Readers support Austin's; also, half of them think the pedestrians are at fault on Orlando's dangerous streets

Letters to the editor

Readers support Austin's; also, half of them think the pedestrians are at fault on Orlando's dangerous streets
illustration via Adobe

¶ Save Austin's: Last week's cover story looked at the possibility that Austin's Coffee, a gritty local hangout long beloved for its open mics and art-friendly atmosphere, may be closed down. The city of Winter Park wants to widen Fairbanks Avenue and is in the process of buying up properties on the north side of the block, which would take down Austin's as well as other businesses including the Wine Barn, Krungthep Tea Time and Spatz Billiards.

@Ebenezer and the Scrooges This isn't right, at all. Bands like ours started in places like Austin's, so without places like Austin's, we wouldn't exist, along with many others like us.

@Milk Carton Superstars We played some memorable shows at Austin's including a couple I-4 Fests. Always loved the vibe, and the folks are friendly. Sincerely hope it stays put and open.

@Scott Schaffer Road diets aren't working. Made South Denning Drive smaller and now the traffic is worse. Hmmmmm. Seems like Winter Park has a planning problem.

@Don Phelps Big Brother destroying small businesses for a damn turn lane. That's some real leadership.

@Steve Klein Save Austin's!

¶ Walk hard: Once again, Orlando has come out on top in an annual study ranking the deadliest cities for pedestrians. The City Beautiful was named the most dangerous metro area to walk around in 2020, as well as the most dangerous metro area to walk in for the last decade. Orlando made it to the top thanks to our rate of three pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people between 2010 and 2019. Perhaps illustrating the problem, many of our commenters came out on the side of ... drivers.

@Brandon Hudson Tell them to stop jaywalking at random and actually use the crosswalks that are there and stop crossing in front of people that have green lights or walking diagonally across intersections like that's OK.

@Chris Ballesteros This sounds like we have really bad drivers, but I see bad pedestrians every day crossing in the middle of traffic rather than waiting at a crosswalk. It should read that we have the least intelligent pedestrians.

@Betsy Mayer Orlando has uneducated pedestrians. Every morning on Highway 50 I see people in dark clothing cross the highway mid-block. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen good pedestrians wait on the corner for the light to change only to cross against the traffic. Orlando/Orange County needs a pedestrian education campaign.

@Anthony Alvarez As someone who is disabled and has to walk everywhere when on my own, I can attest to drivers not paying attention to pedestrians in the crosswalk because they are too busy focusing on the traffic to jump in while making a turn. I've had drivers block pathways, been hit by a driver while crossing with my guide dog, because they were trying to jump into traffic and didn't want to wait. While there are some pedestrians making bad decisions, I've dealt with way more careless drivers.

@Kenny Rowland Traffic laws are just suggestions to most Floridians.

@Donald Ray Conrad III I cannot tell you how many times drivers want to keep going despite having the stupid light saying it's my time to cross. I have to put myself in danger and just cross half the time, regardless of cars trying to turn before I can even take a step at the "proper" time.

@Calin Baldea A city without sidewalks is dangerous to pedestrians? Who would've thunk?

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