Considered the earliest mode of human travel, walking plays an important role in the transportation planning process. As resources for planning and constructing roadways decrease, pedestrian-focused projects continue to increase in importance.
Federal legislation and regulations require inclusion of pedestrian policies and projects in transportation plans. Walking is an efficient option for many short trips and can combine well with bus and passenger rail to increase travel options. Planners definitely recognize that walking should not be just an afterthought in transportation design.
Increased focus on pedestrians in the planning process can be linked to benefits ranging from improved health to reduced vehicle emissions and fuel use.
Focus on Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian planning extends beyond access and features – safety is also a crucial consideration. Sidewalks, crosswalks, and roadway design all impact pedestrian travel and safety.
In Central Florida, emphasis on pedestrian safety is growing -- both in the engineering and design areas and through public education and enforcement initiatives.
MetroPlan Orlando's Pedestrian Safety Action Plan addresses the need to improve the physical environment for pedestrians as well as the driving and walking behaviors needed to reduce accidents. The plan identifies the most pressing pedestrian crash problems and outlines solutions.
Our partner Best Foot Forward, a pedestrian safety coalition, aims to use low-cost engineering, community education and high-visibility enforcement techniques to increase pedestrian safety. The group's goal is to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries by 10 percent annually during the next five years.
To learn more about local pedestrian projects, visit the Bicycle & Pedestrian Program section of our site or contact Mighk Wilson, smart growth planner, at 407-481-5672 x318.
Florida's pedestrian laws are often misunderstood. Did you know that the term jaywalking is not a legal term and doesn’t appear in Florida statutes? The term originated in the early 1900s to describe rural people who had just arrived in cities – “jays” – and did not understand the informal traffic rules of the day. Pro-automobile interest groups in the 1920s used the term jaywalker extensively as an epithet to portray what had once been normal (and legal) pedestrian behavior as reckless and irresponsible.
Click here to view a summary of Florida’s pedestrian laws.
The Florida Bicycle Association provides a review of Florida’s pedestrian and bicyclist traffic laws specifically for police officers in the Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide. This guide assists officers with warnings, citations, and crash reports. To request a printed copy of the booklet, call 407-481-5672 x318.