Today, Edgewater Drive was highlighted as a model approach in a new report released by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition.
Complete Streets is where a City considers and plans for all modes of transportation as equals. The report found that communities that used a Complete Streets approach to transportation reduced the number of automobile collisions and injuries, and increased the number of people biking, walking and taking transit.
The project on Edgewater Drive reconfigured a portion of the street from two lanes in both directions with no turn lane into a street with one lane in each direction with a turn lane. With the space gained after implementing this change, bike lanes were added on both sides of the street. The City accomplished this transformation by taking a complete streets approach to Edgewater Drive.
The report details:
With resident input, the City of Orlando devised an extensive series of performance measures to monitor the project’s progress. These measures included travel times, traffic volumes for all modes, and safety-related crash and injury rates, and speeding data.
The newly improved street was clearly safer than before. Total collisions dropped 40 percent, from 146 to 87 annually. The crash rate was nearly cut in half, from 1 crash every 2.5 days to 1 crash every 4.2 days. Injuries fell by 71 percent, from 41 per year to 12 per year, and instead of 1 injury every 9 days, the reconfigured street saw 1 injury every 30 days.
These safety findings are particularly impressive considering that automobile traffic only decreased 12 percent within a year following the redesign, while bicycle counts surged by 30 percent and pedestrian counts by 23 percent.
As a result, more people want to be on Edgewater Drive. The corridor has seen 77 net new businesses open and 560 new jobs created since 2008. Average daily automobile traffic, which saw a slight dip following project completion, has returned to its original pre-project level and on-street parking use has gone up 41 percent.
The most dramatic results, however, were in long-term real-estate and business investment.
Since the project was first proposed, the value of property adjacent to Edgewater Drive has risen 80 percent, and the value of property within half a mile of the road has risen 70 percent.
Having a City with just one Complete Street is not sufficient to our network. Realizing it would be next to impossible to try to make each street perfect for every traveler, we instead use the national Complete Street standards to aim for a comprehensive network of streets that emphasize different modes while still providing quality access for each one.
As our City continues to grow it’s important for us as a City to continue to engage with our neighborhoods and Main Streets to ensure that we maintain and enhance our walkable communities.
– Buddy Dyer, Mayor
You can read the full findings of the Smart Growth America report by clicking here