Las Olas Boulevard Pedestrian Improvements in Focus

A plaza with benches and specific areas designed for shade may soon sit atop the roof entrance to Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard. According to the South Florida Business Journal, city officials want to make this area a more than $800,000 priority. They also want to move the tunnel entrance more than 20 feet to the north. This move was presented after raised safety concerns that motorists weren’t able to see pedestrians nearby.

The truth of the matter is that Broward County is ranked as the second most dangerous metro area in the state for pedestrian accidents. From 2000 to 2009, there were close to 500 pedestrians killed along our roadways. These fatalities accounted for more than 21 percent of all of the traffic accident fatalities recorded throughout the year, according to Transportation For America.

Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyers understand that Florida’s traffic accident fatalities are on the rise too, especially for pedestrians.

For decades, federal dollars have been invested in thousands of miles of state and local highways. There has been a debate brewing in the 112th Congress about what constitutes the “federal interest” in transportation. Pedestrian safety is often perceived as a strictly local issue, but 67 percent of all 47,000+ pedestrian fatalities from 2000 to 2009 occurred on federal-aid roadways.

From 2000 to 2009, there were more than 5,100 people killed on Florida roadways. That’s 3 fatalities per 100,000 residents. A city where many people walk, like here in Fort Lauderadale, may see a higher absolute number of pedestrians killed than a place where road conditions dissuade people from walking.

Did you know that, on average, in the U.S. a pedestrian is injured in a traffic collision every eight minutes? Most of these accidents, injuries and fatalities occur as a result of combined inattentiveness of motorists and the failure of pedestrians to use crosswalks. One of the best ways we can help to reduce the risks of these accidents is to get more crosswalks and more pedestrian-related facilities.

Take a look at officials over in Lee County, which recently vowed more than $10 million for bicycle-pedestrian paths, according to FOX 4. The only problem here is that of the three phases, only one of them consists of an effective pedestrian improvement. The rest of them are solely based around the needs of bicyclists. And don’t think we’re singling out the bikers here. They need protection, too. But we need to focus on timely, cost-effective and comprehensive solutions.

Without the proper pedestrian facilities, including sidewalks, crosswalks and signals, we’re only putting our residents and visitors in serious danger.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

More Blog Entries:

Pedestrian Struck and Killed on South Federal Highway, Borward Injury Lawyer Blog, October 10, 2013
New Intersection System to Protect Pedestrians of Las Olas, Borward Injury Lawyer Blog, October 4, 2013

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