5/28/2016 – What’s up with the 408 extension to Hwy 520 and FDOT?

408 Expansion Corridor

408 Expansion Corridor

News Flash!  I have just learned that FDOT does not want the 408 extension to run along the Hwy 50 right of way.  This is very disconcerting as we desperately need this road to help move traffic.

The 408 extension that will go along Hwy 50 from the end of the 408 out to Hwy 520 is well into the study phase of the project to determine if it is feasible.  The difficulty in this project is developments have blocked most east-west corridors leaving the only viable route along Hwy 50.  But Hwy 50 is a state road maintained by FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) and is currently under construction to widen the road to 6 lanes from Dean to the Econ bridge.  The next phase of widening Hwy 50 to 6 lanes is the section from the Econ bridge to Hwy 419 which could be funded soon.

I have written several posts on the extension which you can find here:

The 408 extensioon study is in progress at this time but last week a wrench was thrown into the plans.  Apparently FDOT does not want the expressway to run along the Hwy 50 right-of-way.  I confirmed this information with FDOT and the county.  What happens now?

Renzo presentation - over capacity 2030 chart

Over capacity 2030 chart

You may also be aware that the two developments on Lake Pickett are coming up for hearings on June 14th at the Board of County Commission Chambers.  Lake Pickett South (The Grow) is up for Approval while Lake Pickett North (Sustany) is up for Transmittal.  Both of these developments have about 2,000 homes with commercial along Hwy 50.  Another fact is without the 408 expressway and even with Hwy 50 being expanded to 6 lanes, Hwy 50 will be in an over-capacity state by 2030.  This will also impact traffic on McCulloch Road as McCulloch is the only other east-west corridor to get past UCF/Resesrch park.  This will happen even when McCulloch is 4 laned.

This is very bad news and the hope is this can be worked out so the 408 expressway extension can use the Hwy 50 right-of-way but at this point FDOT is saying no.

If this does somehow get approval and the go ahead to be built, the first Segment would be from the end of the 408 up to Avalon Park Blvd.  This is the highest congestion and is where the bulk of traffic issues are now.  Let’s hope for a positive outcome.

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5/25/2016 – Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Improvements Coming!

Pedestrian and Bicycle UCF Study Area

Pedestrian and Bicycle UCF Study Area

There is a very positive project underway in our area that is geared to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety around UCF on  Alafaya, University Blvd and McCulloch road.  The study is in progress right now and hopefully construction will start right after the study ends.  I have heard Orange County is working through some funding issues but when that is ironed out, the project construction will begin.  These improvements are sorely needed as the pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries in this area are four times the national averages.  We can do much better.

Here is a quote from the study:

“As the mixture of the vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic has grown, a number of crashes involving pedestrians or bicycles with vehicles have occurred along the roadways around UCF. Between 2006 and 2014, 259 crashes involving pedestrians or bicycles have occurred along Alafaya Trail, University Boulevard, and McCulloch Road, of which 11 were fatalities and 207 were injuries.”

If you are interested you can read the entire study here: UCF: Alafaya Trail Pedestrian Safety Study

Here are the highlights of this project:

  •  Improve intersections in the study area
  • Add mid-city crossing for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Improve minor cross streets and major driveways
  • A wide paved trail all the way along Alafaya on the UCF side and then all the way down the south side of McCulloch to Lockwood.

I would also like to see mid city crossing on McCulloch to serve Tivoli and Northgate Lakes apartments so students can cross McCulloch between Alafaya and Lockwood.  I would also like to see bike lanes that are separated from the roadway by more than a narrow white line as well as bike lanes added to McCulloch Road as speeds are in excess of 45 mph at times.

I have also heard that when McCulloch is widened to 4 lanes from Lockwood to N. Tanner, there might be a wide bike lane along the south side of the road making McCulloch a safe road for cyclists to travel.

These improvements will certainly have a positive effect on the pedestrian and bicycle injuries and fatalities we have had in this area.  It will be a welcome improvement.  Don’t expect this to happen tomorrow as any construction takes time but at least we are moving in the right direction.

 

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5/4/2016 – Oviedo now opposes bridge and Sustany development

LPN - Roadway Improvement Plan

LPN – Roadway Improvement Plan

In a letter to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, the Oviedo City Council has examined the details of the bridge crossing and has reversed their position of approval and are now opposing the bridge over the Econ at McCulloch Road as well as the development of Sustany also called Lake Pickett North.

Here is a link to the letter:  http://fixmyroadway.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Oviedo-letter-opposing-development-and-bridge-crossing.pdf

Now, another community has joined the ranks of the ever growing number of communities and residents who live in this area opposing this development and bridge crossing.  How many residents, organizations and communities will it take until Orange County realizes that this is not just a couple of local residents fighting this crossing?  It is a multitude; an army of thousands; educated people who understand the ramifications of what will happen to our area as a result of hasty decisions which ignore both the obvious traffic and environmental issues that will surely follow.

We stand together in opposition to this bridge and the development.  Join 408 people and more everyday who have signed the petition opposing this bridge and development at http://savetheecon.com/.

 

 

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