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Leaders work to bring pedestrian safety program to Volusia County

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Making streets safer for pedestrians is a new, top priority for leaders in Volusia County.

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Bike Walk Central Florida, a program that has been in place for over a decade in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties, will soon hit sidewalks and crosswalks across Volusia County with its Best Foot Forward Initiative.

Representatives will work toward improving the rates of drivers yielding to pedestrians through education, enforcement and engineering.

“We really have data collectors go out on site to each individual crosswalk. They will cross that crosswalk twenty times, ten times each way. They will wait about an hour and do twenty more crossings, wait another hour and do twenty more,” said Best Foot Forward Program Manager Vince Dyer.

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County Council Chair Jeff Brower said updated infrastructure would be crucial with so much development happening across the county, including DeBary getting its first downtown and the SunRail expansion.

“We are actually building a bicyclist welcome station at the train station. So they’ll come here, they’ll go to DeLand, they will go to Daytona Beach because our trails go north, south, east, west, all over the county,” Brower explained.

The Florida Department of Transportation will pay for the partnership for the first two years.

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After that, the county will make recommended updates and decide if it wants to continue. It would cost between $60-$80,000 per year.

According to FDOT data, there have been 22 pedestrian deaths in Volusia County in 2023. The county was recently named one of the most deadly in the country for walkers and bikers by the nonprofit Smart Growth America.

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