What Gets Measured Gets Better
Pedestrians are one of the most at-risk groups of roadway users. That’s why Best Foot Forward focuses on increasing the number of drivers yielding to pedestrians at 20 to 25 marked crosswalks each year in Orange and Osceola Counties and Cities of Orlando and Kissimmee. We believe it’s our duty to — push for safer street design, bring more resources to public outreach, enforce Florida’s pedestrian and driver yield laws, and evaluate our progress. It’s called the “Triple E” approach of combining education, engineering, and enforcement – plus a large dose of evaluation. This proven technique has been incorporated into other Florida cities including Gainesville and St. Petersburg, where they’ve seen remarkable results.
That work began in June 2012 and continues on today. Best Foot Forward is excited to report that we are making progress on getting more drivers to comply with the law and yield for people in marked crosswalks. Yes, we understand we’re just getting started. And, we have to work even harder to prevent unnecessary accidents so walking becomes a normal activity in our neighborhoods.
The introduction of high-visibility enforcement, along with engineering and education, at unsignalized, marked crosswalks over the course of the first year led to an increase in yielding to pedestrians from a baseline level of 17% to 32% on roads 35mph and lower. And, an increase from 2% to 11% on roads 40mph and higher.
How do we track BFF progress?
By counting the number of drivers who yield to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk.
BFF employs the formula from the Institute of Traffic Engineers to calculate the number of drivers yielding to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. First of all, driver yielding behavior is measured to an objective dilemma zone, used by traffic engineers, to determine whether a driver can safely stop for a pedestrian standing with one foot in the crosswalk. This formula accounts for driver reaction time, safe deceleration rate, the posted speed, and the grade of the road. To identify the dilemma zone, we mark it with a flag or bright tape to be seen at the crosswalk. To calculate driver yield rates,
we employ the formula below.
– Motorists who had not entered the dilemma zone when a pedestrian entered the crosswalk were scored as yielding or not yielding because they had sufficient time and space to stop safely for the pedestrian.
– Motorists who entered the dilemma zone before the pedestrian placed a foot in the crosswalk would not be scored as failing to yield.
Choosing the Crosswalk Location: Criteria
Crosswalks Tracked & Measured in 2018
Driver Yielding Compliance: Average Rates
Before Best Foot Forward, drivers compliance to Florida’s driver yield law at marked crosswalks on roads posted 40 mph and higher was very low in Orange County — at 1.2%. That is one in 100 cars yielding to a person in a crosswalk. At the end of 2018, the driver yield rate hovered at 43%. Still low, but improving. For BFF crosswalks located on roads posted 35 mph or less, the baseline yield rate was 17%. Driver compliance on the slower speed roads has climbed since BFF launched in 2012, with more than 58% of drivers now yielding to people in BFF monitored crosswalks.
For a full break down by crosswalk location, by year, and by high-visibility crosswalk enforcement detail, click here.
2018 Progress Report: 10/1/2017-9/30/2018
2017 Progress Report: 10/1/2016-9/30/2017
18-Month Progress Report: Jun. 2013 – Dec. 2014
Best Foot Forward (BFF) released its 2014 18-Month Progress Report and found that yield rates the average percentage that motorists stop, or yield for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk –
– increased from 12 percent in 2012 to 45 percent in 2014 on roads 35 mph or less
– increased from 1.2 percent in 2012 to 23 percent in 2014 on roads 40 mph or above
Studies show that if 60 percent of drivers yield for pedestrians, others will quickly follow suit.