Local and university officials are working to address a string of pedestrian deaths near the University of Central Florida campus. Orlando Sentinel reports that the main area of concern is along State Road 434 or Alafaya Trail, where heavy traffic runs along University Boulevard.
According to Orlando Sentinel, 10 pedestrians have been struck by cars and killed since 2006. The county and campus agreed in November 2016 to make the area surrounding UCF a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists. But since actual construction for the project is not set to start until mid-2020, officials are looking for a short-term solution.
“I’m trying my best to make it safe as safe as possible, as soon as possible,” Bonilla said.
There are certain steps that drivers can take to make their driving safer. For example, an estimated 292 people are killed and 18,000 injured every year from drivers backing into them. Backup cameras have been shown to reduce these collisions by 46%, but these are likely not the accidents that the UCF community is dealing with. Rather, pedestrians are often struck by oncoming traffic.
To control this, some safety officials are proposing mid-block crosswalks, barricades, wider sidewalks, and more lighting, according to Orlando Sentinel. Another proposal involved shutting down sections of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail during weekend nights, but the Orlando police said that rerouting traffic may actually make the area more dangerous. For the time being, however, local officials are receiving calls from concerned parents looking to expedite these safety measures.
The issue of pedestrian safety is not concentrated at UCF. According to a report by Miami Herald, pedestrian fatalities in Florida are at an all time high, making it the most dangerous state for pedestrians. This data comes from the Dangerous By Design report by Smart Growth America.
Out of the twenty metro areas ranked on the list, cities in Florida took the top seven spots.