New Kissimmee SunRail station encourages walkability

BFFs at the City of Kissimmee are getting a welcome addition. With the new SunRail station opening downtown on July 30 within walking distance of shops in downtown Kissimmee, walkability is top of mind.

That’s why, downtown Kissimmee business owners and residents are urging drivers to chill out and look out as they anticipate heavy foot traffic from SunRail. The Downtown Business Association of Kissimmee, Inc. and Kissimmee Main Street partnered with First United Methodist School and the Kissimmee Police Department for a Pedestrian Awareness Campaign in May. Their goal was to remind drivers they must be on the lookout and Florida law requires them to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. You couldn’t miss them. Folks were lining the streets waving the iY4Peds signs and were even featured several times on local news station WFTV.

Keep up the great work, Kissimmee locals! And drivers, chill out and look out for local pedestrians.

 

BFF goes back to school in Orange County

It’s that time of year again. School is starting and that means back to school sales and back to school fairs. Best Foot Forward will be giving safe walking tips at fairs for our Orange County Commissioner’s Siplin, Love and Thompson. And you can’t forget the puppets at the Michelee Puppets back-to-school bash.

Kids and parents will line up to spin a prize wheel and answer a question. Get the question about safe walking right, and walk away with a fun item.

Better yet, pick through piles of comic books ranging from The Guardians of Roadway Safety: Walker & Zom-B to The Superhero Safety Squad, activity books, stickers and bookmarks all to encourage kids to walk safe to school.

Best part, the early birds will be eligible for a free helmet – from the littlest kids on tricycles to the grandparents.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events:

MicheLee Puppets School Bash

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

11am-2pm

Maitland Community Park

Commissioner Thompson’s D4 Annual Back-to-School Fair

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

9:30am – 1:30pm

Taft Community Center, 9450 S. Orange Ave.

Commissioner Love’s Back-to School Fair

Saturday August 4th, 2018

10am-1pm

John Bridges Community Center, 445 W. 13th St., Apopka

Commissioner Siplin’s Family Wellness Affair

Saturday July 28th, 2018

10am-2pm

Barnett Park

If you want us to come to one of your school events contact: Shelby@bikewalkcf.org or visit iyield4peds.org

Don’t miss this Mills 50 & Milk District workshop happening 7/12

Head over to the Colonialtown Neighborhood Center (1517 Highland Drive) on Thursday, July 12, to learn about proposed improvements for both the Milk and Mills 50 Main Street Districts. The workshop, hosted by the City of Orlando, is happening from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

For this study, the city is analyzing the current transportation network in the Milk and Mills 50 Districts to identify ways to make them safer for people biking, walking and driving.

According to Bungalower, suggestions include crosswalks, roundabouts, medians and protected signal phases. RSVP for the event on Facebook.

Orange County helps students walk, ride and thrive this summer

With summer in session and kids out of school, it is important to remind everyone to stay safe.  Last week, 120 children attending an Orange County summer camp at Barnett Park learned all about safe biking and walking. The event was coordinated by Darryl Johnson, the Assistant Project Manager of Orange County’s Walk-Ride-Thrive initiative, and was a huge hit at the summer camp.

The kids, ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade, got the opportunity to watch a bike rodeo demonstration and were then fitted with their very own bicycle helmet to take home, free of charge. They also watched fun videos about safe walking and biking and later won prizes based on their new-found knowledge. Attendees left with a head full of safety information and a new helmet to protect it.

Thank you to Darryl and the Walk-Ride-Thrive team for allowing BFF to take part in this great event.

 

Orange County Sheriff’s Office releases Best Foot Forward PSA video

Since 2012, Best Foot Forward (BFF) has been diligently planting its grassroots seeds all over Central Florida.  It started with a small group of concerned citizens, politicians, and police officers but quickly grew into a larger initiative.  When Sheriff Jerry Demings and other Orlando and Orange County law enforcement launched the first enforcement crackdown several years ago to change driver behavior, a mere 17% of drivers yielded at crosswalks on streets under 35 mph.  Five years after the formation of BFF, that number has increased to 56% of drivers yielding (a 36% increase).

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) recently conducted an enforcement crackdown at six busy crosswalks on June 13, 2018.  Thirty-eight citations and six warnings were given at these crosswalks, adding to the grand total of 7, 566 total citations and warnings given out by the Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office through BFF alone.

With the help of Officers like Sheriff Demings, BFF has grown into a powerful coalition that reaches thousands of people in Central Florida with its simple message:  yield to pedestrians. The original goal of BFF remains the primary goal today:  to increase driver yield rates at pedestrian crosswalks by focusing on the 3 E’s: education, enforcement and engineering.

A huge thank you to Sheriff Demings for putting together this video recap and reminding drivers and pedestrians alike to stay safe and alert.