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December 4, 2018

Five months ago, a 49-year-old was riding a bicycle to work along State Road 50 in Orange County when he was struck by a passing motorist. The injuries that this person sustained as a result of this bicycle accident were extremely serious, and despite the best efforts of the first responders and other medical staff, the cyclist died as a result of the crash.

Since that time, the wife of the cyclist has worked to create changes in the area where her husband was killed. Her motivation lies in the fact that the incident took place even though her husband was doing everything possible to prevent such a collision. According to official reports, the cyclist’s bike lights were on, he was wearing a reflective safety vest, and he was wearing a helmet. Despite all of this, a driver passing through the area struck and killed him.

The cyclist’s wife began a campaign to see this particular length of State Road 50 improved. Her ideas included such things as a bike line, sidewalks, and lowered speeds. After an official speed study performed by the Florida Department of Transportation, the decision was reached to accept one of the individual’s proposals: the speed limit in the area was lowered from its place hovering between 50 mph and 55 mph to the slightly better rate of 45 mph. Signs announcing the change began to go up towards the end of November, much to the delight of many residents in the area.

The stretch of State Road 50 affected by the change goes from Chuluota Road all the way to the western end of Corner School Drive.

It is not clear if the town of Bithlo, where the incident took place, will look into any other changes to ensure that the safety of their motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians are taken into consideration. While the adjustment of the speed limit is a positive step, it is unlikely that a shift of 10 mph will cause many drivers – especially those used to traveling through the area at a higher rate of speed – to adjust their driving habits.

Still, this initial step indicates the willingness of officials within Orange County to listen to the complaints of its residents.

Sources:

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