EDIT: To be clear, any quotes in the post below are not our own. They are pulled directly from the Smart Growth America study.
“Orlando’s project faced significant resistance, especially from people who care more about their speed than others’ safety.” – Smart growth america
The City of Orlando was selected to take part in a month-long Safe Streets Initiative project that was hosted by Smart Growth America in November 2017. We wrote about it HERE.
The short-lived experiment transformed a short stretch of Curry Ford between South Bumby Avenue and South Crystal Lake Drive by removing two traffic lanes to add on-street bike lanes and a mid-block pedestrian crossing back in April, and people hated it. Click HERE to see some of the comments on our first story about the corridor.
The extreme case was meant to allow for data to be collected in real time that could be used as a model for Smart Growth America (SGA) to share with other cities looking to implement innovative solutions, like road diets and on-street bike lanes, to solve transportation problems.
The findings are now public and can be seen HERE in a public wrap-up report issued by SGA. Highlights from the report include the following quotes:
- “Although local business owners and nearby residents supported the demonstration project, people who commute through the neighborhood were resistant to the changes, which raised important questions about the necessary trade-offs between safety and speed when designing safer streets for people.”
- “Orlando has a serious traffic safety problem, especially for people walking. In NCSC’s Dangerous by Design 2016 report, the Orlando metropolitan area ranked as the third most dangerous region in the country for people walking.”
- “They focused on a half-mile segment of the street between Bumby Avenue and Crystal Lake Drive where in just five years, cars struck 16 people biking and eight people walking.”
- “Nearby residents, in particular, were enthusiastic about the changes and felt much more comfortable walking and biking along the street.”
- “In the first two weeks of the demonstration, the Orlando team received 142 emails, of which 39 percent were in favor of the project and 61 percent were opposed.”
- “… others thought that the project was unnecessary because “only” so many people died on Curry Ford Road in traffic crashes in recent years, despite the fact that the only acceptable number of deaths on our roadways should be zero.”
- “Although the city removed the project at the end of the one-month demonstration, the team hopes to continue negotiations with Orange County for permanent safety improvements on Curry Ford Road.”