Downtown Kissimmee has had enough …
“A friend was struck by a driver in our Downtown three months ago, and I was grazed as I jogged just two weeks ago,” Jeremy Lanier, merchant and president of the Downtown Business Association of Kissimmee said. “With so many new folks coming to our downtown for shopping and dining, an active SunRail station and new residential developments in progress, now is the time to prevent further accidents.”
The Downtown Business Association has made pedestrian safety one of their top priorities, and Jeremy has made it his mission to bring it to the forefront of the minds of Kissimmee city leaders. In February, Jeremy spoke alongside some of his fellow downtown merchants and residents at the City of Kissimmee Commission meeting about the importance of pedestrian safety in the community.
“Our City Commission has the issue on the radar and our merchant groups are pushing forward on some safety ideas to adopt before the master streetscaping plan is initiated in the years ahead,” Jeremy said.
Last year, Downtown Kissimmee started a driver awareness campaign throughout the main corridor to tell drivers to slow down and yield for people crossing. The association garnered media attention as children at a nearby First United Methodist made signs to display, and BFF even provided a few iY4Peds signs.
“Most of the signs were from the child’s perspective as though they were speaking directly to the drivers, and the signs this year from Kissimmee Christian Church will most surely be as creative and engaging as those made in our first campaign,” Jeremy said.
This year’s pedestrian safety campaign is expanding, and will be held in conjunction with a region-wide Operation BFF on March 11 and 12. Drivers will be warned with the awareness campaign, but Kissimmee Police Department and Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, along with their counterparts in Orange County, will be issuing tickets to drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks.
At the downtown merchants’ request, Kissimmee Police have also proactively placed police cars throughout the main corridor on Broadway to remind drivers to slow down while traveling through the area.
As partners in the Best Foot Forward for pedestrian safety coalition, the City of Kissimmee and its Kissimmee Police Department have actively worked to change drivers’ behaviors and reduce driver versus pedestrian incidents for years now, as a part of the BFF coalition. BFF is proud to expand its partnerships and work more closely with community groups, businesses and proactive citizens like Jeremy Lanier.