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As state lawmakers prepare for their first legislative session of 2019, Bike/Walk Central Florida wanted pedestrian safety to be a top priority. Executive Director Amanda Day spoke to the Central Florida delegation about new ways we can work together to keep pedestrians safe.
The newly released Dangerous by Design 2019 report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets ranked Central Florida as the deadliest place in the country for people to walk. Bike/Walk Central Florida administers the Best Foot Forward (BFF) program, which was launched to reduce the number of driver versus pedestrian collisions by focusing on getting more drivers to yield to people in marked crosswalks. BFF works with coalition partners to drive change using the “Triple E” method – Education, Engineering and Enforcement. You can read more news and facts from BFF partners at MetroPlan Orlando.
“We can all agree that no death is acceptable,” Day said. “We can also agree that it’s going to take many, many years to redesign our roads. So, the question is, what can you all do today?”
Day asked lawmakers to implement the WalkSafe curriculum in public schools, which has already shown success in Miami-Dade – a city whose pedestrian ranking has dropped from the 4th deadliest pedestrian city in 2004 to 14th in 2018. Through WalkSafe, kids learn about pedestrian safety while having fun in their art and physical education classes, and then take that new education home and sharing it with their families. Day used examples of other safety campaigns that worked in schools, such as anti-smoking, wearing seatbelts and recycling.
The goal is to create a region here in Central Florida where people want to get outside to walk for recreation, exercise or transportation without having to worry if they’ll make it home.
Watch Day’s address to the Central Florida Delegation here.
For more insight into Best Foot Forward and its Triple E approach to improving pedestrian safety, see the coalition’s website.