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Celebrating Progress and Dedication: Highlights from the 2024 Best Foot Forward Summit

Hosted by Bike/Walk Central Florida, the Best Foot Forward (BFF) Summit of 2024 continued its tradition as the premier annual event uniting advocates, planners, engineers, educators, and law enforcement with one shared objective: the advancement of pedestrian safety in Central Florida. This year’s summit, taking place again at the well-appointed Center for Health and Wellbeing in Winter Park, offered a packed agenda filled with insightful discussions, noteworthy accomplishments, and collaborative discussions aimed at reducing pedestrian-vehicle collisions in our communities.

The event commenced with check-in and a networking breakfast, providing attendees with the opportunity to connect over coffee before the morning’s sessions began. Patrick Panza, Bike/Walk Central Florida’s Programs Director, set the stage with welcome remarks, ensuring everyone was ready for the insightful day ahead. With the implementation of safety improvements and a persistent commitment to change drivers’ and pedestrians’ behaviors, the Summit brought to light several success stories and introduced compelling new ideas. Board Chair of MetroPlan Orlando and Osceola County Commissioner Cheryl Grieb offered thoughtful remarks, highlighting the partnership’s achievements, and setting an encouraging tone for the conference.

As thought leaders gathered to share and learn, it was the keynote address by Dr. Rebecca Sanders, notable for her ground-breaking work in transportation safety, that highlighted the day. Her passion and commitment resonated with the audience as she discussed her research on improving street safety, reinforcing the importance of data-driven approaches in policy and design to protect pedestrians.

At the Summit, a thought-provoking panel discussion took center stage, guided by Vince Dyer, the BFF Program Manager, highlighting our strategic “Triple E” approach to pedestrian safety with local success stories in Education, Enforcement, and Engineering. Esteemed panelists, including Tanya Wilder of the City of Orlando, Corporal Corey Anthony from the Kissimmee Police Department, FDOT’s Loreen Bobo, and Mighk Wilson of MetroPlan Orlando, contributed insights from their specialties. They shared a wealth of expertise and initiatives that collectively contribute to safer streets in Central Florida.

The awards ceremony was a summit highlight, putting the spotlight on those who have demonstrated outstanding efforts in the past year. As the summit neared its poignant conclusion, a moment of reverence was set aside to honor the memory of Randy Schrader, a tireless advocate for pedestrian safety, who passed away unexpectedly. In a touching tribute, Emily Bush, Executive Director of Bike/Walk Central Florida, solemnly presented the Special Achievement Award to Randy’s family, who graciously accepted it on his behalf. The attendees reflected on Randy’s enduring legacy, underscored by the announcement that henceforth, this accolade will be known as the “Randy Schrader Special Achievement Award.” His indelible impact will continue to be remembered, guiding our collective efforts in making the streets safer for all.

The 2024 Best Foot Forward Summit concluded with heartfelt closing remarks from Emily, who encapsulated the day’s spirit of collaboration and progress. With sincere thanks to all who contributed and attended, as well as our dedicated sponsors, MetroPlan Orlando and the Center for Health and Wellbeing, the summit reaffirmed our collective commitment to pedestrian safety, leaving us invigorated for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Award Categories and Winners:

  • 2024 Special Achievement Award: Randy Schrader
  • 2024 Education Partner of the Year: Seminole County Crossing Guards
    For their Safety Zone sign-waving campaigns near elementary schools and working with the Best Foot Forward program to bring awareness to Seminole County drivers.
  • 2024 Enforcement Partner of the Year: Oakland Police Department
    Oakland Avenue and Sansparilla Drive
    Distributed 4 warnings & 25 citations during five enforcements in 2022-23, improving the driver yield rate from 68% to 81%.
  • 2024 Engineering Partner of the Year: City of Casselberry
    West Melody Lane and South Cypress Way
    Improved the driver yield rate from 36% to 75% by adding a center stripe, stop bars, and in-street “State Law: Stop for Peds” vertical signs.

For those who wish to revisit the insightful keynote address and the engaging panel discussion, we invite you to watch the recorded livestream available on our YouTube channel @BestFootCFL

Here are some additional highlights from this year’s event:

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