sunshine

Downtown Orlando Project Discussion

4741 posts in this topic

There will be a feature article in Monday's Orlando Sentinel regarding the "beltway" roads, considering the recent opening of the western beltway. Look for it.

Additionally, I have unpinned the Commuter Rail topic, since no one has posted there in a LONG time.

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This may be common knowledge, but plans are already in the works for the western beltway to expand from Apopka to north I-4 to complete the northwest section of the circle and complete the loop.

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yeah, its on www.expresswayauthority.com

the new Apopka Bypass is now going to be the new connecting point for the Wekiva Parkway or whatever its called. The original 429/441 interchange is a dead-end spur now, of the new extension.

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I read the article. those slow pokes missed the window to have the Fed pay up to 90% for a bypass in the mid-eighties. Well, that answers a mystery for me all this time regarding why we have the toll roads.

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^ Same here. I mean, I always suspected that the morons who ran this town back in the day slept at the wheel, literally, when it came to free bypass funds. This article just confirmed my suspicions.

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What it confirms is how insane the cost of bureaucracy is. Yet here we see it happening again with commuter rail, and saw a few years back with light rail, where everyone takes there sweet time, needs to weigh all the options, do this study and that study... yet the price just goes up and up every single day.

Edited by GRS328

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Orlando is the largest city in America with 1 toll-free interstate. There is no other city like it.

Time works against us and people learn to accept the situation, which is really untenable. I cannot understand why people just accept this as the way of life here. My opinion is that light rail or commuter rail will help, but it will be a drop in the bucket compared to taking the tolls off the roads. They need to make the Greenway toll free, at least, if not every road except for the Beeline and Florida Turnpike. I don't care how easy it is with "express" lanes and E pass and whatnot. Why should I get giddy about that when other cities our size don't even have our problem?

I don't mean to be critical, but leadership in this area seems to be lacking somewhat.

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They need to build some railways ASAP and drop the whole idea of everyone driving around in gasoline-driven cars. The roads will always get filled. That's just how it goes. Exxon-Mobil shocked everyone with the 9 Billion dollar PROFIT last quarter and everyone just keeps going to the pump. Shouldn't it be a bigger shock that they just reported over 10 Billion in PROFIT again this quarter?? People will keep saying it's the American dream to own land, so it explains why there is sprawl. The American dream is whatever you feel like making it. But people are idiots and do what they're told. Right now, Exxon says to pay close to 3 bucks a gallon. You can cry about the tolls on roads, but you won't ride a bus. Gas is an outdated technology in our own time, but people won't do anything until it's 10 bucks a gallon and you have to take a loan out to cover the cost of it. Oh wait, some car companies are already offering that... as a bonus.

Rail, bus, bike. Heck, this forum is called Urban Planet. UP is about city life. Try walking from condo to office. It's actually good for your health.

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Re: Railways

How many US cities have at least 2 completely separate monorail systems? Disney was working long before the one at OIA, but I don't remember how long ago. I wonder how much that cost to build. It appears clean, it's nice to look at, it's quiet, it goes close to 55 mph. What would it take to get something like that in town? I guarantee that people would ride it.

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If I remember correctly, monorail systems are about $190 million a mile. It's a very expensive technology for a town that does not have the land use density to support such extravagant public transit.

And regarding the toll roads... back in the 70's, the Orlando Metro may not have been justified in asking the Fed's to pay for a loop road (for such a small town), considering the relative small size of the Metro area. I don't think the feds were paying 90% up until the mid-80's... and remember, it takes decades, not months, to plan freeways.

Plus, like it or not, the toll roads are the unsung hero of Orlando... they actually discourage sprawl by making the cost of single occupant transportation more expensive to the suburbs. Gas taxes have not been raised in several decades, and they only pay for maintenance of local, county, state and federal roads (gas tax is not a percentage, but pennies on the gallon - thus, it does not go up as your price of gas goes up). We would never have Thronton Park, Delany Park, and possibly Winter Park without the toll roads ('casue these people would flee to the suburbs on the free roads).

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Plus, like it or not, the toll roads are the unsung hero of Orlando... they actually discourage sprawl by making the cost of single occupant transportation more expensive to the suburbs. Gas taxes have not be raised in several decades, and they only pay for maintenance of local, county, state and federal roads (gas tax is not a percentage, but pennies on the gallon - thus, it does not go up as your price of gas goes up). We would never have Thronton Park, Delany Park, and possibly Winter Park without the toll roads ('casue these people would flee to the suburbs on the free roads).

Discourages sprawl? Look around. Further, these historic districts existed before Orlando's beloved toll roads and if other metro areas maintain popular historic districts with toll-free highways, I don't see how Orlando would be any different.

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Discourages sprawl? Look around. Further, these historic districts existed before Orlando's beloved toll roads and if other metro areas maintain popular historic districts with toll-free highways, I don't see how Orlando would be any different.

I think he means that those areas would not have developed or be developing in the ways that they have because the people who decided to stick around in those areas would have moved out to sprawlville a long time ago if we had all freeways.

I definitely see Jaybee's point, but at the same time I think sprawl is almost inevitable for a metro area, if not now then later. Freeways/toll roads may encourage that, but fundamentally it is an issue of land. If there is open land, then the tendency of people is to keep expanding and spreading. The US has historically had an abundance of land. If you look at other countries, the situation is not quite the same. I was born in Mumbai and that city is pretty well contained on Mumbai Island. Only recently have newer areas began to develop that might be considered sprawl. India is a large nation as well with plenty of land, but the concept of sprawl has not been a key factor in its history the way it has in the US.

As I type that, I am suddenly reminded of a quote from "The Matrix" about humans being like a virus, moving from area to area and using up every available resource before spreading to another area.

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See my comment in the 2008 DNC in Orlando thread regarding the widening of the TNPK from I-4 to 528. I looked on the TNPK website and it states 2 extra lanes in each direction, with new overpasses and improved ramps.

I guess they decided that the TNPK will act as the main connecting spine from 528 to I-4 for airport traffic going to downtown. 8 lanes. nice.

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Unfortunately, they still are not improving the interchange at 528/Tnpk/OBT, which is a triple-trumpet interchange... nearly unheard of in other states. It's also poorly signed, so even if there is an improvement to the turnpike, very few out of towners would be able to find their way. After living in Orlando for several months, it took me a while to realize that the turnpike was actually connected to the Beach-line. But hey, the turnpike connects to practically nothing anyway (attention Sentinel... this would be a good local in-depth report).

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yeah, that interchange should have a bunch of flyover ramps connecting all 3 roads together, like a similar setup in Broward for 441. but, there's that toll booth issue also.

aren't they supposed to connect TNPK to 417 already?

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Discourages sprawl? Look around. Further, these historic districts existed before Orlando's beloved toll roads and if other metro areas maintain popular historic districts with toll-free highways, I don't see how Orlando would be any different.

Yup, we have pleanty of sprawl here.

We know why the tolls are still up, and it's not because they are discouraging sprawl. They are revenue machines.

What is different about Orlando compared to most large cities, I believe, is the smaller amount of centralized downtown employment for the residents. In most cities, more people commute into the city. Here, it's all mixed up, people are going everywhere!

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You would think that that would help alleviate the traffic down there. In Jax we really have 2 business centers, and any roads that run through them become clogged. Everywhere else is fine though. If everything were evenly distributed, and not too dense, then traffic should not be a problem. It would in a way be like Europe and Asia (but less dense please!)

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who heard about that new expressway in Lake County on TV 13 earlier? I think they said it connects 50 to US 27 somewhere north of Four Corners. They were talking about how it will be the most expensive road in Lake Co. History.

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Lynx has 10 hybrid buses on order. They will replace the current buses running on the Lymmo route downtown.

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Orlando made the #9 spot in the worst commute cities in America in Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/business/2006/02/06/...tml?partner=aol

More reason for building downtown

I've, at some point in time or another, been involved in commutes in 5 of those cities including Orlando. (Atlanta, Houston, D.C., Chicago, Orlando) Add in Philadelphia and that's six major commutes I have taken part in. Orlando is, by far, the best of them all, even with the tolls. We are piss poor for our size, but I don't think we are that bad!! :blink:

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I've, at some point in time or another, been involved in commutes in 5 of those cities including Orlando. (Atlanta, Houston, D.C., Chicago, Orlando) Add in Philadelphia and that's six major commutes I have taken part in. Orlando is, by far, the best of them all, even with the tolls. We are piss poor for our size, but I don't think we are that bad!! :blink:

I think that is how we got up there, because of the size of this city and the situation with the traffic. We should not be having the problems that we are right now. Its too bad that we have had these problems for years. My mother didn't realize that we had such a bad problem here till she moved away. Its just really sad that people care about a half cent here or there in order to improve the quality of life in this city and state. Sure lots of tax money gets wasted on things, but they also help improve the community, and Americans are so anti-taxes it disgusts me. They want to drive on the roads, use the schools, and call the police and fire departments but dont want to give more money to help improve any of them. But they will be the first to whine and complain about how things need to improve. Sorry, my anti-Republican sentiments have been growing inside me for a few weeks... Politics gotta love em..

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I think that is how we got up there, because of the size of this city and the situation with the traffic. We should not be having the problems that we are right now. Its too bad that we have had these problems for years. My mother didn't realize that we had such a bad problem here till she moved away. Its just really sad that people care about a half cent here or there in order to improve the quality of life in this city and state. Sure lots of tax money gets wasted on things, but they also help improve the community, and Americans are so anti-taxes it disgusts me. They want to drive on the roads, use the schools, and call the police and fire departments but dont want to give more money to help improve any of them. But they will be the first to whine and complain about how things need to improve. Sorry, my anti-Republican sentiments have been growing inside me for a few weeks... Politics gotta love em..

I, on the other hand, sympathize with Americans who don't trust that monies confiscated from them will be well-used.

Not to say that I enjoy congestion. And not to say that I don't think that lightrail is golly-gee whizbang and a civic feather-in-the-cap.

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I, on the other hand, sympathize with Americans who don't trust that monies confiscated from them will be well-used.

Not to say that I enjoy congestion. And not to say that I don't think that lightrail is golly-gee whizbang and a civic feather-in-the-cap.

I wonder if we could get the military to build us a lightrail system with tax money, then, everyone would approve.

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