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The thing about the express lanes, the "I-4 Ultimate" is that it is merely a phase 1 of a larger expansion to I-4. Won't be surprised if in the future, the entire I-4 corridor gets the toll lanes in the median. At the very least, it should go south all the way to Champions Gate, and north up to 472/Howland or even SR 44 in DeLand.

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28 minutes ago, metal93 said:

The thing about the express lanes, the "I-4 Ultimate" is that it is merely a phase 1 of a larger expansion to I-4. Won't be surprised if in the future, the entire I-4 corridor gets the toll lanes in the median. At the very least, it should go south all the way to Champions Gate, and north up to 472/Howland or even SR 44 in DeLand.

That's already the plan.  It's called BTU, "Beyond the Ultimate".  Because Kirkman --> 528 is so garbage, they've increased priority for that segment and they're supposed to start construction on it by 2019.

http://i4express.com/

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The congestion pricing could end up being scary. There was a pic of I-66 in Virginia this week where the toll was $34 for a 22-mile stretch. They don't call 'em Lexus Lanes for nothing.

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Although the design phase for the whole of BTU has been underway for a while, only the segment between Kirkman Rd to the 528 interchange has been funded for construction.  That begins in 2019.

Edited by cwetteland
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This is kind of amazing - Gatorland has opened a new $2.2 million expansion paid for after a 15% attendance increase in the past year.

If you think about all the attractions that have fallen by the wayside since Disney came to town and we've been told that nature parks like Sea World can't cut it any more without lots of coasters and scads of IP attractions. Meanwhile, here's little old Gatorland doing better than ever.

Kudos to the Godwin family for hanging in there!


http://bit.ly/2yntyge

From the Sentinel

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30 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

This is kind of amazing - Gatorland has opened a new $2.2 million expansion paid for after a 15% attendance increase in the past year.

If you think about all the attractions that have fallen by the wayside since Disney came to town and we've been told that nature parks like Sea World can't cut it any more without lots of coasters and scads of IP attractions. Meanwhile, here's little old Gatorland doing better than ever.

Kudos to the Godwin family for hanging in there!


http://bit.ly/2yntyge

From the Sentinel

That is a pretty awesome story. Is there more details of whats in the expansion somewhere? Lots of attractions have been successful, and many thanks to Disney. Seaworld's problems have nothing to do with Disney or Universal,  and little to do with Blackfish, it has to do with a bad ownership group not knowing how to make good entertainment options. Universal suffered the same thing when they were owned by Blackstone Group, the same group that bought SeaWorld after Busch got rid of them and was only recently sold earlier this year by them. I don't know if SeaWorld understands this yet, but the sooner they do, and can again offer the quality of entertainment, shows, etc that Busch previously did the sooner it can recover. Universal's explosive growth only presents new opportunities for SeaWorld. Lots of I-Drive attractions have done well and we're seeing a bit more investment in I-Drive attractions as well, along with stuff near Disney.

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On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 2:14 PM, AndyPok1 said:

The iSquare project was a joke.  It would have looked drastically out of character, and was a transportation nightmare.  Come look at Kirkman between 4-6 any day with everyone from Lockheed and KP trying to get on I4.  You can barely get in and out of that plaza.  Trying to add a major hotel and mall?  It's just the wrong concept for that spot.

THANK YOU! wrong spot, bad design

it took me 20 MINUTES to turn at the SandLake to Universal BLD intersection yesterday because of that traffic. and that the backside of iDrive.  imagine if this hotel was added in??

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1 hour ago, W7edwin said:

THANK YOU! wrong spot, bad design

it took me 20 MINUTES to turn at the SandLake to Universal BLD intersection yesterday because of that traffic. and that the backside of iDrive.  imagine if this hotel was added in??

Its hard to say, sometimes places like these encourage more use of public transportation and encourage more people to walk along the corridor, so it could not have much impact on traffic. 

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12 hours ago, aent said:

Its hard to say, sometimes places like these encourage more use of public transportation and encourage more people to walk along the corridor, so it could not have much impact on traffic. 

In theory, sure.  But public transit and walking is already high within the tourists.  The issue is the "mixed-use" of Lockheed, the (soon-to-be) two Kirkman Point buildings, plus the office park on Grand National, and the Golf Channel/Sand Lake West offices.

Maybe once Ultimate completes and the Kirkman interchange is redone, and the express lane entrance opens on Grand National, and the City/County partner to renovate the final mile of I-Drive (which is going to be near impossible because there isn't really much right-of-way available), I can see it.  But as currently built, it literally takes me longer to get onto I-4, than the amount of time I actually spend on it.

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I think it would be awesome if the following happened to International Drive, this is my dream scenario:
- The City offers to buy up parts of each property along the road right up to the fronts of the buildings, making building edge to building edge part of the ROW
-eliminate all front parking and consolidate parking into shared garages/rear lots
-greatly reduce the amount of driveway cuts
-keep a 2-lane configuration in each direction with a third bus-only lane in each direction
-create a wide median in the middle, like the grand tree-lined boulevards that existed pre-interstates
-place elevated light rail over the median
-bike lanes and larger sidewalks
-eliminate large tacky road signs in favor of more pedestrian-scaled signage
-gradually fill in empty spots along I-Drive and create a proper street edge

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1 hour ago, prahaboheme said:

What an ugly building.

It's a parking garage. I think the bottom floor is retail and the top floor is a restaurant.

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2 hours ago, metal93 said:

I think it would be awesome if the following happened to International Drive, this is my dream scenario:
- The City offers to buy up parts of each property along the road right up to the fronts of the buildings, making building edge to building edge part of the ROW
-eliminate all front parking and consolidate parking into shared garages/rear lots
-greatly reduce the amount of driveway cuts
-keep a 2-lane configuration in each direction with a third bus-only lane in each direction
-create a wide median in the middle, like the grand tree-lined boulevards that existed pre-interstates
-place elevated light rail over the median
-bike lanes and larger sidewalks
-eliminate large tacky road signs in favor of more pedestrian-scaled signage
-gradually fill in empty spots along I-Drive and create a proper street edge

When it comes to I-Drive I take the opposite view. The bigger, flashier and gaudier the signage and lighting, the better. 

Many years ago, back in the 80's, there was a columnist at The Sentinel named Rob Morse. His column was in the local section and dealt with local issues. It was mostly written from a tongue-in-cheek, facetious and sometimes bordering on acerbic point of view regarding what passed for culture here in Central Florida back then. I think he rubbed some readers the wrong way and eventually left to take a job at the SF Chronicle.

Anyway, he once did a column on a local sign ordinance that was being proposed by the county, for the purpose of keeping the local tourist attractions from going overboard with their billboards along I-4 (anyone remember Universal's King Kong and ET billboards?) and along I-Drive as well. I think one of the local commissioners referenced a hypothetical "20 foot tall pizza" as an example of what could possibly appear along I-Drive without the proposed ordinance.

Morse, in taking the opposite view, that a tourist city like Orlando and especially I-Drive should embrace large, gaudy signage, ended the column with the statement: "I'm not afraid of any 20 foot pizza!!!".

Me neither!!! :P

Edited by JFW657
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1 hour ago, JFW657 said:

When it comes to I-Drive I take the opposite view. The bigger, flashier and gaudier the signage and lighting, the better. 

Many years ago, back in the 80's, there was a columnist at The Sentinel named Rob Morse. His column was in the local section and dealt with local issues. It was mostly written from a tongue-in-cheek, facetious and sometimes bordering on acerbic point of view regarding what passed for culture here in Central Florida back then. I think he rubbed some readers the wrong way and eventually left to take a job at the SF Chronicle.

Anyway, he once did a column on a local sign ordinance that was being proposed by the county, for the purpose of keeping the local tourist attractions from going overboard with their billboards along I-4 (anyone remember Universal's King Kong and ET billboards?) and along I-Drive as well. I think one of the local commissioners referenced a hypothetical "20 foot tall pizza" as an example of what could possibly appear along I-Drive without the proposed ordinance.

Morse, in taking the opposite view, that a tourist city like Orlando and especially I-Drive should embrace large, gaudy signage, ended the column with the statement: "I'm not afraid of any 20 foot pizza!!!".

Me neither!!! :P

Because that worked out so well for Osceola County...

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26 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

Because that worked out so well for Osceola County...

I think comparing Osceola County and I-Drive is kind of an apples and oranges thing.

 

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