A federal transportation grant of nearly $12 million has been awarded to the Orlando area to develop technology protecting pedestrians and cyclists, along with lessening traffic woes.
Much of that grant will be used near and at University of Central Florida as a test site for safety and efficiency applications that, ideally, would be expanded in the region.
The technology is new and unfolding, while the challenges of pedestrian and cycling safety in Central Florida are entrenched.
“Not by any stretch” will the grant immediately solve risks for people walking and riding bikes, said Jeremy Dilmore, a Florida Department of Transportation program manager in traffic operations.
A cyclist rides with the flow of traffic down Corrine Drive in Orlando. (Jacob Langston / Orlando Sentinel) But the cash infusion will give the state and region a chance to try out and expand technologies that incorporate sensors, phones and data management to alert drivers, pedestrians and cyclists of a possible collision, Dilmore said.
Eric Hill of the region’s transportation planner, MetroPlan Orlando, said the technology development also will be done in Pine Hills, the community west of Orlando with a higher rate of pedestrian accidents.
PedSafe, GreenWay, SmartCommunity, SunStore. — Technology programs covered by the $11.9 million grant. Getting the grant was a victory; it was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program.”
The program is awarding as much as $60 million annually from 2016 through 2020; grants went to 10 projects nationally this year, with the $11.9 million directed to Central Florida as the largest.
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