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spenser1058

Central FL Roads and Highways

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37 minutes ago, codypet said:

I had a motorcycle rear end me last night and take off.  I have a dashcam so OPD has the video and they're investigating.

Are you the one that posted it on Reddit?

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Ohhhh! I wonder if they didn't have the guts to pull the full MOT concept.  It would have been a mess for sure.  Maybe they learned their lesson after the Amelia MOT debacle.  Or maybe the 408 portion of this MOT will be added in the next few weeks.  Reminder, this was the original interim plan.

 

Edited by codypet

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I don't know how to feel about the proposed TBH.  I was hoping for a narrower corridor, but it looks like traffic won't support it.  The raised intersections will be interesting.  

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5 minutes ago, codypet said:

I don't know how to feel about the proposed TBH.  I was hoping for a narrower corridor, but it looks like traffic won't support it.  The raised intersections will be interesting.  

The question I have is how the traffic count is accepted as a given.

I wonder, however, how much of it is cut-through traffic that could or would be rerouted by default if the number oftraffic lanes were reduced. The traffic level is also rarely high except during rush hour.

I can say that, as currently configured, the lanes are wide enough that I don’t feel like I’m on a suicide run when I ride my bike through there. As a pedestrian, however, there’s nothing at all appealing about the current layout.

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27 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

The question I have is how the traffic count is accepted as a given.

I wonder, however, how much of it is cut-through traffic that could or would be rerouted by default if the number oftraffic lanes were reduced. The traffic level is also rarely high except during rush hour.

I can say that, as currently configured, the lanes are wide enough that I don’t feel like I’m on a suicide run when I ride my bike through there. As a pedestrian, however, there’s nothing at all appealing about the current layout.

There are also people like myself who would love to go to this area more often.  The problem is that every time I go, I feel like I'm going to die.  If I cross the road, it is awful.  If I park, it is awful.  If I'm trying to walk from one establishment to another it is awful.  I'd like to visit my friend who lives over here more often, but even he goes away from his neighborhood because of it.  The NIMBY population near here has tried to kill it, but the people with an actual investment in this area seem to love it.

If you drive from Baldwin Park to Mills and look at this stretch honestly, you'll likely determine it was put together by a milk-drunk toddler.  I can't imagine an honest perspective that says "This is fine.  I like this exactly the way it is." but from what you read/hear on it, that's exactly what a vocal portion of the group is saying.  This proposal makes it more walkable and safer to bike, while making it easier for businesses to grow along this route.  It would be nice if it also eliminated cut-through traffic.

It's not the option I would choose, but it is vastly better than what exists now.

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It’s important to know the agendas involved to understand it (as I noted in a response to my problem with VMC on another thread).

When NTC Orlando was announced, the US military was rapidly growing (remember, this was as the Vietnam War was escalating). 

Many Florida air bases (and there were a bunch of them immediately after WWII) had become less necessary as they were designed for smaller aircraft and the current planes were needed in Southeast Asia. Orlando AFB was one of those.

Martin Andersen, then publisher of the Sentinel and a buddy of LBJ, was able to use his influence to convert the air base into one of only three recruit training facilities for the Navy. With the military growing, it was assumed NTC would be a lot busier than OAFB.

Keep in mind this was still several years before the East-West opened and traffic on Colonial Drive was awful. While the downtown grid made it possible to skirt 50 to the south, the various lakes and suburban cul-de-sacs made it tough going to the north.

This being the ‘60’s, no one gave much thought to plowing a huge road through a working-class neighborhood. In order to seal the deal on NTC, the local powers that be agreed to make a relatively clear path from the base over toward I4.

They did it by adding the two through curves around Leu Gardens thus creating today’s little speedway. That was considered well worth the cost of attracting NTC given Orlando was already a conservative, pro-military town.

 You might note that something very similar was done connecting Fairbanks with Aloma in Winter Park.

Why? There was no base involved. However, what did Colonial Drive and this section of Winter Park have in common? Two brand new shopping malls! 

Remember Martin Andersen? Not only was he a major downtown power player, he also sat on the old Florida SRD board (today’s FDOT).

Andersen was one of those who sold I4 as great for downtown (he even got the state to move it closer to the core)- instead it was the opposite, opening up the suburbs.

With both the Corrine and Fairbanks corridors, the idea was to skirt the new malls and get folks quickly back to I4 (or Orange Avenue) so the housewives could head downtown to shop (remember, this was the ‘60’s).

Of course, it didn’t work and by the late ‘70’s downtown was dead until Mayor Bill began the long process of restoring it.

Again, knowing why things happen is key to understanding them, whether it’s road design or questionable building projects.

 

Edited by spenser1058
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It is interesting to me that the reason they want to narrow the west end of this road is because people use Nebraska as a cut through.  Its used so much as a cut through that there's enough of a reduction in volume to narrow that stretch of the road.

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In Broward they are adding red lights at on ramps.

"Drivers will have to stop at the red light, which will turn on automatically when traffic is heaviest. How long it takes for the red light to turn green depends on how heavy the traffic is on I-95. Once the light turns green, only one car is supposed to go through, with the next driver waiting through the following red light. The length of a red light can vary from two to 13 seconds, but officials say most of the time the red light will last about two seconds, to create a separation between vehicles."

I've driven the Miami area where these are common as well as other states, but not enough to where I formed much of an opinion. Has anyone here dealt with these are a regular basis and what are your thoughts on them. Would they be useful on I4?

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/fl-ne-cb-interstate-95-on-ramp-signals-coming-20190425-story.html#nt=oft13a-10gp1

 

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12 hours ago, AmIReal said:

In Broward they are adding red lights at on ramps.

"Drivers will have to stop at the red light, which will turn on automatically when traffic is heaviest. How long it takes for the red light to turn green depends on how heavy the traffic is on I-95. Once the light turns green, only one car is supposed to go through, with the next driver waiting through the following red light. The length of a red light can vary from two to 13 seconds, but officials say most of the time the red light will last about two seconds, to create a separation between vehicles."

I've driven the Miami area where these are common as well as other states, but not enough to where I formed much of an opinion. Has anyone here dealt with these are a regular basis and what are your thoughts on them. Would they be useful on I4?

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/fl-ne-cb-interstate-95-on-ramp-signals-coming-20190425-story.html#nt=oft13a-10gp1

 

Its known as ramp metering. The highways do need to be pretty busy for them to be useful, and usually not under construction, as they are typically dependent on sensors on both the ramp and the mainline highway to see how much traffic there is. They often are programmed to turn off if the ramp fills up to prevent gridlock. We'll have to see the state of I-4's traffic after Ultimate is completed to determine if it'd be useful.

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1 minute ago, AndyPok1 said:

We had them in Columbus.  It's a good thing, but as @aent said, won't really know if necessary until Ultimate is finished.

ANDY LIVES!

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And a second thing again referring to my time in Columbus years ago.  I'm sitting in my home office and the City of Orlando is doing street sweeping.  Cool, awesome! ... except my car is parked out front.  So they just go around it.  Which means the street isn't fully swept.  Do they do alternate side parking *anywhere* in Orlando?  Or residential "permit"?  These were both common in bigger cities up north, and Orlando is bigger than them at this point (by actual city size, not silly annexations).

Basically on the second Tuesday of the month, you couldn't park on the north side of the street, and then on another day you couldn't park on the south side.  That way the whole street gets swept and minimal inconvenience.

Same with residential permits.  I know in the area of Wadeview close to Boone, they added no parking from 9A-3P a few years back because kids were parking on the street for some reason instead of at the school.  Easiest way to fix that isn't a silly full no parking.  It's a nominal fee (between 1-25 dollars usually) permit that you can only get if you live there, and during busy hours, only permitted people can park.

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7 minutes ago, AndyPok1 said:

And a second thing again referring to my time in Columbus years ago.  I'm sitting in my home office and the City of Orlando is doing street sweeping.  Cool, awesome! ... except my car is parked out front.  So they just go around it.  Which means the street isn't fully swept.  Do they do alternate side parking *anywhere* in Orlando?  Or residential "permit"?  These were both common in bigger cities up north, and Orlando is bigger than them at this point (by actual city size, not silly annexations).

Basically on the second Tuesday of the month, you couldn't park on the north side of the street, and then on another day you couldn't park on the south side.  That way the whole street gets swept and minimal inconvenience.

Same with residential permits.  I know in the area of Wadeview close to Boone, they added no parking from 9A-3P a few years back because kids were parking on the street for some reason instead of at the school.  Easiest way to fix that isn't a silly full no parking.  It's a nominal fee (between 1-25 dollars usually) permit that you can only get if you live there, and during busy hours, only permitted people can park.

I think you highlight a challenge with the current administration. Mayors tend to be Big Development guys or Neighborhood Preservation ones. It’s not difficult to figure out which Buddy is. He’s never really cared much about the neighborhoods (in fact, you have to remember that running for mayor was Buddy’s last minute choice after losing to Charlie Crist for AG in 2002).

At Mayor Bill’s prompting, he jumped on the venues and, to his credit, they’ll soon be done.

It’s been 16 years, though, and the overwhelming emphasis on one side and not the other is showing. Sadly, there’s no competition in this year’s election to highlight a choice.

Interestingly, in some cities the commissioners would have the power to keep their neighborhoods strong. In Orlando’s strong-mayor form of government, that’s currently not the case.

 

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Also included in the just passed budget bill is funding for the M-CORES program.  This will be the largest highway project in the state since the interstate project in the 1950s and will extend toll-roads to increase connectivity of the existing system.  This is a highly debated topic of whether or not these roads are needed and the impact they will have on the environment and regions in which they are proposed. It is an interesting development given the lack of funding for non-car related infrastructure. 

The corridors are: 

According to the Senate's report on the Budget bill:

"Section 1 of the bill creates s. 338.2278, F.S., establishing the M-CORES Program within the FDOT. The stated purpose of the program is to revitalize rural communities, encourage job creation, and provide regional connectivity, while leveraging technology, enhancing quality of life and public safety, and protecting the environment and natural resources. The objective of the program is to advance construction of regional corridors that are intended to accommodate multiple modes of transportation and multiple types of infrastructure.

The intended benefits of the program include addressing such issues as:

  • Hurricane evacuation;
  • Congestion mitigation;
  • Trade and logistics;
  • Broadband, water, and sewer connectivity;
  • Energy distribution;
  • Autonomous, connected, shared, and electric vehicle technology;
  • Other transportation modes, such as shared-use non-motorized trails, freight and passenger rail, and public transit;
  • Mobility as a service; and
  • Availability of a trained workforce skilled in traditional and emerging technologies.
  • Protection or enhancement of wildlife corridors or environmentally sensitive areas. "
Edited by dcluley98

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1 minute ago, dcluley98 said:

Also included in the just passed budget bill is funding for the M-CORES program.  This will be the largest highway project in the state since the interstate project in the 1950s and will extend toll-roads to increase connectivity of the existing system.  This is a highly debated topic of whether or not these roads are needed and the impact they will have on the environment and regions in which they are proposed. It is an interesting development given the lack of funding for non-car related infrastructure. 

The corridors are: 

AKA “pork” - of the worst possible kind.

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I can't comment on whether it is needed or not, but since I drive to Naples on a fairly regular basis I would enjoy the SW/CF Connector.

I do agree that fleeing hurricanes by better roads is a good idea, but I'm not sure I agree with these particular alignments as the best use of money.

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Suncoast Parkway extension is not needed at all. Central Florida connector is.  They would be better served using the rest of the money on potential alternative transportation routes than the Suncoast Parkway extension.  (or if they want to spend it on roads, just finish widening I-75 and I-4 all the way)

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Who cares about those pesky Everglades? And if Miami runs out of water, it’s no never mind to us - we’re just gonna steal water out of the St Johns from Jacksonville.

We can outdo California with our own version of “Chinatown”.

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The Everglades are not located in the planned Central Florida corridor. The area proposed is mostly agricultural land, however, there are several preserves, such as Babcock Ranch. Oone of the key issues in the region is Florida Panther habitat. The biggest threat to the endangered Florida Panther population is getting hit by cars trying to cross roads. This is because development has infringed on their natural habitat. CF connector will make this worse. 

Florida Panther Natural Habitat: 
2037592292_FloridaPantherHabitat(1).thumb.png.3883521bfc7198f45bb297290de9ca98.png


Here is a study on the Florida Ecological Greenways Network that is pertinent to this conversation: http://conservationconnections.blogspot.com/2012/12/an-audacious-attempt-to-link-habitat.html

The FEGN was a task that environmentalist created to try to link the still existing natural habitats throughout the state. This is why the proposed bill has a bullet for "Protection or enhancement of wildlife corridors or environmentally sensitive areas." But it is mostly lip-service considering their plans for the new roads. 

454950746_CriticalLinkages.JPG.830ae8ca5aabf0403bd67b2485fd308e.JPG

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The problem is not the road - it’s never the road (as we’ve learned with the Wekiva Parkway whose protections county commissioners and legislators - all from one party we might add - have attempted to weaken ever since it was approved in a groundbreaking compromise between developers and protectors of the environment..

No, the problem is to open up development in an environmentally sensitive area resulting in instacities each ending up with as many as 100000+ residents.

No environmental group wants this road and organic citizens’ groups aren’t demanding it. The demand is coming strictly from developers. It’s been a non-starter for decades and there’s no reason for it now.

Edited by spenser1058

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