ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Audubon Park and Colonialtown neighborhoods in Orlando have become hotspots for near misses between pedestrians and drivers, raising concerns about safety in the area. Local resident Casey Leroy shared her personal experience of a close call while walking her dogs at the intersection of Bumby and Oregon. She recounted how a car came so close to hitting them that she was able to reach out and touch the hood of the vehicle to stop it.
Leroy’s terrifying encounter is not an isolated incident. She mentioned another incident where she and her dogs almost got run over while crossing Bumby in a designated crosswalk. She had to tap on the hood of the driver’s car and scream at him to make him stop. These incidents highlight the pressing need for improvements to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists in the area.
When asked about potential improvements, Leroy suggested better repainting of crosswalks and the use of holographic lights on stop signs to enhance visibility and awareness for drivers. She believes these measures would greatly contribute to a safer environment for everyone.
However, the safety concerns extend beyond residential streets. Local businesses located near Audubon Park School have expressed worries about the back alleyway, which poses a safety hazard for children leaving school. Co-owner of R. Nichols Shop, Nancy Hanniford, voiced her concerns about the way kids exit the school and the potential risks they face. The alleyway is often occupied by parents picking up their children, delivery trucks, and other businesses, creating a crowded and potentially dangerous situation.
Hanniford shared an incident where children ran into her car due to the chaotic environment. The combination of numerous kids moving quickly and the lack of a safe environment raises serious safety concerns for the community.
Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to address these issues. Residents can request a Traffic Calming Study from the City of Orlando, a process where the transportation engineering division identifies problems, collects data, and proposes solutions. This initiative aims to create a safer and more pedestrian-friendly environment in the affected areas.
The City of Orlando emphasized its commitment to safety and its efforts to find innovative ways to navigate city neighborhoods. Regarding the specific concerns raised about the back alleyway near Audubon Park School, the city acknowledged that it is a public right-of-way used for parking and vehicle access, making it impossible to cordon off. However, they mentioned plans to create additional protected shared-use biking and walking paths along the Corrine Drive corridor, which would provide a safer route for students traveling to and from school. In the meantime, the Transportation Department will evaluate the alleyway for potential additional signage or safety measures.
The city’s dedication to safety is further demonstrated through the implementation of Quick-Build pilot programs along Corrine Drive. These programs, including crosswalks, bike lanes, and parklets, are part of Orlando’s Vision Zero efforts, aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries within the city by 2040. The Corrine Drive project is scheduled to enter the design phase next year, with construction set to commence in 2026.
News 6 has reached out to Commissioner Richard Stewart and Commissioner Patty Sheehan, who represent the districts including the Audubon Park and Colonialtown neighborhoods, to address the concerns raised by residents. Additionally, the Orlando Police Department is being contacted to obtain data on the number of crashes investigated in Audubon Park over the past year.
Residents living in areas with traffic concerns are encouraged to request a Traffic Calming Study from the City of Orlando to ensure their voices are heard and safety measures are implemented. The city remains committed to prioritizing safety and exploring comprehensive solutions to create a secure environment for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike.
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