Orlando Area the Most Dangerous Place to be a Pedestrian

5.1.14 Sunrail needs crosswalks

A report out from Smart Growth America shows that the Orlando area has the most dangerous roads for pedestrians.

The study ranked metropolitan areas based on the share of local commuters who walk to work indexed against pedestrian fatalities.

When pedestrian deaths were compared to population, Central Florida ranked 20th in the state.

In June 2012 a local pedestrian safety coalition, called Best Foot Forward, formed to address these challenges in Orange County and the City of Orlando. Best Foot Forward’s objective is to increase driver yielding behavior at marked crosswalks and reduce injuries and deaths by 50% over five years.

Since launching Best Foot Forward driver yield rates on roads with speed limits at 35 mph or less in Orange County and the City of Orlando jumped from 12% to 48% due to a police ticketing drivers for failing to yield, City and County engineering improvements at those crosswalks, and educating the community.

For roads with speed limits 40 mph and higher, only 1.2% of drivers yielded to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Now, driver yield rates at these crosswalks jumped to 5%.

“As stated in the report, the majority of pedestrian deaths occur on roadways that are dangerously designed and engineered to move cars, not people, and the driver yield rates are just one more indicator that we have much more work to do locally,” says Amanda Day, project director for Best Foot Forward.

Photo courtesy Best Foot Forward.

17 comments
Jeffery McClain
Jeffery McClain

Not at all shocking. Crosswalk markings are almost always faded or non-existent. Cross signals are maddeningly confusing and make pedestrians run to avoid cars or cross against the signal out of frustration. Major roads like SR 50, SR 436, SR 17-92 are often configured like speedways. Very few pedestrian bridges. Drivers act as if they have not only the right of way but also total disdain for anyone "forced to walk". The problem is cultural more than anything else. Change the prevalent "car culture" of Central Florida and the infrastructure changes will be quickly implemented.

Xander Rich
Xander Rich

People do use crosswalks in downtown, and frequently. I walk in downtown almost daily and I see it a lot. It's the people who aren't locals that come here and walk around like drunk lizards, all willy nilly.

Angela Reed Miller
Angela Reed Miller

People in Orlando never seem to use sidewalks or crosswalks, so it's not surprising.

Courtney Miller
Courtney Miller

The railroad crossing marks an intersection? Is it because of the white stop bars?

jsucese
jsucese

Don't put all the blame on vehicle drivers...every single day I see people walking in front of busy traffic with no regard to their safety. I have never seen so many "jay" walkers in my life. If you start to ticket these "jay" walkers you will see a decrease in the deaths. Hit them where it hurts the most and most will comply. Tickets must be given to drivers who do not yield to pedestrians. Cops should observe Crosswalks along OBT near Holden and you will see what I mean. Cars will not stop for pedestrians at the crosswalks. Cops need to focus on both parties and you'll see a decrease in deaths.

Robert Soviero
Robert Soviero

Haha, I took that picture. Nice forward Katy Skye! Sorry to hear the bad news again, but that should help us make things safer, again...

Jill Dunbar
Jill Dunbar

It's dangerous to ANYONE on or near the road.. pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, etc....oh and squirrels, raccoons, possums, & armadillos.

Bill Truett
Bill Truett

I don't disagree that changes shouldn't be made and education didn't be provided for both drivers and pedestrians, just noting that better picture could have been used

Bungalower
Bungalower

Yep and Best Foot Forward is working to create a crosswalk there. Right now there is a Lymmo stop and SunRail and no save way to cross other than to walk down the street. Worth noting that if they crossed at the tracks they would be making a legal crossing and drivers would need to yield. Just because there isn't a painted crosswalk doesn't mean it's not a crosswalk.

AlexGiraldez
AlexGiraldez

Not particularly safe for bikes either. Definitely something the city needs to work on. @Bungalower

Bungalower
Bungalower

Agree. Main reason we covered was to remind people to yield to pedestrians.

Xander Rich
Xander Rich

Let's get that pedestrian bridge up over Colonial!

Whit Blanton
Whit Blanton

Most of crashes and fatalities occur on high speed roads like SR 436, 441, etc. Orlando and a few other cities are actually pretty walkable in the core neighborhoods. Corrine could get a lot better, though.

Teresa Precourt Watkins
Teresa Precourt Watkins

The article referencing the group Best Foot Forward. Check out their Facebook page regarding their mission to educate drivers and pedestrians on the rules of the road.

Tom Virtuoso
Tom Virtuoso

Does this take into account the number of J-walkers and people crossing when they're not supposed to? Both pedestrians and drivers are out of control downtown.

CarlosVazquez2
CarlosVazquez2

Sometimes using a crosswalk isn't practical when you have to walk 5 to 10  minutes to get to one and your destination is right across the street.


And even if you're at a crosswalk, have you seen how cars whip around the corners, not checking if a pedestrian is there? It's happened to me personally many times. Sometimes it feels safer crossing in the middle of the street, where a car can at least have time to see you.


The way I see the problem is that drivers in Orlando aren't accustomed to pedestrians. Especially if they're coming from the suburbs, where you rarely see one.

Hence why I agree with this remark:

"For roads with speed limits 40 mph and higher, only 1.2% of drivers yielded to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Now, driver yield rates at these crosswalks jumped to 5%."