Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety 

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Team was convened in response to a “Dangerous by Design 2016” study, released by Smart Growth America, which shows the Lakeland-Winter Haven metropolitan area as the sixth-most dangerous metro area for pedestrians in the country.

Over the last year 145 people lost their lives to traffic crashes in Polk County, and these tragedies continue to have heartbreaking and long-lasting effects on families, friends and our community. The Polk Transportation Planning Organization together with Polk Vision has established a target of zero traffic-related fatalities because even one fatality is one too many for a loved one’s family. Speed has been identified as a major factor contributing to traffic fatalities, and the chances of death or serious injury doubles each time a vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour increases its speed by 10 miles per hour.

A driver’s awareness of their surroundings decreases as speed increases, and a driver needs time to see and stop for bicyclists, walkers and other vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists, including school-aged children, are among our most vulnerable road users, and a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 30 miles per hour has an 80 percent chance of survival, while the same pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour only has a 20 percent chance of survival; and

The Polk Vision Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Team is working on tackling this serious issue through the creation and implementation of a multi-pronged strategic plan. Every driver, passenger, pedestrian and bicyclist is someone’s loved one and everyone wants to come home safely.
The Polk Vision Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety Team hopes to reduce accidents/fatalities with a 3-pronged approached focusing on engineering, education and enforcement. They recently held a walking meeting, touring several high traffic areas for both vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists and learned more about the importance of targeting these 3 elements.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Team

Mary Crowe – Co, Chair,  Florida Southern College

Tom Deardroff – Co Chair, Polk County Board of County Commissioners

Chuck Barmby   - City of Lakeland

John Bohde - Polk County Board of County Commissioners

Jason Brown  - Road & Trail Bicycles

Millie Brown - Florida Department of Transportation

Deborah Chesna - Florida Department of Transportation

Julia Davis - Polk Transportation Planning Organization

Diana Degroot - Lakeland Regional Health

Bryan Dorman -Bartow Police Department

Steve Githens - State Farm

Lauren Hinton - Florida Health Department in Polk County

Patricia Jackson - City of Polk City

Ryan Kordek - Polk Transportation Planning Organization

Jason Lewis - Kimley - Horn

Pam Luce - Polk County Public Schools

Jane Nelson - Florida Department of Health in Polk

Mianne Nelson -PGTV

Angelo Rao - City of Lakeland

Lauren Shinholster - All Children’s Hospital Safe Routes to School

Bill Skelton - Polk County Board of County Commissioners

Donna Swygert - Stand Up Polk

Ed Trail - City of Haines City

Todd Vargo - City of Lakeland