Following an engineering analysis and speed study, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has lowered the speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour on West University Avenue.
The move comes months after two student UF students died in separate pedestrian incidents on West University, which runs along the north edge of campus. The fatal accidents sparked two lawsuits, stepped up traffic enforcement and widespread community advocacy for additional safety measures.
The lowered speed limit applies to the stretch of West University between Northwest 21st Terrace and Northwest 13th Street—which covers the area where both Maggie Paxton and Sophia Lambert were struck and killed in December and January.
“Thanks to all who have focused on the advocacy work to create this change,” Kathleen Pagan wrote in the Gators Against Student Pedestrian Deaths Facebook group, which has 2,600 members.
Other recent safety measures on West University include signal retiming, crosswalk enhancements and installation of temporary speed tables. In an email to Mainstreet Daily News an FDOT spokesman said more changes are coming soon.
“FDOT expects to begin work later this year on midblock crossings on West University Avenue, as well as newly signalized intersections [at] NW 16th and NW 19th,” wrote Troy Roberts.
In a statement FDOT said it will continue to work with UF, the city and local law enforcement agencies to improve safety on West University.