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Smart Growth America recognizes Edgewater Drive as model for complete streets

Edgewater Drive Complete streets graphOrlando’s own Edgewater Drive is a national model for Complete Streets, according to a new report released by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition.

A Complete Street accommodates people of all ages and abilities traveling on foot, on bicycle, in transit, and in cars. Complete Streets legislation and policies are a huge step towards increasing bicycling and walking and decreasing bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities.

So why are Complete Streets such a big deal? Edgewater Drive is a prime example. The City of Orlando took an opportunity to turn a simple resurfacing into a four to three lane conversion project, adding bicycle lanes, a center turn lane, and wider on-street parking. The results were phenomenal.

Total collisions dropped 40 percent. The crash rate was cut in half. Injuries fell by 71 percent. And that’s all the more impressive considering reducing the lanes only decreased automobile traffic by 12 percent, while bicycle counts increased by 30 percent and pedestrians by 23 percent. More bicyclists and pedestrians – less crashes? It really works. Drivers are more likely to operate carefully and safely around cyclists and walkers when they’re used to seeing them.

Congratulations to the City of Orlando – Edgewater Drive is just the beginning for the City’s goal of a comprehensive network of streets accommodating all users.

Read the full Smart Growth America report by clicking here.

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