Authorities to hold Friday traffic safety event near UF

The view from West University Avenue to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
The view from West University Avenue to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

The Gainesville Police Department (GPD), the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Florida Police Department, will hold an event Friday morning to address pedestrian safety near the UF campus in the wake of recent fatal accidents.

Law enforcement officials will address the media at 11 a.m. and then conduct a “pedestrian safety operation” along West University Avenue, according to a GPD press release

“The operation will focus on education and enforcement of poor driver behavior, such as violations of pedestrian rights of way in crosswalks and running red lights,” the GPD press release said. 

The event comes after a traffic accident on West University Avenue left a UF student dead and several others injured two weeks ago. Last month, another UF student was killed while in a crosswalk on West University. 

The accidents have led to community activism and the Gator STEP program, which GPD announced last week to step up patrols around the UF campus. 

At Friday’s event, GPD Chief Tony Jones, ACSO Sheriff Clovis Watson, UFPD Chief Linda Stump-Kurnick, Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe and UF Vice President of Business Affairs Curtis Reynolds will all participate in the press conference, according to the GPD. Officers will then conduct an enforcement operation for any reporters who want to observe it, until about 1 p.m. 

To reach the venue, attendees should turn south on Fletcher Drive from West University Avenue, then take an immediate right into the Murphree Hall parking lot, following it onto the lawn north of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. 

GPD asks anyone who attends to wear a mask and take social distancing precautions.

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