Winter Park residents hope to "Fix 426", a road prone to crashes

Photos and videos show the dangerous, sometimes deadly, traffic crashes along State Road 426 in Winter Park.

Ahmid Idris lives on lives along the road near downtown Winter Park and says he worries for his children's safety.

"You're prone to accidents, especially when you try to turn left and traffic is jamming up, and also when you want to turn this way, and turn left, good luck with that. It takes five or six minutes to get out. It's very busy!" Idris said.

Data shows more than 37,000 cars pass through daily, between Phelps and Ollie avenues, a roughly 1.3-mile road often traveled by pedestrians, cyclists and commuters. 

"They're always worried about it, whether you're on a bicycle or walking with your dog or whatever. It's a narrow road. So you have to have eyes in the back of your head!" Idris said.

According to data from Winter Park Police, from January 1 to August 30 of 2021 there were 43 crashes. Compare that to the same time frame this year, there were 49 reported crashes.


Local organizers have started the Fix-426 campaign to raise awareness and try to find solutions. 

"The speed results in a lot of accidents. What we've been gathering is we're averaging about six car accidents every month," said Leah Milan, who helps head-up the organization.

Organizers of the Fix-426 campaign say during June and July of this year, there were 11 crashes on the stretch of road, leading to two deaths. The road already has traffic signs and a 25 mph speed limit. 

Milan says people living here remain scared. "You can see there's less people walking on this road because we're afraid for our lives. So we don't get to use this road, even for pedestrians, cyclists, what have you. Even to walk to Park Avenue is a threat to us."

The group says FDOT has started a traffic study in the area. They're having a meeting later this week to share their progress and discuss possible solutions. "It would be nice if they had some speed bumps, more traffic lights, we do have a big sign here saying 25mph," Idris says, "but people, unfortunately, don't follow it!"