Orlando, the nation’s deadliest city for pedestrians, has a plan for safer streets

  • Author: Patrik Sisson
  • Source: Curbed
  • Date: 01/22/2020

"For Roni Wood, it happened just two blocks from her house. While walking with her 13-year-old son, J.T., to a local Citibank branch in Orlando, Florida, in February 2018, the mother of five was hit by a driver in a Jeep Laredo taking a right on red. Even though Wood had the signal and was walking her bike in the crosswalk on a sunny afternoon, the driver claimed he didn’t see her. He smashed his car into her left side, rolling her face up the windshield—then braked, tossing her six feet in the air and leaving her “mangled to her bicycle,” as she put it, in the middle of an oncoming lane of traffic. Luckily, J.T., who was behind his mom and out of the car’s path, quickly called 911 and stepped out in front of his mother to protect her.

Wood’s smiling demeanor as she describes the scene belies the seriousness of her injuries, which she says resulted in the “most pain she’d ever had in her life.” She ended up with four broken leg bones, which had to be held together by a plate and 10 screws; spent three months in a wheelchair; and ended up with $120,000 worth of medical bills, which were covered by insurance. She lives with the injuries every day: She can’t bend down to clean the filter of her backyard pool, and she can’t wear certain shoes because her feet will swell. The driver, whom Wood says she forgives, because everybody makes mistakes, didn’t receive a ticket; it was up to the discretion of the officer on the scene to write one, and even though Wood complained to his superior, no ticket was issued. The driver’s insurance premiums likely didn’t even go up."

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