University of Florida and Florida Department of Transportation host traffic and pedestrian safety events on campus
University of Florida President Kent Fuchs joined the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on Monday for the start of a three-week tabling effort at the corner of University Avenue and Buckman Drive aimed to raise awareness about pedestrian and traffic safety.
The public event marks the latest effort in a larger push by UF, the Florida Department of Transportation, University of Florida Police Department and the City of Gainesville to create a safer pedestrian and traffic environment on and around campus. Those efforts include sweeping pedestrian-focused improvements that began in the summer and continue into the fall, such as adjusted stoplight timing that forces vehicles to progress more slowly along stretches of road and ultimately reduces traffic speed, increased and improved signage, freshly striped crosswalks, raised crosswalks with pedestrian signals, lighting upgrades, and signalized crosswalks at both 16th and 19th streets. The 16th Street location is integrated with a university project to improve the pedestrian connection to Newell Drive and Plaza of the Americas.
"We are always intent upon improving safety for our students," said UF Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Charlie Lane. "The recent incidents resulting in death and serious injury to our students have served to galvanize our greater campus community in making changes that will improve vehicular and pedestrian safety for years to come."
UF Student Government is working together with campus partners to raise awareness around traffic safety. The Nightlife Navigators hosted an event on Sunday, August 22 at UF Sorority Row to remind drivers to slow down on campus and increase pedestrian safety. The next Nightlife Navigators event will be Wednesday, August 25 at 10 p.m. on University Avenue to promote crosswalk use and late-night safety in a fun atmosphere.
"The goal is to work with the city and the Florida Department of Transportation to reimagine University Avenue and prioritize bicycle and pedestrian access and safety in that corridor," said UF director of planning Linda Dixon. "That translates into rethinking the operations and design of that corridor."
“The Florida Department of Transportation appreciates the strong relationship it shares with the University of Florida,” said FDOT District 2 Secretary Greg Evans. “We believe that working together to create comprehensive and focused safety improvements will result in changes that are beneficial to not only UF students, but to all residents and visitors to Gainesville. We will continue to work with our local safety partners to further our goals of a safer roadway.”