Gainesville pedestrian advocacy groups create “Not one More” plan to limit pedestrian safety risks

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:14 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation(GCAT) and a facebook group that surfaced just over a week ago, Gators Against Student Pedestrian Deaths, have joined forces to create a call to action to local and state government.

“So the report basically details that it’s not a surprise that all these deaths are happening,” explains GCAT President, Chris Furlow.

University of Florida student Maggie Paxton was killed in a hit and run on university avenue in Dec. and 18-year old Sophia Lambert was struck and killed in result of a car accident this month, resulting in the gators against student pedestrian deaths facebook page.

They weren’t the first to be killed on the stretch of road, Gainesville Police Lt. Corey Dahlem, was killed by a drunk driver on University Ave. back in 2007.

As far as short term actions, Furlow says lowering the speed limit on university avenue and 13th street can be an immediate help.

“If you’re hit a 20 miles per hour you have a bout a 90-95 percent chance of surviving,” said Furlow.

A graphic in the report also states if you are hit at 40 miles per hour, there’s a 80 percent chance you won’t make it out alive.

More than 2,000 people walk across University Ave. in a typical day, so signs warning residents to slow down are immediate actions taken by the city. While it might take sometime, Gainesville pedestrian advocates are looking for ways to solve the issue for good.

“We’re asking that the city, the county, University of Florida lobby the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and at the state level to make University Ave. and 13th St. complete streets,” added Furlow.

Complete streets are built with driver, pedestrians and bikers in mind. The streets could mean wider side walks, narrow driving lanes, and more lighting which could take years.

The groups would also like to see speed tables, which would raise crosswalks, forcing drivers to slow down.

“Those are slightly more expensive and they disrupt the road ways a little bit more but there well worth it if it saves even a single life,” expressed Furlow.

Long term action could even mean shifting road ownership to the city, as the the state currently has control of University Ave. The advocacy groups encourage anybody who wants to help to contact FDOT, Florida Senators and sign this petition.

For those contacts, Click Here.

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