GAINESVILLE, FL – The Florida Department of Transportation has started phase one in a series of safety projects to improve pedestrian safety in Gainesville, Florida, quickly.

The pedestrian safety improvements include new signage, crosswalk realignments, tree trimming to improve driver visibility. The urgency to correct the pedestrian zones comes after several fatal pedestrian accidents on roads around the University of Florida campus, especially University Avenue.

The City of Gainesville and the Florida Department of Transportation are studying new technology that “enhances pedestrian signal activation features” at several University Avenue positions. Other pedestrian technologies might include passive pedestrian detection at specific intersections, to recognize pedestrians as they cross the street without needing to push a button, illuminated pushbuttons at other intersections, and audible pedestrian signals at specific intersections to produce an audible sound for pedestrians indicating that it’s safe to cross the street.

A few other enhancements include placing new traffic signals on University Avenue at both Northwest 19th Street and Northwest 16th Street. These lights will be placed in August. The new traffic lights will create short blocks that will cause lower speed limits. The new projects underway include an emphasis on crosswalks and enhanced pedestrian lighting.

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