March Operations Remind Drivers to Stop for Pedestrians While Reports Emphasize the Dangers in Region for People Walking
As two major reports in March again named Central Florida the most dangerous region in…
“It takes special people and organizations to dedicate the time and energy to go above and beyond in any area. We especially appreciate that your time and energy is dedicated to saving the lives of people who walk and bike in Florida.”
Those were just a few words spoken about Bike/Walk Central Florida, as the organization was honored by the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) District 5 this summer. For the first time in its history, FDOT District 5 took time at its quarterly meeting to applaud and celebrate outstanding partners in pedestrian and bicycle safety.
BWCF was recognized for its administration of the Best Foot Forward program. Executive Director Amanda Day and several BWCF Board members were on hand to receive the award on July 31, in Orlando. Day thanked FDOT and all the partners of the BFF program, including Orange and Osceola Counties, the cities of Orlando, Kissimmee and St. Cloud, the Orange and Osceola County Sheriff’s Offices, the Orlando, Kissimmee and St. Cloud Police Departments, MetroPlan Orlando, Orange and Osceola County Public Schools, LYNX, Orlando Health, the Florida Health Department, the University of Miami’s WalkSafe Program and the Winter Park Health Foundation.
“I am so honored to receive this award on behalf of all those who’s hard work makes this program a success,” Day said. “Together we can make a difference and make the streets of Central Florida a safer place for all road users: pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike.”
Best Foot Forward was specifically honored for its work in Evaluation of Performance Metrics. BFF uses the “Triple-E” behavioral change process which consists of the persistent application of low-cost engineering, community education and high-visibility enforcement to get more drivers to yield for pedestrians in marked crosswalks, as Florida law requires.
Through extensive data collection before, during and after the program, BFF has a proven track record of getting more drivers to yield for pedestrians in its monitored crosswalks. Before BFF launched in 2012, about 1 percent of drivers yielded to pedestrians in crosswalks on roads with speeds of 40 mph or higher. At the end of 2018, the driver yield rate was 43 percent in those same crosswalks. On roads with speeds of 35 mph or less, the change went from 17 percent of drivers yielding, to 58 percent.
The ultimate measure of success, however, will be the reduction of pedestrian deaths and injuries.
BWCF and Best Foot Forward are excited to continue this important work, and the team looks forward to expanding into Seminole County this Fall.