Friday, October 10, 2014

Please eliminate traffic death trap for SunRail riders

Check out the accompanying photo at the Church Street SunRail station in downtown Orlando.

This is what a death trap looks like.

Every morning hundreds of SunRail riders who get off the train at Church Street – one of SunRail’s busiest stations – play dodge cars while crossing South Street because there is no crosswalk or traffic signal to help them.

Granted, the pedestrians in this photo are jaywalking. But they really don’t have any other way to get across the very heavy two-way traffic on South Street. Conditions will only get worse as the sun rises later and riders are left to cross South Street in the darkness.

This is not a new problem. Riders tweeted about this crossing back in May, shortly after SunRail began operations. Yet this dangerous situation continues. Every one of those riders is in danger when they cross this street.  We're not traffic engineers, but this location cries out for a clearly marked crosswalk, zebra strips on the pavement and maybe even some warning lights.

Even though this problem is at the SunRail station, the responsibility rests with the city of Orlando. You would think Orlando would have jumped on this situation months ago, especially considering this crossing is around the corner from Orlando City Hall. Mayor Buddy Dyer has spoken eloquently in the past about having a pedestrian friendly, walkable downtown. So what's up Mr. Mayor?  It's time to walk the talk (bad pun intended).

Hope it doesn’t take someone getting killed before something is done to make it safer for SunRail riders to cross the street in the morning on the way to work.

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