ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County law enforcement are taking to the streets to gather data to make certain walkable areas near schools safer.
- Authorities crack down on drivers at intersection near UCF
- Drivers who failed to yield for pedestrians received tickets
- Best Foot Forward says driver yield rate in the area is 45
- More Central Florida traffic coverage
We stopped Adrian Prewitt on her way to work Wednesday morning crossing over Alafaya Trail from University Boulevard, and she helped paint a picture on how dangerous the area actually is.
"Once you press that button over there, you have to wait for everybody to go and then you cross, so it's a confusing wait. And sometimes some cars aren't paying attention. So you almost get hit like every other day,” Prewitt described.
Earlier Wednesday morning, drivers who attend or live nearby UCF were given an “education” on how to yield for pedestrians. It was another crosswalk crackdown — part of Operation Best Foot Forward.
It was the first time the operation was performed at the intersection of Alafaya Trail and University Boulevard. Drivers who failed to yield for pedestrians at the intersection received tickets with a $164 fine and three points on their licenses.
"Drivers don't know that it's the law,” lamented Amanda Day of Best Foot Forward. “They are required to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk."
Back in January, attention for the area escalated when a teenage girl was hit while crossing the street and suffered injuries. However, it should be noted that Florida Highway Patrol’s report said that she was not at a crosswalk or intersection.
The crackdown on Wednesday at the intersection yielded eight citations in less than an hour, and we were told that there could have been more. This intersection is unique in that Best Foot Forward usually doesn’t monitor intersections with traffic signals.
Best Foot Forward officials say the driver yield rate in the area is 45 — that means that only 45 out of 100 vehicles yield to pedestrians at this intersection. Ideally, they would like that number to be 95.
This crosswalk crackdown, however, only marks the first step for change. Recently, Orange County government completed a traffic study of the surrounding area.
"(It includes) everything from reducing the speed of the road, to landscaping to a pedestrian bridge. Everything is on the table here," Day said.
One of the suggestions the study presented was that Alafaya Trail needs more signalized crosswalks. The study called it a dangerous road for all modes of transportation but especially pedestrians.
Best Foot Forward is a pedestrian safety coalition administered by Bike/Walk Central Florida.
It launched in Orange County in 2012. The program expanded to Osceola County in 2017 and later this year, it will expand to Seminole County as well.