People On Foot

Orlando Sentinel: Pedestrian crossings an accident waiting to happen – Letter to the Editor

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Did you see the letter to the editor about pedestrian safety in the Tuesday, March 22 edition of the Orlando Sentinel?

Patrick Kennedy from Apopka calls out drivers for not yielding to people walking in mid-block crossings on Orange Blossom Trail (mid-block crosswalks are unsignalized and typically located between intersections with stoplights). Our pedestrian safety initiative –  Best Foot Forward – just started monitoring a crosswalk like this on OBT north of Holden Avenue. In February, we saw only 3 percent of drivers yielding to PEDS in the marked crosswalk.  So there is definitely data backing up Patrick’s concerns.

He also mentions the challenge of yielding to people walking in a crosswalk when drivers in the other lane don’t stop.  It’s actually against the law to pass a car stopped for a pedestrian at a marked crosswalk. You could get a $164 ticket and three points on your license.

Read Patrick’s full letter to the editor below.


Orlando Sentinel – Letter to the Editor | March 22, 2016

Pedestrians at risk

I frequently commute to work on Orange Blossom Trail, south of Interstate 4, where there are several marked pedestrian crossings at about the midpoints of large blocks. The crossings are clearly marked with visible signs, and there is a stop line in advance of the crosswalk.

I am amazed at how few drivers stop when there is a pedestrian or a bicyclist waiting to cross. Recently, I stopped for a young girl on a bike, and, fortunately, so did the car behind me. No cars in the other two lanes even slowed down, and the girl had to wait until there were no cars coming to complete her crossing.

On other occasions, I have had pedestrians waiting to cross wave me on, when it became apparent that I was the only car that was going to stop. I have also had the experience of pedestrians trying to cross without using the crosswalks when they were less than 25 feet from the marked crossing.

Although I believe the intent of these pedestrian crossings is good, I don’t want drivers to be rear-ended because they stopped, and I don’t want pedestrians to be injured or killed because they believed the signs. In such a situation — three lanes in each direction with heavy traffic including buses and trucks — unless the pedestrian crossings are marked with flashing lights when someone is waiting to cross, or there is some other device to alert motorists, this is an accident waiting to happen.

Patrick A. Kennedy, Apopka

View the original article here.

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