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Low Cost Engineering Gets Fast Results

Picture this. You’re crossing the street in a crosswalk located in the middle of the block.  You’re lugging multiple shopping bags from your shopping trip. You look to the left, then to the right, and then to the left again. As you begin to cross the street, you wonder if, and hope, drivers will stop for you.

Could better visual cues for drivers help? The answer is yes.

There’s good news to share at Rolling Oaks Commons in Kissimmee. New pedestrian crosswalk signs are in place at a mid-block crossing in a popular shopping area. Low-cost engineering garnered quick results, thanks to the Osceola County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST), the Best Foot Forward (BFF) Steering Committee, and Osceola County partners.

Identifying the Problem

Earlier this year, an Osceola County CTST member said they were concerned about safety at the mid-block crosswalk at 3200 Rolling Oaks Blvd. The road intersects with the Rolling Oaks Commons shopping plaza. The plaza is located on the south side of US HWY 192, just east of the Western Beltway (SR 429). It’s also near the Margaritaville Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s a fairly active area. The CTST member noted the high number of people crossing and drivers failing to stop.

When Osceola’s Best Foot Forward Steering Committee heard about it, it acted. It requested data collectors go to observe driver and pedestrian behavior.

  • More than 80 people used the crosswalk during the course of two hours
  • Fewer than 35% of drivers yielded or stopped for people crossing in the crosswalk

Partner Collaboration and Solutions

On the surface, it would seem the easy solution would be for Osceola County to simply install pedestrian crossing signs. However, Rolling Oaks Blvd. happens to be an access road and is on private property. The County didn’t have jurisdiction. Osceola County Civil Engineer, Henry Salinas, and County Development Review Director, Jose Gomez, worked together to come up with a solution and passed along their recommendations to the property owners.

The Result

The property owners agreed to install four pedestrian crossing signs. It happened in less than two months’ time, from observation to installation. Thanks to low-cost engineering, the new visual cues are working. The most recent Best Foot Forward data is starting to show more drivers are paying attention to people trying to cross in the crosswalk.

New signage installed on Rolling Oaks Blvd. in Osceola County

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