Florida's Fake Crosswalks are Killing Pedestrians        

- A Letter from a Frustrated Florida Pedestrian & Cyclist -
By Jeff Redding

Jessica and
                          Lilia

(This is Jessica and Lillia who were killed while attempting to cross an Unmarked Mid-Block Crosswalk on Bay Shore Blvd in Tampa, Florida.  Rest in Peace)

PedestriansMatter.org exposes Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Crosswalk and Sidewalk Safety Violations and recommends Sponsorship / Co-Sponsorship of Pedestrian Safety Legislation.  State Contractors are making millions of dollars installing Unmarked Mid-Block Crosswalks that are not even close to falling within Safety Standards.  I don' think you will read about in the Florida Press, because it would be bad for tourism.   However, isn't killing tourists in our Fake Crosswalks also bad for tourism?

If you want to report broken sidewalks, light out, etc.. you can visit SeeClickFix.com where you can track the issue. 

Whistle-Blower Complaints
:

1.  The FDOT is violating Unmarked and Uncontrolled Mid-Block Crosswalk Safety Standards.
2.  The FDOT is violating Sidewalk Obstruction Safety Standards (and committing ADA Fraud).

The Smart Growth America, Dangerous By Design 2019 Report ranked the 104 largest U.S. metro areas according to a “Pedestrian Danger Index,”  9 of the top 10 most dangerous metropolitan areas were in Florida.  A September 25th, 2018 Wall Street Journal Article shows how Florida is also by far the deadliest State for Cyclist.

The Fake Crosswalks Link shows how the FDOT places Unmarked Mid-Block Crosswalks on High Traffic , High Speed Roads.  This failure to comply with established Safety Standards has resulted in many pedestrians deaths.  Mothers with Baby Strollers (Jessica and Lillia), elderly women using walkers (Isabel), school children (Alexis), and most likely many others have been killed.  Yet, the FDOT continues to install these dangerous Crosswalks all around the State.

Click on the Photos Link to view photos and Google Street Views of the 12 Fake Crosswalks recently installed on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota, Florida.  At a cost of $17 million, perhaps the most expensive Real Estate in Florida is not on our Beach Shores, it is in our Road Medians.

The Sidewalk Obstructions Link shows how the FDOT misrepresents the ADA to justify placing Light Posts in the middle of sidewalks rather than in the Utility Strip.  Children on bicycles, Mothers with strollers, and elderly disabled pedestrians all use the Sidewalk in the below photo.  Yet, the FDOT tells an ABC News Reporter that they can place the Post anywhere on the sidewalk as long as a Standard Wheelchair can pass by the post.  (As a vision impaired disabled veteran, I consider this Unlawful ADA Fraud.)

A few years ago Sarasota was ranked by Homeless Advocates as the "meanest city in America".  Sarasota had passed a Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance in order to throw homeless people in jail.  In Sarasota Homeless Veterans can be thrown in jail for Sidewalk Obstruction while the Government allows their Billionaire Contractor to actually obstruct the sidewalk in front of the Sarasota Veterans Medical Clinic.

Lamp
                      Post obstructs sidewalk in front of blind
                      pedestrian.
("If you see something, say something.")

Jeff Speck, City Planner and Author of Walkable City... said; "the reason why the deadliest state to be a pedestrian is in Florida is because more city streets in Florida belong to the state than in probably any other state. ... When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and when you're a state highway engineer, everything looks like a highway — even if it's a local main street for shopping."

Rest in Peace Charlie
UpdateOn September 25th, 2018, Lynn and Debbie McDermott's Great Pyrenees dog Charlie was electrocuted and killed while walking on the sidewalk Charlie had stepped on a FDOT Light Meter Pull Box. “He just started convulsing and shaking," described Lynn. "I put my hand down to try and grab his tail and my hand touched the top of the grate and it jolted me and at that moment I knew he was being electrocuted." ... "He started to foam at the mouth and at that time I knew it was pretty much too late,”

I feel so bad for the McDermotts.  These Light Post Meter Box Covers on the sidewalks are often broken.  This is another good reason for utilizing the Utility Strip for Utilities and not our Right of Way.  Rest in Peace Charlie.

You Can Help

Please click here to find contact information for your Florida Legislative Representatives, and ask them to sponsor two Pedestrian Safety Bills.

1.  The Jessica, Lillia, Isabel, and Alexis Pedestrian Safety Compliance Bill.  This Bill would relinquish control of Local Roads (roads with speed limits of 45mph and below) from the FDOT to Local Authorities (like in most other States).  This Bill would also require FDOT Employees to undergo training in the use of Unmarked Mid-Block Crosswalks and Pedestrian Safety Islands.

2.  The Sidewalk Obstruction Clear Zone Compliance Bill.  This Bill would require that State FDOT District ADA Coordinators have former Education and Work Experience in the ADA.  This Bill also requires FDOT Employees to undergo training in FHWA Clear Zone Safety Standards and ADA Wheelchair Pass By Standards.  In addition this Bill requires the FDOT to relocate Street Lamp Posts which violate FHWA Clear Zone Standards.

Light Pot Obstruct
                      Sidewalk in front of Adaptive Bicycle


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

"If you see something, say something" - unknown