Lifestyle

Why are pedestrians hit, killed so often in Central Florida?



It’s one thing reported too regularly: pedestrians hit and killed through vehicles on Central Florida roads.Why does it appear to be taking place such a lot and what is being finished to mend it? “She was the most crazy and fun and supportive, just all-around good person,” Jessi Huff mentioned. She is speaking about her mother, Sharon Belin.“I want her to be known as this beautiful woman as she was, not just another person because she wasn’t just another person,” Huff mentioned.On Feb. 18, Belin was once crossing Hiawassee Road when she was once hit through a automobile and killed. The driving force fled the scene and nonetheless has no longer been discovered. Tragedies like this are changing into extra commonplace throughout Florida. New information displays the collection of pedestrians killed within the first six months of 2021 jumped 17% from the former yr. Thirty-seven p.c of the ones deaths had been reported in Florida, California and Texas. “Driving down Hiawassee Road, there were so many memorials, and it’s just heartbreaking. Because it’s just every quarter mile, there’s another one and another one, and you don’t really know what happened. But it’s there. And so obviously, something needs to be done,” Huff mentioned. So, what’s being finished?Lauren Torres from Orange County Public Works explains a number of initiatives the county has already began to give protection to pedestrians and cyclists.The county is all in favour of modernizing crosswalks – ones with flashing beacons and raised crosswalks.“It brings the student pedestrian up, some of our most vulnerable users, it brings them up to driver’s level. It also acts as natural traffic calming, because if you’re going over one, you have to slow down,” Torres mentioned.Mayor Jerry Demings’ penny gross sales tax initiative lists “pedestrian and bicycle safety” as a best problem. “The roadways that are out there today were built 20 to 30 years ago, and there was little, or no sense of accommodating pedestrians,” mentioned Renzo Nastasi with Orange County.Nastasi says a chief theme within the gross sales tax initiative is “multi-modal,” which means the transportation wishes to deal with all customers.In the initiative, there’s a focal point on pedestrian scale lighting fixtures because of this ensuring walkers and bikers are lit simply in addition to automobiles at night time.There also are discussions about enforcing mid-block pedestrian crossings, so there are extra alternatives to go the street.Embracing new generation may be a concern.“There are systems that can recognize a pedestrian stepping into the roadway without that person necessarily pushing a button. So, it’s automatic,” Nastasi said.Other topics discussed were connected systems, so sidewalks don’t abruptly end in places, and keeping the infrastructure well maintained.Local cyclists face their own set of challenges.Kyle Markel used to ride his bike to work every single day but doesn’t anymore because of his safety.“I’ll be riding down the road, and I’ll just have a car come whizzing by me and I can feel their rearview mirror close to my shoulder. And it’s scary, you know, so I’m constantly turning around like, is anyone coming?” Markel mentioned. Markel thinks extra emphasis on bicycle protection will have to get started on the DMV.“If new drivers are learning about the rights of other pedestrians, and cyclists, of course, I think that would help a lot,” he mentioned. Huff thinks any precautions are vital.“There are so many things that I was looking forward to, and memories that I wanted to spend with my mom, all that time has just been stolen from me,” she mentioned.There is now a $10,000 praise for somebody who supplies a tip that results in the arrest and conviction of Belin’s killer thru Crime Stoppers. Anyone with knowledge at the case can name 1-888-277 TIPS.

It’s one thing reported too regularly: pedestrians hit and killed through vehicles on Central Florida roads.

Why does it appear to be taking place such a lot and what is being finished to mend it?

“She was the most crazy and fun and supportive, just all-around good person,” Jessi Huff mentioned.

She is speaking about her mother, Sharon Belin.

“I want her to be known as this beautiful woman as she was, not just another person because she wasn’t just another person,” Huff mentioned.

On Feb. 18, Belin was once crossing Hiawassee Road when she was once hit through a automobile and killed. The driving force fled the scene and nonetheless has no longer been discovered.

Tragedies like this are changing into extra commonplace throughout Florida. New information displays the collection of pedestrians killed within the first six months of 2021 jumped 17% from the former yr. Thirty-seven p.c of the ones deaths had been reported in Florida, California and Texas.

“Driving down Hiawassee Road, there were so many memorials, and it’s just heartbreaking. Because it’s just every quarter mile, there’s another one and another one, and you don’t really know what happened. But it’s there. And so obviously, something needs to be done,” Huff mentioned.

So, what’s being finished?

Lauren Torres from Orange County Public Works explains a number of initiatives the county has already began to give protection to pedestrians and cyclists.

The county is all in favour of modernizing crosswalks – ones with flashing beacons and raised crosswalks.

“It brings the student pedestrian up, some of our most vulnerable users, it brings them up to driver’s level. It also acts as natural traffic calming, because if you’re going over one, you have to slow down,” Torres mentioned.

Mayor Jerry Demings’ penny gross sales tax initiative lists “pedestrian and bicycle safety” as a best problem.

“The roadways that are out there today were built 20 to 30 years ago, and there was little, or no sense of accommodating pedestrians,” mentioned Renzo Nastasi with Orange County.

Nastasi says a chief theme within the gross sales tax initiative is “multi-modal,” which means the transportation wishes to deal with all customers.

In the initiative, there’s a focal point on pedestrian scale lighting fixtures because of this ensuring walkers and bikers are lit simply in addition to automobiles at night time.

There also are discussions about enforcing mid-block pedestrian crossings, so there are extra alternatives to go the street.

Embracing new generation may be a concern.

“There are systems that can recognize a pedestrian stepping into the roadway without that person necessarily pushing a button. So, it’s automatic,” Nastasi said.

Other topics discussed were connected systems, so sidewalks don’t abruptly end in places, and keeping the infrastructure well maintained.

Local cyclists face their own set of challenges.

Kyle Markel used to ride his bike to work every single day but doesn’t anymore because of his safety.

“I’ll be riding down the road, and I’ll just have a car come whizzing by me and I can feel their rearview mirror close to my shoulder. And it’s scary, you know, so I’m constantly turning around like, is anyone coming?” Markel mentioned.

Markel thinks extra emphasis on bicycle protection will have to get started on the DMV.

“If new drivers are learning about the rights of other pedestrians, and cyclists, of course, I think that would help a lot,” he mentioned.

Huff thinks any precautions are vital.

“There are so many things that I was looking forward to, and memories that I wanted to spend with my mom, all that time has just been stolen from me,” she mentioned.

There is now a $10,000 praise for somebody who supplies a tip that results in the arrest and conviction of Belin’s killer thru Crime Stoppers. Anyone with knowledge at the case can name 1-888-277 TIPS.



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