Complete Streets

The Community Traffic Safety Program in Northeast Florida is committed to education, outreach, and the Target Zero goal of reducing serious injuries and deaths on our roadways. This presentation explains why FDOT’s Complete Streets are essential for safety and mobility. Learn about the policy, design guidance, strategies, and project examples.

Watch the video presentation of Complete Streets:

Because most of Florida’s population growth and development occurred in the “age of the automobile,” our transportation system can be challenging to non-motorized road users—pedestrians and cyclists. Complete Streets are essential for the safety and mobility of vulnerable road users.

The presentation includes national and Florida bicycle and pedestrian crash trends. In 2019, Florida had the highest number of bicycle fatalities. Pedestrian crashes account for approximately 20 percent of the fatal crashes in the 18 counties comprising District Two.

Recognizing these challenges, the FDOT Complete Streets policy was officially adopted in 2014. The approach for the Department is to consider all users of all ages and abilities in how it plans, designs, builds, and operates its transportation system. Complete Streets are roads designed not only for passenger cars and trucks but also for transit riders, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Flip through the Complete Streets presentation:

The context classification system broadly identifies the various built environments in Florida based on the general characteristics of land use, development patterns, and connectivity along a state roadway. These attributes provide cues to the types of uses that will likely utilize the road. This is used to make decisions about design parameters. The presentation provides an overview of each roadway context class.

Eight Context Classifications can be found throughout Northeast Florida:

  • C1 Natural – lands preserved in a natural or wilderness condition, including lands unsuitable for settlement due to natural conditions.
  • C2 Rural – sparsely settled areas which may include agricultural land, woodland, and wetlands.
  • C2T Rural Town – rural and natural areas immediately surround small concentrations of developed regions.
  • C3R Suburban Residential – primarily residential uses within large blocks and a disconnected, sparse major roadway network.
  • C3C Suburban Commercial – mostly non-residential uses with large building footprints and parking lots. Buildings are within large blocks and a disconnected/sparse roadway network.
  • C4 Urban General – areas with a mix of uses set within small blocks with a well-connected roadway network.
  • C5 Urban Center -typically concentrated around a few blocks and identified as part of a civic or economic center of a community with a well-connected grid network.
  • C6 Urban Core – areas with the highest densities and building heights within large, urbanized areas. Buildings have mixed uses and are close to roadways with a well-connected grid network.
  • LA Limited Access – roadways with grade separation and limited access, such as interstates and expressways.

Examples of strategies used in District Two to make streets safer and more complete for all users:

Towards the presentation’s conclusion are examples of successful Complete Streets projects in the Northeast Florida area, including before and after photos. One project on US 17/Main Street in Jacksonville reduced lane widths to provide space for a landscaped median and introduced street trees, enhanced crosswalks, and other features to manage speeds. As a result, it improved safety and made the roadway more accommodating for pedestrians.

Another example is along Archer Road in a more suburban area of Gainesville; we see how lane widths were reduced to provide for bicycle lanes. For instance, the introduction of a mid-block crosswalk to improve pedestrian connectivity.

A shared-use path was constructed on the right-of-way along State Road 207, a rural highway in East Palatka. The design and operation of the roadway were left unchanged for motorists. However, the new pathway provides for safer mobility of cyclists and pedestrians along the road.

We hope you take this opportunity to learn about Complete Streets and try new transportation options. The state of Florida celebrates Mobility Week to promote awareness of safe, multimodal transportation choices. Additionally, please check out our bicycle and pedestrian resources, and share the traffic safety messages.

Guide for Virtual CTST Meetings

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program uses Microsoft Teams for virtual team meetings. During the past two years, we have expanded the reach of our multi-county teams to serve our 18-county district better. We bring FDOT support to our monthly meetings from various department areas, including maintenance, public information, and engineering. This article is a guide for virtual CTST meetings and includes instructions for the Microsoft Teams platform and tips for looking and being your best as an attendee.

Meeting virtually has become the industry standard and allows more players to participate from a broader range across our district. While we miss meeting in person, this is an opportunity to save resources, reduce travel time and expenses, and bring vital members into the fold. 

How to Get Started

Teams can be downloaded as an app for your computer desktop, Android, or iOS: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/download-app. Or you can join on the web: https://teams.microsoft.com/. Chances are, you have received a Teams invitation to a meeting, which might look something like the below. All you need to do is click on the link, and Teams will launch on your computer or in the mobile app. Using either the web version or the app version is just fine.

Guide for virtual CTST meetings

I clicked to join the meeting; what do I do on the first screen before I enter?

Once you click on the meeting link, you will have the chance to join via computer audio (which is the default) or by phone audio, in which case you would call in by phone and make sure your computer audio is off. You can also choose to join with your camera on or off. You can select a background filter (like a blur, a gallery photo, your photo, or no background filter, which means people WILL see your actual background in your space). Then, choose Join now.

I am in the meeting, now what?

Once you are in the meeting, you will most likely see a blank screen with tools on the screen’s top and/or side. Other members’ cameras (or their names) will begin to appear in the main part of the Teams screen as people join the meeting. Cameras/names will remain in this area until the host shares their screen with a presentation, if there is one. If not, cameras or names stay in that space.

How to toggle the camera and mic, how to share, and how to leave

You can click on the camera and the mic to turn them on and off. If you are asked to share your screen, click on Share and choose your screen or content. You can also leave the meeting by clicking on the red Leave button. We ask that you remain muted at all times unless you are speaking due to feedback and background noise.

How to use the chat feature, react, and view participants

We use the chat area to share our contact information and other helpful information, resources, and links. Everyone in the meeting can click on the “Chat” talk bubble to view the chat area. Teams does have a “Reactions” option that allows you to react to content (like, love, applaud, laugh, and surprise). We do not typically use the “raise hand” option in our meetings, it is an option if necessary. To see the other participants in the meeting, you can click on the “People” option.

Be the Best Virtual Meeting Attendee You Can Be

Let’s face it; meetings have always been a challenge.  But today, when people aren’t in the same room, it is more challenging than ever to get people to pay attention, let alone participate. Here are some tips on making your meeting experience more enjoyable for you and the other meeting participants.

Turn Your Camera On

Having your camera on lets the meeting host know that you care and plan to pay attention, versus not turning on your camera while multitasking and only half listening. Keeping your camera on whenever possible offers genuine involvement and helps everyone know you are engaged during the meeting.  

Call People By Name

All CTST meetings begin with the teams introducing themselves.  Discussions are much more successful and meaningful when people call you by name.  It automatically makes you feel important, and it makes you want to contribute to the meeting. 

Never Hold Side Conversations

Sometimes people in the same office need to join the team meeting, so they call together.  Calling in together is good and allows for camaraderie, but remember that you are in a group meeting.  If you need to take a phone call or engage in a side conversation with a co-worker, remember to mute your microphone so it will not interrupt the flow of the forum and distract the other attendees.

Remain Positive

Any meeting is always more enjoyable when the mood is upbeat.  Traffic safety is not rocket science, but we accomplish great things together.  We need to convey that energy – smiling when talking and acknowledging team members with accolades for tasks well done and solutions achieved.

How to Look Your Best During Virtual Meetings

While continuing to have remote meetings via video calls, we find people are looking more closely at how you show up, not less. Here are some tips and tricks to look your best because how you show up matters.

Lights

  • Avoid light behind you or in dark spaces, which add video noise and shadows and create imperfections
  • Face a window to allow the natural light to fill your features and hide facial lines and dark circles
  • If no window is available, place a tall lamp slightly behind the computer camera, so the light falls nicely on your face
  • Consider purchasing a “ring light” for consistent lighting (lots of options on Amazon for $15-30)

Camera

  • Position the camera slightly above eye level and angle down
  • Use a laptop stand ($16-40), box, basket, or anything stable to elevate the computer
  • Consider purchasing a webcam for more features and better quality ($30-$130)

Sound

  • Use earbuds or noise-canceling headphones
  • An external microphone that plugs into your computer via USB can be used to sound more professional for those of you hosting virtual meetings, podcasts, or webinars

Background

  • If you cannot find a great space in your home or office or out on location (e.g., parked in your car), use MS Teams Background filters to blur the background
  • Download a Traffic Safety Virtual Background from our website https://trafficsafetyteam.org/traffic-safety-virtual-backgrounds/ and in the Background settings, click +Add new, upload the file, and then select image

Professional Appearance

  • No hats are recommended, and hair should be neat
  • Limit touching your face, eating, or drinking on camera
  • Wear solid colors that compliment your skin tone and avoid busy or contrasty patterns
  • Make sure you are all buttoned up properly and no low-cut tops
  • Shoes are optional, but pants are not – you never know if you’ll need to stand up for any reason while the camera is still on
  • To help prevent the washed-out look video can give, consider using a face moisturizer, powder, and chapstick, or tinted lip gloss

Stay Engaged

  • Make eye contact with the camera when speaking
  • Avoid fidgeting and looking around too much (e.g., working on a second monitor)
  • Use the chat box and reaction icons when appropriate
  • Be active in the conversation and offer your professional input
  • Come prepared with something to discuss or a question you’d like to ask

CTST virtual meetings are an easy way to make a difference. Members can regularly address and solve roadway concerns affecting their local community by regularly participating. We appreciate the dedicated individuals and agencies consistently coming to the table and helping make the roads safer, ultimately reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities!

Traffic Safety School Days

There are several traffic safety school days and weeks throughout the year. Walk to School Day is coming up this October 5th. And National School Bus Safety Week is October 17-21, 2022. This is a great time to promote traffic safety with the kiddos.

Free Content for Traffic Safety School Days and Events

These special awareness events are an opportunity for community outreach and education. Learning good traffic safety behaviors at a young age can lead to safer, more competent road users. The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program has excellent resources for everyone to share… schools, teachers, parents, daycare centers, community groups, etc.

National Walk to School Day Resources

Please share these safe walking tips with children in your local community. Below are a video, a color sheet, and two activity pages. These are perfect for showing before and on National Walk to School Day.

Video: Walk to School Safely
Traffic Safety School Days
Printable Coloring Sheet: Walk Safe to School PDF
Walking Rules Activity Page: Tips for Preteen Pedestrians
Activity Sheet for Elementary Age Children: Walk Safe!

National School Bus Safety Week Resources

Available materials for National School Bus Safety Week include a video, a color sheet, and two activity pages. Please share these school bus safety tips for children.

Video: Bus to School Safely
Printable Coloring Sheet: School Bus Stop Safety Rules PDF
Bus+ATV Safe Activity Page: Tips for Preteens
Activity Sheet for Elementary Age Children: Bus Safe!

Walking and School Bus Safety Rules for Children and Drivers

Two of our safety bookmarks distributed to community public libraries in Northeast Florida include school bus and walking safety education. The graphics below can be printed and handed out as a flyer. You could also fold it in half and use it as a bookmark! One half has a crossword puzzle to keep kids engaged while learning (or refreshing) up on safety rules. The other half has safe driving reminders for motorists. These would be great pieces for kids to do at school and take home to share with their parents and caregivers.

traffic safety school days
traffic safety school days

Additional Traffic Safety Pedestrian and School Bus Information

Find even more resources on these pages listed below. Check out “Safety Town” – traffic safety for children at home, school, and around the neighborhood. We made our activity books easy to download and print as activity sheets on our “Safety for Kids.” Our “National School Bus Safety Week” blog post and “School Bus Safety” page have safety reminders for drivers and students.

W.H.A.L.E. Check Program

We Have A Little Emergency – W.H.A.L.E. CHECK Child Passenger Safety Program

The W.H.A.L.E. Check program was first introduced in May of 2002 in Jacksonville, Florida by Northeast FDOT District Two’s CTSP. This is a child passenger safety education and identification program for parents and caregivers in Florida. In the event of an automobile crash, children are often too young to identify themselves or provide helpful information.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to complete the sticker and place it on the back of the child’s car seat to provide vital contact information to emergency personnel. We suggest users stick the two smaller labels on each side of the car seat. These alert rescuers that the occupant is participating in W.H.A.L.E. Check.

Our popular and nationally recognized W.H.A.L.E. Check campaign remains highly requested and distributed material with important child occupant protection education and information. Almost 300,000 printed W.H.A.L.E. Checks have been distributed in Northeast Florida since being launched. Over 1,656 digital versions have been viewed or downloaded from this website. The site has received over 10,000 social media W.H.A.L.E. Check impressions just in the last several years. Watch the video above to learn more about how the program works.

Free Resources: Printable Flyer and Social Media Graphic

WHALE Check art

Available statewide as a digital download courtesy of FDOT District Two: Click here to download the W.H.A.L.E. Check as a one-page, printable PDF flyer. This can be distributed at car seat checks, traffic safety events, daycare centers, pediatrician offices, government agencies, and hospitals.

w.h.a.l.e. check program

Click here to download this CPS social media image to help promote the W.H.A.L.E. Check program. Don’t forget to tag us!
@trafficsafetyteam on Facebook and Instagram 
@trafficsafetyfl on Twitter and Pinterest

District Two Community Traffic Safety Teams may click here to order printed W.H.A.L.E. Check flyers online now.


The W.H.A.L.E. Check informational flyer also includes child safety seat advice and guidelines. Here are five safety tips to help prevent injuries in case of a car crash:

  1. WEAR YOUR SAFETY BELT: Studies show that if you wear your seat belt, your kids will too.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s instructions: Always check the manual for both your
    car and the child safety seat for proper installation guidelines.
  3. Seat strapped in tight: You should not be able to move the car seat more than one inch
    in any direction at the belt path, and always use the top tether when forward facing.
  4. Chest clip at armpit level & harness snug: Straps should be tight enough
    so that you cannot pinch the fabric of the harness at the shoulders.
  5. Back seat is safest: Children age 13 and under should ride in the back seat.
    Older children no longer need a special seat if their legs bend comfortably at the
    seat’s edge with their back resting flat against the back of the seat.

We follow these American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations and want all children safeguarded in the right car seat:

  • Birth – 12 Months: Babies under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
  • 1 – 3 Years: Toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible – until they reach the top height or weight limit of the seat, typically around 35 to 45 pounds.
  • 4 – 7 Years: Young children should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they reach the top height or weight limit of the seat – typically between 40 and 60 pounds.
  • 8 – 12 Years: Children should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lies snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach, and the shoulder belt lies snug across the shoulder and chest, not over the neck or face.

Inclement Weather Safety

Traffic accidents increase during bad weather. Following the inclement weather safety tips below can reduce traffic-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our roadways. These traffic safety graphics and safe driving tips can be shared with your organization and community.

inclement weather safety
inclement weather safety

Today’s Forecast Calls for a Safe Drive

Sometimes we have the privilege of preparedness; other times Mother Nature mounts a sneak attack and we encounter a bad storm. Remember the saying “Expect the unexpected?” Knowing how to handle your vehicle in dangerous weather will prevent panic when you are forced into driving in a storm. Become weather-wise by following these simple guidelines:

  • Turn on your lights. Keep windshield wipers on and make sure they are in good working condition.
  • Slow down, but keep moving. Don’t stop unless you can get completely off the road.
  • Minimize lane changing.
  • Stay further behind the car in front of you.
  • Be careful of large puddles, they can make your brakes less effective.
  • On wet roads, apply brakes smoothly and evenly to avoid hydroplaning. If you do lose control, take your foot off the gas and do not apply the brakes suddenly.
  • Never drive through flood water more than six inches deep. If you encounter a flooded area, turn around. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

Northeast Florida experiences many challenging weather conditions that make it a hazard while driving. Thunderstorms and heavy fog are frequent occurrences. Hurricanes are also a significant concern. High winds, wet roads, and low visibility increase the crash risk. Plan ahead and be prepared for predicted storms and hurricanes. Please drive safe and stay off the road during inclement weather unless it’s an emergency.

Links to Safe Travel Information