Media Alert: Operation BFF in Orange County and Orlando June 2019

Kids are out of school for summer vacation, which means they are playing outside, riding their bikes to the park and soaking up the summer sun. It also means that that there are more kids out on the roads, making it more important than ever to be alert while driving.

On June 19th, plain-clothed officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Orlando Police Department, Kissimmee Police Department and St. Cloud Police Department will be citing drivers who fail to yield for people walking in marked crosswalks. On June 26th, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office will wrap things up with one last reminder to yield for PEDS.

Drivers should always stay alert to people walking, but should expect a $164 citation and a chat with law enforcement if they fail to yield at the following locations during Operation BFF.

 

Orange County

Rio Grande Ave. & 40th St.

Average Yield Rate: New crosswalk

Tracked since: 2019

Why we chose this crosswalk: Residents on this stretch of Rio Grande have been struggling to safely cross the street. Orange County recently installed this crosswalk and will add rectangular rapid flashing beacon later this year to increase visibility of people walking at this location.

 

Americana Blvd. & Midblock Crossing E. of Texas

Average Yield Rate (April 2019): 79%

(79 out of 100 drivers yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk)

Tracked since: March 2019

Why we chose this crosswalk: Not far from Rio Grande & 40th, this street experiences a lot of the same problems – many people walking and a whole lot of drivers on the road. OCSO deputies are enforcing this location along with Rio Grande, focusing on education for drivers in this area.

 

Westwood Blvd. Midblock near I-Drive

Average Yield Rate (April 2019): 19%

(19 out of 100 drivers yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk)

Tracked since: March 2019

Why we chose this crosswalk: Orange County is currently updating this crosswalk. The road was recently repaved, and the crosswalk repainted. We’ll note whether these changes impact driver behavior at this location.

 

Waterford Lakes Pkwy & Coquina Rock

Average Yield Rate (April 2019): 50%

(50 out of 100 drivers yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk)

Tracked since: January 2012

Why we chose this crosswalk: When data collectors measured yield rates at this crosswalk in 2012, it had a yield rate of just 4%. When they went out earlier this year, it had an average yield rate of 50%. Though its numbers have greatly improved, it is still not where we’d like it to be and OCSO will continue to enforce at this location.

 

Orlando

Columbia St. & Kuhl Ave.

Average Yield Rate (April 2019): 41%

(41 out of 100 drivers yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk)

Tracked since: January 2018

Why we chose this crosswalk: Located in an area with heavy foot traffic, this crosswalk is near one of the top ten corridors in the City of Orlando by number of motorist-caused crashes, according to MetroPlan Orlando. The city installed new signage here in late 2018 and we look forward to seeing how they impact driver behavior at this crosswalk.

 

Mercy Dr. & Kalwit Ln.

Average Yield Rate (April 2019): 60%

(60 out of 100 drivers yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk)

Tracked since: 2013/2019

Why we chose this crosswalk: When BFF began tracking this crosswalk back in 2013, its yield rate was only 12%. Recently, however, Orlando has made several engineering changes to this crosswalk, including moving it down the street and adding a rectangular rapid flashing beacon. So, while our originally monitored crosswalk is no more, the changes made should better serve people walking in the area and provide a safer place for them to cross.

 

Click here to see the list of crosswalks being enforced by the Kissimmee Police Department, St. Cloud Police Department and Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

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