Media Release: BFF Launch in Osceola County

Best Foot Forward addresses rising trend in pedestrian injuries and fatalities in Osceola County &  City of Kissimmee 

Osceola County, City of Kissimmee, their respective law enforcement agencies, MetroPlan Orlando, LYNX, Osceola County Public Schools, Florida Health Department and local safety advocates have joined forces to launch Best Foot Forward, a grassroots pedestrian safety initiative, to reverse escalating pedestrian injuries and fatalities by changing driver behavior at pedestrian crosswalks. The official launch and press conference is scheduled for Monday, October 30 at 11 a.m. in the Osceola County Commission Chambers at 1 Courthouse Square, Kissimmee, FL. 

According to the Dangerous by Design report, the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (Metro Orlando metropolitan statistical area) has consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous regions in the nation for pedestrian deaths and injuries for the last ten years.

Last year in Osceola County, 148 people were injured and 19 were killed in crashes, a 30 percent increase from 2014 to 2016, as reported by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. 

Best Foot Forward is a data-driven, multi-prong approach of combining education, engineering, and enforcement to get more drivers to stop and yield for people at crosswalks as Florida law requires. Short-term success is measured by the percentage of drivers yielding to pedestrians in marked crosswalks. The ultimate measure of success, however, will be the reduction of pedestrian deaths and injuries.

Osceola County and Kissimmee transportation planners and law enforcement have identified 15 crosswalks to pilot monitoring of driver yield rates, enforcement of the driver yield law and improvement of engineering treatments. At the same time, Best Foot Forward will educate the public through outreach programs in the community and education in Osceola schools.

 


Speakers at BFF  Launch Ceremony on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 11 AM —Osceola County Commission Chambers, 1 Courthouse Square, Kissimmee

Harry Barley, Executive Director, MetroPlan Orlando, Commissioner Cheryl Grieb, Osceola County, Mayor Jose Alvarez, City of Kissimmee, Edward Johnson, CEO, LYNX, Linda Clarke, Nursing Program Specialist, Florida Department of Health in Osceola County, Debra Pace, Superintendent, School District of Osceola County, Kissimmee Police Chief Jeff O’Dell, Osceola County Sheriff Russell Gibson, Amanda Day, Executive Director, Bike/Walk Central Florida

 


MEDIA ALERT & FAST FACTS ABOUT BFF

In 2016, the tri-county area saw 911 pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and 148 of those pedestrian injuries and fatalities were in Osceola County.  According to the Center for Transportation at the University of South Florida, 14 percent of Florida pedestrian fatalities occur in marked crosswalks.

Contrary to popular belief, residents, not visitors, account for more than 90 percent of injuries, with males outpacing females.  Additionally, Florida’s senior population is not overrepresented compared to the national average.

 

Media Alert 

Pedestrian Safety Fact Sheet

Best Foot Forward Program Q&A


About Best Foot Forward

The Best Foot Forward pedestrian safety initiative was launched in June 2012 to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries in Metro Orlando by getting drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and getting pedestrians to be more careful crossing the street. 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.

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.

What Moves You? FDOT Mobility Week: Oct. 28 – Nov. 3

Mark your calendars! Central Florida’s second annual Mobility Week

Spearheaded by The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the Mobility Week campaign provides the perfect opportunity for municipalities, transportation agencies, non-profits and local businesses to promote and explore ways to reduce car-use, test new technologies or showcase how smart and sustainable mobility can bring economic, environmental as well as health benefits, among others.

All nine counties throughout Central Florida are invited to participate, which includes: Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia Counties.

Mobility Week 2017 Events

This year’s Mobility Week campaign theme is “What Moves You?” It encourages people to explore the many ways to move across town, around cities and throughout the region – and offers prizes and rewards for those participating.  For example, Lake County is hosting a training on how to put a bike on a bus, LYNX is planning an outreach event and St. John’s River to Sea Alliance & River to Sea is organizing a Spooks and Spokes bike ride.

 


Do you work at a public agency or non-profit, and want to get involved? Here’s how:

1) Have your workplace organize an event during Mobility Week. The specifics of the event are up to you and your workplace, as long as it’s related to promoting safe and sustainable transportation.

2) Does your workplace want to be involved but doesn’t have time to organize an event? No problem! Show what moves you by offering assistance to co-workers looking for alternatives to driving alone, or by helping a colleague create a commuter plan utilizing SunRail or Lynx.


Are you an individual or business that wants to jump on board? Here’s what you can do:

1) Participate in the “Mix-it-up Challenge”. Logging trips can earn you points, badges and prizes. Click here to stay tuned for more information.

2) Attend one or more of the events. To see the full event schedule, click here.

3) Feeling ambitious? Organize your own event, activity or training! Get out there and promote walking, biking, or any other form of transit that gets you moving.

For more information on how you or your workplace can make moves during Mobility Week, visit www.mobilityweekcfl.com, or email [email protected].

Baldwin Park Living Mag: Key to keeping peds safe

Baldwin Park is a thriving neighborhood here in Orlando full of young families, local businesses, and two public schools – and now they have a new BFF – Best Foot Forward, that is! BFF recently presented at the Baldwin Park Traffic Committee meeting, where interest was piqued when shocking statistics were brought up, such as the fact that 21% of pedestrian fatalities occur in a crosswalk. Denny O’Neil, president of the Baldwin Park Residential Owners Association, wrote the article below for Baldwin Park Living’s October edition. Check out how BFF is helping to keep Orlando residents safe on the streets!

Awareness, responsibility key to keeping pedestrians safe
Baldwin Park Living
October 2017
Denny O’Neil