best Foot Forward Launch & Press Conference
Letter from Linda Chapin, former Orange County Mayor and Co-Chair of Bike/Walk Central Florida and the Best Foot Forward Coalition