In the past year, three crosswalks monitored by the Best Foot Forward program in Osceola County have seen significant increases in driver yield rates after the installation of rectangular rapid-flashing beacons (RRFBs).
Hosted by Bike/Walk Central Florida, the 2023 Best Foot Forward Summit is our largest steering committee meeting and annual event that brings together advocates, engineers, educators, and enforcement partners who share a common goal of promoting safer streets for all. The Summit, which took place in March this year at The Center for Health and Wellbeing in Winter Park, focused on driver and pedestrian behavior change and aimed to identify strategies to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities in the Central Florida area. The Best Foot Forward pedestrian safety coalition celebrated its 11th year at the BFF Summit, sponsored by MetroPlan Orlando. Guest speakers included Orange County District 3 Commissioner Mayra Uribe, MetroPlan Orlando Executive Director Gary Huttmann, and Brandi Miklus, who serves as the Chief Communications Office for the CIty of Tampa’s Mobility Department.
The Summit kicked off with refreshments and an opening speech from Bike/Walk Central Florida’s Programs Director, Patrick Panza. Commissioner Uribe and Gary Huttmann followed, thanking all partners for their hard work and dedication, and speaking to the importance of continued efforts to improve pedestrian safety in our communities. Keynote speaker, Brandi Miklus, gave a keynote presentation about mobility improvement efforts in the City of Tampa, including the Vision Zero Action Plan and Tampa MOVES, both components of Mayor Jane Castor’s Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow program.
Following the keynote presentation, Patrick Panza moderated a panel discussion featuring Brandi Miklus, Sgt. Steve Harmon (Enforcement – Apopka Police Department), Isai Chavez (Engineering – Osceola County Department of Transportation and Transit), and Jojo Sturm (Education – Seminole County Sheriff’s Office School Crossing Guard Supervisor). Panelists addressed questions from attendees and provided valuable insight from their respective disciplines on creating, promoting, and maintaining safer streets in Central Florida.
The 2023 Best Foot Forward Summit culminated with presentation of awards to coalition partners, recognizing exemplary efforts toward improving pedestrian safety; Closing Remarks were given by Bike/Walk Central Florida Executive Director, Emily Hanna.
Award Categories and Winners:
- 2023 Education Winner: Stephanie Moss – FDOT District 5
- Leads the Office of Safety as the Bike/Ped Coordinator for District 5. This past year, her team ran a successful geotargeted digital ad campaign to educate the public on the new pedestrian hybrid beacons.
- 2023 Enforcement Winner: Deputy Ron Cole – Osceola County Sheriff’s Office
- Consistently schedules enforcements outside of BFF’s quarterly enforcement. Deputy Cole also serves as the leader of Osceola County’s Community Traffic Safety Team.
- 2023 Engineering Winner: City of Kissimmee – 898 N. Hoagland Blvd.
- “Stop Here for Peds” signage, advance yield pavement markings (“sharks teeth”), and two rectangular rapid flashing beacons were added. Driver yield rates observed during BFF data collection have jumped from an average of 28% to nearly 70%.
The Bike/Walk Central Florida team would like to extend our thanks to all those who attended the 2023 Best Foot Forward Summit. We are able to make a difference in the community because of you and your dedicated efforts, and we thank you for joining us to celebrate the work of our coalition partners this year.
Additional photos from the event are available on our Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAAzPN