The City of Orlando, in partnership with Orange County, implemented a demonstration project on Curry Ford Road, between April 9-May 3, 2018, in an effort to test possible street improvements to make the corridor safer and more accommodating for all modes of travel. The installation, part of the national Safe Streets Academy initiative launched by Smart Growth America, showcased separated bike lanes on both sides of the street, and a new mid-block crossing with a refuge island for pedestrians, which provided a safe crossing opportunity along this busy street.
This project tested a Complete Streets idea in our city—at a time when pedestrian-friendly solutions are desperately needed. The City of Orlando adopted Complete Streets policies in 2015 to ensure transportation corridors are designed to accommodate all users and promote a safe and comfortable multimodal environment.
The project was installed on Curry Ford Road, from South Bumby Avenue to South Crystal Lake Drive.
Why Curry Ford Road?
During initial screening the Curry Ford corridor exhibited a high level of bicycle and pedestrian crashes compared to the total traffic volume. Traffic volumes in portions of the corridor did not warrant the five-lane undivided configuration that currently exists. In addition, vehicle speeds (85 percentile) were typically at rates that are not conducive to other modes of traffic – primarily pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Key findings resulting from the study include:
- The number of vehicles traveling above the speed limit decreased by 53%.
- Bicycle activity on the corridor increased by 50%.
- Pedestrian activity on the corridor increased by 38%.
- 89% of pedestrians crossing in the area of the new mid-block crossing utilized the new crosswalk.
- 55% of vehicles yielded to pedestrians in the new crosswalk; the average yield rate for the Central Florida region is 32%.
Safe Streets Academy
In 2017, the City of Orlando applied for and was awarded one of three coveted spots in the first-ever Safe Streets Academy. The Safe Streets Academy is a new technical assistance program, created by the National Complete Streets Coalition that brings together engineers, planners and related professionals from different jurisdictions to provide education in identifying the factors that contribute to high crash corridors and the countermeasures that can be applied to reduce crashes. In addition to reducing crashes, the countermeasures produce a better environment for all modes of traffic and create a better sense of place for residents and businesses. Read about our experience on developing demonstration projects, here.
For more information, please contact the City’s Transportation Engineering Division at 407.246.2281 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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