The safest way to travel from point A to point B isn’t always a straight line. To emphasize this, Best Foot Forward partners from Orange County’s Walk-Ride-Thrive and Bike/Walk Central Florida visited students at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality to remind them to use the traffic signal at the intersection of Universal and Destination Parkway when crossing the street on foot from Rosen College to Lake Cay Commons.
Due to safety concerns, the crosswalk and rectangular rapid flashing beacon directly in front of the Rosen College drive across from Lake Cay Commons was recently removed. Orange County erected temporary fencing in the median to deter people from crossing there and added signs directing pedestrians to cross at the Universal and Destination Parkway intersection. UCF also put in a sidewalk and opening at the corner of its lot for more direct access to the intersection. However, Rosen College officials reported that students were continuing to cross the street at the location where the crosswalk was removed.
Orange County and BWCF staff handed out safety information and communicated face-to-face with students, staff and campus security. They thanked students who used the crosswalk at the intersection and also spoke with a few students who cut directly across the street.
“I guess they are just being lazy instead of safe,” remarked one student as she watched another run across the street through traffic. She said that she preferred to spend the extra three or so minutes it takes to use the traffic signal at the intersection instead of risking being hit by a driver.
Orange County plans to put in more signage and permanent fencing to keep students from crossing mid-block where traffic is rushing by at speeds often exceeding the 40-mph limit.
The former crosswalk had been a location monitored and enforced for Operation Best Foot Forward. Data collection from November 2018 showed about 50 of every 100 drivers yielding to a person crossing in the crosswalk. Orange County Sheriff’s Office has issued 94 tickets and 16 warnings here during seven Operation BFF details.