HankStrong

I4 - Beyond the Ultimate [Pre-construction]

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Have they expedited the timeline ? I'd always heard 2021-2022. This says complete in 2021.

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30 minutes ago, Dale said:

Have they expedited the timeline ? I'd always heard 2021-2022. This says complete in 2021.

Ultimate is 2021.  Everything I had heard said 2021.  BEYOND is like something ridiculous like 2027??? I'm not sure.  It is supposed to start in 2019.

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Discuss.

But don't disagree.

In all seriousness, I think I-4 should be built as a triple-decker.

Imagine how big-city we would all feel then!

All our petty insecurities about our city would be instantly washed away.

Go tall or go home.

 

 

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Beyond makes sense - can’t dump all that traffic into the outlets and to Lake Mary and just go back to 6 lanes/no tolls.    Originally project probably should have been Disney to Maitland in the first place 

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9 hours ago, HankStrong said:

Ultimate is 2021.  Everything I had heard said 2021.  BEYOND is like something ridiculous like 2027??? I'm not sure.  It is supposed to start in 2019.

The 3.5 miles south of the ultimate project from Kirkman to 528 has been accelerated and 2021 is the  is the target completion date, only about a half a year behind the rest of the ultimate project. This addition will allow the Grand National ramps that are already built to open really only has added one bridge/interchange, Sand Lake Rd on top of 528 itself, which I imagine is at least partially part of the current project there? Beyond that we are looking at a long time.

Edited by aent
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The Sand Lake Road/Ultimate project has a lot of work associated with it.  I dread going to my parents house now because of the traffic.  I hate to see the MOT for that.

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To be less of a barrier on a walking level. The idea is to connect everything again with the Under-I as a catalyst, and the sports venues, MEC, and Creative Village as the drawing factor.  I like the general idea and the overall plan, although it seems to be gentrification of the Parramore  and Callahan areas with a bias toward moneyed interests as opposed to people who actually live in the area and the future of the residents or students.

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1 hour ago, orange87 said:

Does anybody know why I-4 Ultimate is making the highway so high up now? Is there a reason for that?

I think part of the reason is the level the highway out in general, hills and valleys, while not dramatic, can increase traffic as people slow down because they can't see what's over the hill.

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The vertical curve of the highways have specific height/slope requirements for the speed.   The new speed limit through downtown will be 60 mph which requires flatter curves.  Also tying the ramps to the highway may be part of it.  SR 408 will have direct access ramps flying every which way through downtown.  The current high piers isn't even their final form.

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FYI, the redo of the US 92/I-4 interchange in Daytona- the i-95 overpass is noticeably taller than the old bridges.

It makes me wonder whether they eventually want to increase the max height of semi-trucks on US roads....dunno.

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Since the construction began several years ago, I had been using 92 as a shortcut to I-95N.  When they flopped the 92 left exit to the correct side it completely threw that off for me.  I was lost as to where I was on I-4!!!

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17 hours ago, jrs2 said:

FYI, the redo of the US 92/I-4 interchange in Daytona- the i-95 overpass is noticeably taller than the old bridges.

It makes me wonder whether they eventually want to increase the max height of semi-trucks on US roads....dunno.

The other thing I believe I've heard, but not on that side of things, is building them to support a HSR in line with I-4 for the entire length, don't know if thats the reason on these... they apparently needs more height

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I-4 North of SR 44 and I-4 South of SR 528 officially has space for HSR in the median as of right now.  It used to be as far down as Lake Mary, but they've taken it out.

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On 4/19/2018 at 7:28 AM, HankStrong said:

Since the construction began several years ago, I had been using 92 as a shortcut to I-95N.  When they flopped the 92 left exit to the correct side it completely threw that off for me.  I was lost as to where I was on I-4!!!

it was a marker.  then they changed it.  it threw me off too and I saw it u/c literally once a week and it still threw me off...

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Lawmakers in NC are trying to get rid of I-77 toll lanes in Charlotte . . . before they even open.

http://wfae.org/post/state-senate-passes-bill-double-funds-i-77-toll-buyout-house-fails-concur

I don't know if the plan will succeed, but they deserve credit for trying.

In other toll-lane news, toll lanes in D.C. have sometimes charged as much as $45, for a one-way trip.

Will anyone in Orlando be willing to pay more than a few dollars?  I certainly wouldn't.

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49 minutes ago, I am Reality said:

Lawmakers in NC are trying to get rid of I-77 toll lanes in Charlotte . . . before they even open.

http://wfae.org/post/state-senate-passes-bill-double-funds-i-77-toll-buyout-house-fails-concur

I don't know if the plan will succeed, but they deserve credit for trying.

In other toll-lane news, toll lanes in D.C. have sometimes charged as much as $45, for a one-way trip.

Will anyone in Orlando be willing to pay more than a few dollars?  I certainly wouldn't.

The way congestion tolls work, if nobody is willing to pay the price the toll will drop within a few minutes to a price people are willing to pay. Congestion tolling, just about everywhere, has been shown to increase throughput significantly, and in the case of some lanes being free and some lanes being tolled, its also been shown to increase the average speed of the free lanes significantly, so that case really is just a win-win situation for everyone.

Would I be willing to pay more then a few dollars in Orlando to get around faster? Depends on where I'm trying to get. If I'm running late to expensive show tickets at DPAC, or there is an emergency at work where a bunch of people are stuck unable to work and its costing me many dollars per minute, or if I'm running late to a flight and don't want to risk missing it, sure, I'd be happy to have the option to pay more then a few dollars so I don't end up losing even more money. If I'm not in a rush, just going out to dinner, doing everyday tasks, etc, I wouldn't. Thats how its supposed to work, allow those for whom it is really important to get where they want to go to get their faster, and help subsidize costs for those who are willing to go a little slower in exchange for not paying so much. The toll'd express lanes with free general use lanes really seems completely ideal for everybody.

Orlando has already shown people are very happy to pay premium pricing to avoid waiting, especially with all the tourists. Disney charges $45 per day to park in premium parking and $22 for standard, lots of people are willing to pay that $23 premium for a better spot. Universal charges a $10 premium to park without having to use stairs/escalator/elevator to get to the parks, and a $25 premium to be closer. A lot of people don't use Disney's free magical express service because of the time it takes and to save 20 minutes can easily pay $50 for a Mears taxi or  ride sharing service or upgraded individual accommodation. With people in our area paying all these premiums constantly, you think people wouldn't pay more then a few dollars to get by on I-4 faster?

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I agree 100% aent.  Studies on these have proven conclusively that it helps everyone.  The people unwilling to pay even benefit greatly because of those that are willing to pay.

https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop12030/ch1.htm  (this is a great article coming from the stance of planning for promoting congestion tolling by MPOs)

https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop11030/cm_primer_cs.pdf (this is a collection of case studies from 4 different regions)

Having used it in Miami because we were running late, I gladly paid the price.  I am very frugal with my money and even then I recognized the benefit.

 

The single best piece of the pie is this is 100% a choice for the consumer.  If you travel on I-4 every day today and continue to do so when congestion tolling arrives, you don't have to change ANYTHING in what you do.  You never have to use it.  If other people do or don't, you are not required to.  Ignore it.  Pretend it doesn't exist.  Just do what you always did before.  You are not losing lanes.  You are not getting additional cars beyond normal growth.  You are punished in no way.  You are more than likely going to benefit, but you can pretend you aren't.  You can angrily yell at clouds because you are stuck in traffic.  You can angrily yell at clouds about the radio station.  You can angrily yell at clouds because you are an angry person who hates clouds and hate not having more to yell about.

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I understand the arguments for toll-lanes.   Obviously, people can use them in a rush.   And I don't dispute that tolled lanes help with traffic congestion.  In fact, I don't disagree with anything said.  

But many other cities have major highways that are not tolled.  With the I-4 Ultimate project, EVERY highway here locally will be tolled.  I understand drivers can choose or not choose to use the tolled lanes.  By why is everything here tolled? 

It's a tax on drivers.  Everyone is proud of FL's low taxes.  A $5 one-way trip back-and-forth home daily (22-24X/month) is a nearly $3,000 tax per year.  That $5 figure is likely conservative.  

I remember people were upset when the East-West Expressway tolls were raised.  By 50 cents.  

I've honestly never heard anyone argue FOR higher tolls. 

Let the state and federal governments contribute more to local highway projects.  It has happened in every other city . . . since the Eisenhower administration.   We are not a second-rate city undeserving of our portion of public spending.   We were told a non-tolled I-4 expansion would cost too much.  People often make excuses for a second-rate (maybe third-rate) transit system.  Anything else would be too expensive.   Why would anyone EVER take that position?  It sells our whole city short.  If we are going to think like that, we will never get anything.   It's another example of having really low expectations, while other cities DEMAND more.  

 

Edited by I am Reality
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"Has Trump Irreversibly Altered the GOP's Foreign Policy?"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/will-trumps-view-of-the-world-outlast-his-presidency/562799/

SAY WHAT? What could that possibly have to do with I4 and Lexus Lanes?

Oddly, they're related. The above article by Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic notes that the Trump administration has decided to tear apart the Western alliance and all of the agreements cobbled together since the internationalist Eisenhower administration won out over the isolationists in the Taft wing of the Republican Party.

But that's not the only big decision made back then. The Eisenhower folks also created the interstate system, the largest public works project ever seen, to be funded primarily by gas taxes instead of tolls.

It wasn't a new argument then and it certainly isn't now. Coming out of the Great Depression and World War II, there was a consensus that we were all in this together. CEOs were entitled by consensus to make maybe 50 times more (unlike today's 180+ multiple) than their blue-collar employees, but the working stiffs were also entitled to look forward to owning a home and being able to send the kids to government-funded state universities.

It worked, splendidly, and the US interstate system was the envy of the world, not only moving goods seamlessly across the continent but jump-starting the domestic tourism Industry with everything from roadside Holiday Inns to clam dinners at Howard Johnson's and the creation of the theme park business (it's not an accident that just about every major theme park in the country sits next to an interstate highway.)

All of that held sway until the 1980's and the ideological wing of the GOP worked with the business interests to change the rules. Whether it be big pharma, middlemen taking huge profits on student loans, huge parking fees from privatizing meters in Chicago and sewers in Birmingham and, yes, tolling portions of statutorily guaranteed to be free interstates, there was money to be made in public finance.

How was it justified? All of a sudden a meme went out courtesy of ALEC and conservative media that people simply wouldn't make the investments required anymore.

It was untrue, as we learned when a Republican county like Duval (Jacksonville) voted to remove the tolls on the bridges and replace it with a sales tax increase. (Needless to say, the citizenry was not pleased when FDOT recently decided to add rolled Lexus Lanes to their freeways. Neither were the good folks of Republican Seminole County when the Florida Turnpike Enterprise -which runs the Seminole portion of FL 417 - decided it would be a good idea to expand by adding Lexus Lanes and charging additional tolls on an already tolled facility. Let's be clear - tolls on top of tolls!)

Unfortunately, the academic remained in its ivory tower on this and remained complicit. There is certainly a case to be made for congestion pricing, but it needs to be limited to highly congested downtown urban areas, not broad swaths of an MSA.

Reality is absolutely correct (think about that for a moment, we're in agreement) that the sweetheart deals made between multinational firms and legislators  are being paid for on the backs of working men and women, whose wages are already stagnant.

The irony of course is that in the long run, we're paying more. Have you considered how much more complexity is involved to redesign I4 and its some tolled, some not Lanes and their connections to off and on ramps as compared to simply raising the gas or sales tax and adding a lane or two?

But then, that's OK too, because investment banks  can make even more inflated interest and fees on the additional spending? And for the transit types, that's money that can't be allocated to spending on bike lanes, buses or rail.

It's a shell game in which only a few will benefit.

Where I disagree with Reality is that this was not a game engineered locally. In Florida, the major roads are controlled in Tallahassee and Orlando, as the newest and smallest of the major MSAs, doesn't control the process. That has to take place statewide. Change Tallahassee in order to get real change in Orlando.

Edited by spenser1058

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