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I4 - Beyond the Ultimate [Pre-construction]


HankStrong

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  • 4 weeks later...

On 3/16/2022 at 11:28 AM, jrs2 said:

I was looking for Grand National.  I am very familiar with the road network in that area.  When I passed the TNPK ramps, the next sign said "Kirkman" and it threw me off because the next sign after said "Sand Lake Road."  So my mind immediately said "where is Grand National?" and "when did they make an express lanes exit for Kirkman Rd without me knowing about it?"  But then, I looked to my left and saw the outlet mall and realized that the "Kirkman" exit was really Grand National.

That sign is straight up wrong for many reasons.  The first reason is that Kirkman Rd is two road connections away with Major Blvd in between.  It's one thing, for example, to have the "South Street" exit on I-4 where the first light you hit is South Street but yet you are now effectively on Garland.  On that intersection, it would be the equivalent of renaming the South Street exit "Church Street" instead, and the driver is now going to the second light to encounter Church Street. Or, rename it Orange Ave, which would make the driver have to turn right and then right again, like you do at the "Kirkman" exit of the express lanes now.

See the difference?

And with Grand National, technically that bridge is an extension of a road that "dies" at the corner with Oakridge Rd.  But that bridge could have easily been named Oakridge Rd, which has more meaning since the outlet mall borders it.

What they probably should've done is named Grand National ala the Fulton County, GA road "Glenridge Connector."  That pretty much spells out the functionality of that road via it's name.  "Grand National" the name only has meaning to locals.  Tourists will have no clue where they are.  Exit the express lanes, make a right at the light, then take it to the end at Major, make a left at the light, then take it to the light, now you are at Kirkman Rd., go straight you are inside Universal, go left or right, you are on Kirkman Rd.  For first timers it's a maze; for locals it's perfectly fine.

Rename it the "Kirkman Road Connector."  Now the expectation is that "we are not on Kirkman Road yet, so follow the signs."  They should rename the bridge anyway because the whole purpose of that bridge was to connect the north end of I-Drive to Kirkman Road and Universal easily, or, it was for this I-4 expansion project specifically.  Either way, it is nothing more than a connector.  For regular I-4 traffic, Kirkman Road has an exit, but it doesn't have an exit for the express lanes of I-4.  So, to fix this and the fact that the Grand National bridge may be misnamed anyway, they should change the name of the bridge.

So, the more I think about it, the bridge should be renamed the "Kirkman Road Connector" and so should the exit.

I see your point. The idea is to get you to Kirkman, as you’ve described. I could ask someone who knows about signs. I know FHWA has certain criteria.

On 3/17/2022 at 12:23 PM, codypet said:

Also round of applause for Modified APL signs.   

Modified Approved Products List?

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9 minutes ago, EngineerNole said:

I see your point. The idea is to get you to Kirkman, as you’ve described. I could ask someone who knows about signs. I know FHWA has certain criteria.

have you read any of the posts in the Central FL Roads and Highways thread?  I believe that's it.  There are a few complaints about the Express lanes dumping people off in potentially harrowing situations (like the one north of Lee Road) where it's hard to get to the right lane to exit.  It seems the easiest exits are Kirkman and Central Parkway and the terminus exits.

Edited by jrs2
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  • 4 weeks later...

I went to an afternoon get together in Longwood as a guest of a friend who lives off Oakridge in old of the older housing developments near I Drive. I drove so when I picked him up we entered the Express lanes from a new overpass/entrance ramp  near Universal (can’t remember the street name). 
 

It cost me $2 total but man was it cool sailing past three I4 bottle necks on a Saturday afternoon. I repeated the route coming home. I loved seeing our downtown live from an angle/height I have never seen before. 

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1 hour ago, jgardnerucf said:

Ramp is Grand National Drive, but I call it Oak Ridge Road.

that too.  I never viewed it as Grand National; I always viewed it as an Oakridge Road extension...

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It's entirely semantic but I can't fathom why you would consider it Oak Ridge?  Literally it's perpendicular to Oak Ridge and is an extension of Grand National.  This may be just because I worked over there for so many years that I drove on Grand National a ton, so I see it as a commonly used road.

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7 hours ago, AndyPok1 said:

It's entirely semantic but I can't fathom why you would consider it Oak Ridge?  Literally it's perpendicular to Oak Ridge and is an extension of Grand National.  This may be just because I worked over there for so many years that I drove on Grand National a ton, so I see it as a commonly used road.

It's bc Oakridge is a longer road extending all the way to Orange, is all.  And I always viewed Grand National as the road Oakridge turned into with only one meaningful light at idrive, while Oakridge had several.  But I do like that it has the Grand National alignment and name bc it gave identity and visibility to the name of the street Fun Spot is on.

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22 hours ago, jrs2 said:

It's bc Oakridge is a longer road extending all the way to Orange, is all.  And I always viewed Grand National as the road Oakridge turned into with only one meaningful light at idrive, while Oakridge had several.  But I do like that it has the Grand National alignment and name bc it gave identity and visibility to the name of the street Fun Spot is on.

I never refer to it as grand National. Especially given it curved back into I drive for years. We all just called it oak ridge and still do. 

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1 minute ago, IAmFloridaBorn said:

I never refer to it as grand National. Especially given it curved back into I drive for years. We all just called it oak ridge and still do. 

Remember the ill-fated Shoppers World on that curve?

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5 minutes ago, codypet said:

Its under the road now.

I like that. I want to say at one point Tammy Faye Bakker had a storefront office in there when they briefly moved to Florida (no doubt the rent wasn’t much or she may have gotten it free to drum up some interest - once I-Drive extended over to Belz, most folks just ignored that stretch of Oak Ridge).

Edited by spenser1058
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13 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

I like that. I want to say at one point Tammy Faye Bakker had a storefront office in there when they briefly moved to Florida (no doubt the rent wasn’t much or she may have gotten it free to drum up some interest - once I-Drive extended over to Belz, most folks just ignored that stretch of Oak Ridge).

did she have an eye liner salon?

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