Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Orlando gives SunRail riders "the finger"

This morning we finally got a response from Orlando traffic engineers about the lack of adequate pedestrian crossings for riders who get off at SunRail’s Church Street southbound platform. They basically gave riders the finger (and you know what finger we mean).
This response comes from Traffic Operations Engineer Frank Consoli:  We quote:

1.  I have contacted SunRail about the issues on the kiosk at the south station not accepting cash.  Their operations people are looking at it.

2.  To enhance pedestrian safety we have requested OPD to provide enforcement in this area.

3.  Staff is reviewing the current signage at this location.  Currently we have signs directing pedestrians to travel to the signalized crosswalks as the safest method to cross South Street.


We consider item #2 to be mean spirited.

Instead of coming up with a reasonable way for riders to cross the street, they’re going to send cops out to give riders jaywalking tickets.

Nice going, Orlando.


  1. You need to rethink your reaction, or at least define what you consider a "reasonable way for riders to cross the street" in order to justify your reaction. Enforcement of traffic laws that exist specifically for pedestrian safety is one of the tools available to the city to ensure pedestrian safety. It is effective, immediate, and cheap, since it's already being paid for by our taxes. That sounds pretty reasonable to me. Adding a stoplight is none of those things, and causes concerns with stalling traffic coming off of the I-4 exit ramp as motorist stop mid block for a pedestrian signal. Traffic studies, planning, construction. All these things take time and money, and the end result could end up causing other problems. You could build a pedestrian bridge, but that takes longer to design and construct, and costs more. Also, adding a pedestrian bridge would be ineffective, since the same people who won't walk half a block to a safe crossing point, also won't walk up and down a pedestrian bridge. You could just put a "Watch for Pedestrians" sign up, but that is a false sense of security, owing to the motorists that just exited I-4 and are not in the mindset to be dealing with a suggestion that they should yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian somewhere outside of marked, signalized cross walk. You weren't given the finger, you were given an answer. Keep in mind that every person who crosses mid block, away from the signalized crosswalks half a block away, are indeed breaking the law. Judging by the number of people I see do this daily when I get off the train, they likely could use a reminder of the devices and structures that exist for their safety. Every time a car has to stop for someone j-walking, that driver becomes rightly frustrated. I have seen many of these quite angry drivers accelerate away after having to stop, and even quite a few then not yield to pedestrians who actually complied with the law (and posted signs) and are in the crosswalk. Their behavior is not excused, but the problem wouldn't exist if people could muster the sense of mind to walk half a block to safety. Also, part of enforcement mentioned likely includes ticketing the motorists not yielding to pedestrians as they make their California-roll right hand turns onto South St. from the exit ramp. How's about you use your soapbox to encourage riders to engage in behavior that keeps them, motorists, and other pedestrians safe? Or, at least do that before you start crying out about being offended that a city official offered to have the city do precisely what they are paid to do.

  2. Civic Steve: are you telling me that we can't figure out how to solve the stupidity problem of the church street station without getting law enforcement involved? That station (as many others) were designed horribly. The riders deserve a proper fix, and not a blow off of "we will study it and look at it later). Why are you not DEMANDING a fix to the kiosk? Why are you not actually doing something with pedestrian flow?