Orlando City Council member Daisy Lynum’s recent close call while crossing the street has given her a new sense of urgency about making Central Florida streets and highways safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Early last summer, she was crossing a street in a crosswalk in west Orlando when she was nearly struck from behind by a car. The near-accident drove home what Orlando personal injury attorneys and concerned citizens have been saying for years. They have been urging policymakers on the state and local level to finally do something about our area’s reputation as the most dangerous place in the country for people who prefer to walk or ride their bikes to get around.
Ms. Lynum had the right of way while crossing the street that day and is very fortunate that the car merely brushed her instead of striking her. She was not hurt, but her close call motivated her to take action. She voted in favor of awarding $41,750 to the non-profit group Bike/Walk Central Florida to facilitate the launch of a program that organizers hope will make area roads safer for everyone. She was also very direct in her assessment of our area’s well-documented problems with pedestrian accidents.
"Drivers really do not respect pedestrians. We have not done enough to make them respect pedestrians," she said before casting her vote as a member of MetroPlan Orlando, which sets transportation policy in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties.
Regular readers of this blog and residents of Central Florida know very well that the Orlando metropolitan area has been ranked the most dangerous place in the country for pedestrians. In 2010, 59 pedestrians were struck and killed by automobiles in the three-county area. While area officials are working with groups such as Bike/Walk Central Florida and allocating resources for more sidewalks to combat the problem, many feel that policymakers are overlooking the true nature of the problems. Many say that our area’s car culture and an infrastructure built to facilitate motorized transportation are the real roots of the pedestrian accident problem. Brad Kuhn, Director of Bike/Walk Central, agrees.
"It’s hard to argue that changing the culture is not necessary," he said.
The $41,750 award will be added to a $108,250 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation to fund an 18-month project called "Triple E Initiative" that supporters are very excited about. The Initiative aims to educate pedestrians, drivers and law enforcement personnel about pedestrians’ rights and fund inexpensive measures such as painting crosswalks with brighter colors to make area streets and highways safer.
Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham fully endorses these and other measures to make our area safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and everyone on area roadways. Since 1977, he has used his skills, resources and experience to help people injured in Orlando pedestrian accidents receive the compensation they need to cover medical bills and other accident related costs. If you or a close family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident, call 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 today to schedule a free consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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