In 2012, the leaders of Orange County and Orlando came together to form the initial Best Foot Forward Coalition. Together, they believed they could make the roads safer by focusing on one critical behavior: getting more drivers to yield and stop for people in marked crosswalks. Over the last 8 years, BFF has tracked significant improvements in driver yield rates at observed crosswalks.
62% of residents of the Greater Orlando Metro live in Orange County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Even more work there. That made Orange County and the City of Orlando the obvious starting point for BFF to make a big difference in pedestrian safety.
Each year, the BFF Steering Committees choose a number of crosswalks to monitor and enforce. The steering committees are made of up city and county engineers, planners, law enforcement, representatives from the public schools, the health department and public transit. Crosswalks are chosen based on a number of factors including: ones near schools, LYNX bus stops or SunRail stations, ones in high-crash corridors, ones with a high number of resident complaints, ones with engineering changes or counter-measures already planned.
Below are the 2020 crosswalks chosen. Click on each crosswalk to see Google Street View.
Best Foot Forward launched on May 30, 2012 at a standing-room-only press conference hosted by Orlando Health, timed to coincide with National Trauma Awareness Month.
Speakers included Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley, Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker, Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin, Graciela Noriega-Jacoby, chief of staff, Orange County Government, Howard Barley, Executive Director, MetroPlan Orlando, Patty Maddox, CEO/President, Winter Park Health Foundation, John Lewis, CEO of LYNX, Ronald Blocker, Retired Orange County Public Schools Superintendent, John Promes, MD, Trauma Medical Director, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney.
More than 150 attendees were present and the launch was advanced in print and video by the Orlando Sentinel, leading that day’s paper and was followed up the next day with an article, plus a column and editorial. It was covered by all local television stations, all news radio, in English and Spanish, and picked up by the national NPR blog “Transportation Nation.”
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