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^^

 

That being said, OUC will allow the Sunrail spur along that easement for $100M.  Double tracking would be required of course.

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I'm not a railroad engineer, but I'm pretty sure the 28 (14 each way) train trips of AAF and the 30-40 (I believe 17 each way is the daily average) train trips of SunRail  (even without hoped-for increased train use) as well as the 6-8 Amtrak train trips a day aren't compatible on that stretch of track. 

 

So, the State would then negatively impact the SunRail project, likely leading inconvenienced users to abandon it, and allow a private company (FECR owns their own lines for the rest of the route and has an agreement for the SR 528 portion) to run on that route instead?

 

I know the Amtrak is already been delayed (per Amtrak fans on their message boards that I found by Googling) on what seems like a fairly regular basis by SunRail and gets delayed by Tri-Rail in So FL on a regular basis as well.

AAF will operate in South Florida along with a new Tri-Rail Coastal Link service on the same lines.  I believe that stretch of tracks is also double-tracked basically the same as the state-owned Sunrail tracks.  It seems to be a similar but reversed situation.

Specifically on this spur, that spur is currently being looked at for the SunRail expansion into OIA.

 

The largest issue with that is that OUC doesn't seem especially keen on letting them put SunRail on it, much less AAF *and* SunRail.  There is the whole matter of them actually using their own line to deliver coal to their own power plant being their #1 priority.  I can certainly understand and appreciate that.  It does belong to them.

I believe that OUC can only run coal to their plant during the midnight to 5 am window since they need to have access from the Sunrail line.  Also, I think the Mayor is on the OUC board.

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AAF will operate in South Florida along with a new Tri-Rail Coastal Link service on the same lines.  I believe that stretch of tracks is also double-tracked basically the same as the state-owned Sunrail tracks.  It seems to be a similar but reversed situation.

I believe that OUC can only run coal to their plant during the midnight to 5 am window since they need to have access from the Sunrail line.  Also, I think the Mayor is on the OUC board.

 

Which might very be the reason that stopping at OIA is a better idea.  I don't know the answer, but I think stopping at the airport (at least for now) is a fair tactic.

 

Doesn't that coal come from the Port of Tampa?

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Which might very be the reason that stopping at OIA is a better idea.  I don't know the answer, but I think stopping at the airport (at least for now) is a fair tactic.

 

Doesn't that coal come from the Port of Tampa?

I think the coal comes from Jax.  It comes down south on the main CSX track through downtown everyday.

 

On that note, OIA's fuel doesn't come from Tampa anymore either.  It gets pipelined from Port Canaveral.

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Which might very be the reason that stopping at OIA is a better idea.  I don't know the answer, but I think stopping at the airport (at least for now) is a fair tactic.

 

Doesn't that coal come from the Port of Tampa?

Which reason?

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That they are already having to do that in South FL. 

 

The one main difference being that Flagler is the owner in So FL and top of the heap, but they would be the bottom feeder in Orlando.

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Its going to the airport for 1 reason - access to tourists/Disney.  Downtown Orlando is not only out of the way but most tourists don't even know it exists.  It completely makes sense to go to the airport.

 

Its just unfortunate for our downtown.  That foot traffic would be amazing. 

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Its going to the airport for 1 reason - access to tourists/Disney.  Downtown Orlando is not only out of the way but most tourists don't even know it exists.  It completely makes sense to go to the airport.

 

Its just unfortunate for our downtown.  That foot traffic would be amazing. 

When they need a $250mm station to be built by the State, then the local officials have an opportunity to get a train into downtown if that will benefit downtown.

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To be fair, THEY don't need a $250M station to be built by the state.  A lot of people need that.

 

A multimodal station like the one that is supposed to be built at OIA will benefit a lot of people and is the way of the future (and oddly the past), since we seem to have forgotten this concept existed at the turn of the 20th century in the form of the classic train terminal.

 

Granted a few huge cities in the US still have them (Union Station in Chicago, Grand Central in NYC, Penn Station in NYC, Union Station in DC, etc., etc.) but some of the other great ones like stations in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Detroit, and more are either not used to any great degree or have been turned into museums, malls, or even abandoned.  These terminals were once very important hubs for trains, trolleys, taxi cabs, street cars, busses, and more.  Note that a lot of them weren't in the heart of the classic downtown, as well.  Some highly dense urban areas grew up around them, but weren't that way when built.

 

Every car this multimodal station takes off the road is a win for those of us that live here.  We don't need more roads, we need better transportation options.  It would be amazing if one day the AAF hits downtown continues up to Jax, Gainesville, Atlanta, Pensacola, New Orleans, and beyond. 

 

It will be awesome to have a car rental super center for those people that need a car.  It will be awesome to have one place to catch a bus, catch a train (or 3 different types of train!), rent a car, take a plane, and do whatever is the technology option in transportation in the future.

Edited by HankStrong

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^^

Great post.  We do have a car rental supercenter now...its Level 1 at OIA which is the busiest car rental facility in the world.

 

I believe that we need both- new transportation options AND new roads.  There aren't enough roads here.  The lakes really mess up an effective city grid.  Head east from downtown with the intent of going to Waterford Lakes and you only have 3 viable choices.  There should be more.  Same with when heading west (SR 50, Lake Underhill/Old Wintergarden, and 408).

 

For example, I think that for I-Drive, they need more cross-streets between I-Drive and Universal Blvd to help with congestion.  South of 528, Westwood is seldom used.  I think it should be extended to Fenton to the south, and I think they should build a new N/S road parallel to I-Drive which borders on the easement with I-4, with the backs of all of those hotel properties bordering it, with a bridge over Sand Lake Rd and also Universal Blvd and Kirkman Rd, maybe connecting it with Grand National.  If you're going to rely on Turkey Lake Rd./Palm Parkway as an alternative route, then there needs to be a few new bridges built across I-4 to make it an effective alternative.  This is a perfect example of what's wrong with Orlando.  There's no lake to the east of I-Drive/Universal Blvd south of SLR- rather, it's Martin Lockheed, which restricts E-W access during busy times.

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I definitely agree.  I can't believe this town doesn't have a true circle beltway, but whatever you want to call the mess that is 429/417/Wekiva Extension.  That boggles my mind. 

 

It would be awesome to have another crosstown highway about where Red Bug Lake Rd is.  The 40 year plan for the (now formerly) OOCEA shows some neat options for extensions.  Those could really do wonders for the congestion around town.  Really good ideas that I hope become a reality.

 

A train from OIA to PC?  AWESOME.  I hope PC does what they say and get the AAF connection directly to the port.

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I call the Wekiva extension a boondoggle that is a waste of taxpayer money and theft of the current toll system. But that is just my opinion. 

 

If it could be supported with tolls, so be it. But it can't for good reasons. And the environmentalists are being duped into supporting this. 

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It's a complete boondoggle with so many dire consequences, both environmental and fiscal, I can't believe people were more upset about rail.

This beltway is too large to be used as a bypass (ie: 285 in Atl), and does little more than encourage more sprawl we don't need.

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^^

I think the Authority's main goal is to keep increasing ridership to make more $$$.  The Wekiva extension also features a spur that gets it very close to Mt. Dora where they're already planning commercial land uses near there for future developments.

 

Yeah, the "beltway" is too remote.  Atlanta's is a good distance.  I mean, the Perimeter in Atlanta is the same distance from downtown at 436 in Altamonte is from downtown Orlando.  Do you all know that?  Kind of illustrates just how spread out Orlando metro really is.

 

Downtown Orlando needs a bonafide bypass that begins at Lee Road, heads west and follows John Young and then merges back onto I-4.  Make it mostly elevated.  That would solve many congestion issues.  But I-4 would need more lanes to accommodate the traffic as well west of there and east of there.  Now that would be a good bypass.

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^^

I think the Authority's main goal is to keep increasing ridership to make more $$$.  The Wekiva extension also features a spur that gets it very close to Mt. Dora where they're already planning commercial land uses near there for future developments.

 

Yeah, the "beltway" is too remote.  Atlanta's is a good distance.  I mean, the Perimeter in Atlanta is the same distance from downtown at 436 in Altamonte is from downtown Orlando.  Do you all know that?  Kind of illustrates just how spread out Orlando metro really is.

 

Downtown Orlando needs a bonafide bypass that begins at Lee Road, heads west and follows John Young and then merges back onto I-4.  Make it mostly elevated.  That would solve many congestion issues.  But I-4 would need more lanes to accommodate the traffic as well west of there and east of there.  Now that would be a good bypass.

Atlanta may have a smaller beltway, but it's suburbs are far more sprawled than Orlando. Orlando just never had the population at the time of the interstate system' formation.  

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Atlanta may have a smaller beltway, but it's suburbs are far more sprawled than Orlando. Orlando just never had the population at the time of the interstate system' formation.

This is true, there are areas of Atlanta's suburbs that feel downright rural, even in comparison to Central Florida.

Now I do agree with how spread out the Orlando metro is, but think our sprawl looks and functions differently.

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^^

Yeah.  Aside from Atlanta, there's no other major employment center in that part of the state, so all of those suburbs have people commuting into town.

 

With Orlando, you've got people commuting in as far as New Smyrna regularly, Haines City, Tavares/Mt. Dora, Titusville, DeLand/ Deltona, etc., and sometimes vice versa.  It is a different dynamic here.

 

Brevard is one of the best examples.  There's nothing in metro Atlanta at that distance from downtown with that much economic pull that draws a cross commuting crowd.  Different geography; completely different scenario.

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^^

I wonder how this affects GOAA's expansion plans at OIA, i.e., their timetable which was sped up because of AAF.

 

I also wonder just how much ridership Maglev expected from AAF at that intermodal station at OIA. 

 

I still think the AAF line will get built to OIA as planned- with maybe a few months' delay because of this study- which we knew about.  They can't delay the SoFla portion just b/c of what's happening north of there.  Plus, it will give them time to work out the kinks with the system and that other stuff too- double-tracking, etc.,

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Methinks "a few months' delay" is probably pretty optimistic.  I don't disagree the OIA connection will ultimately be made, but I suspect a year+ delay is what we're looking at.  

^^

I still think the AAF line will get built to OIA as planned- with maybe a few months' delay because of this study- which we knew about.  

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The fact that you can reasonably use Atlanta as some sort of example of encouraging smarter denser growth says even more.  

 

Yeah, the "beltway" is too remote.  Atlanta's is a good distance.  I mean, the Perimeter in Atlanta is the same distance from downtown at 436 in Altamonte is from downtown Orlando.  Do you all know that?  Kind of illustrates just how spread out Orlando metro really is.

 

 

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Atlanta as a metro has more, and less dense sprawl than Orlando. Orlando just didn't decide to build a beltway until it was too late to do so close in like Atlanta.

Just take one look at a satellite of Atlanta's suburbs and you'll see curvy, winding, suburbs, that include lots more land than their Orlando counterparts.

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The fact that you can reasonably use Atlanta as some sort of example of encouraging smarter denser growth says even more.  

Says even more than...what?  Or about what?   My comment is simply comparing relative distances of what's considered a beltway in both towns.

 

I don't think I ever wrote that Orlando should follow the Atlanta example for smarter denser growth.  That being said, they do have MARTA and we don't.  What does that mean?  They had the density to support it.  They also have a massive downtown/midtown development and very urban development along the GA 400 spine up through Buckhead and into Perimeter Center.  Based on Atlanta's geography, I don't see how it could've developed any differently.  Same with Orlando, with all the lakes.

 

But it sounds to me like you think Atlanta is a sprawl wasteland.  Maybe I should use Chicago as an example- oh wait, they've got two beltways to the west and its SMSA extends into two other states.  New York?  Oh Yeah, that metro encompasses half of New England which includes sprawling suburban neighborhoods.  San Fransisco?  Nope.  LA?  Forget about it.  Boston? Nope.  Miami?  No way.

 

So, what city do you use as an example of smart growth?  And before you answer, are you talking about smart growth for the city core or for the metro as a whole, because just about every city in the world had outskirts and suburbs and sprawl.  Even Paris.  The one I can think of that has the least with the most defined boundaries is obviously a place like New Orleans because of the swamps.  The city and suburbs start, then stop, and that's that.

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I've always thought it would be interesting to see someone build a smart city from the ground up.  Kind of like what they did with Greensburg, Kansas that went green after the tornado wiped them out, but on a larger scale.

 

 

Pick a nice huge plot of land near some interstate(s) and plan an entire metro area from the ground up.  Obviously, you can't do a "if you build it, they will come" type thing, but you could have the plans all developed and search for major players to bring their companies to the game.  It will never happen, but it would be cool.

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