If you live in the blue shaded area I am calling the “DMZ Zone” or travel the red shaded roads, you should read this to understand how you are affected.
If my assumptions are correct, this puts Orange County and my sub-division of University Estates with its 374 families in a very bad position as well as anyone who lives on N. Tanner or travels N. Tanner and McCulloch.
Anyone living in the DMZ Zone is negatively affected in some way.
I went to the Seminole County Planning and Zoning meeting on 8/5 to speak about traffic on McCulloch. There is a project called “Legacy Pointe” going in on Old Lockwood Road that will definitely bring more traffic to McCulloch. This is a great project but comes at a very bad time.
I got a huge wake up call when the chairman interrupted my public comment and said, “Connecting roads in Orange County is not what we’re talking about tonight so you need to get to some point that is relevant to Seminole County.”
The words, “relevant to Seminole County”, rang huge bells in my head. So the question to answer is: “How could connecting roads that might fix McCulloch traffic not be relevant to Seminole County?”
Read the email I sent to both Orange County and Seminole County regarding McCulloch Road and this entire area. What is extremely relevant to Orange County is extremely IRrelevant to Seminole County.
More on the “DMZ Zone” in the next blog.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, August 9, 2015 9:58 AM
To: Orange County and Seminole County
Subject: The two land section of McCulloch Road – the dividing line between Seminole and Orange Counties
A few days ago the Seminole County Planning and Zoning Commission heard the application for the Legacy Pointe project on Old Lockwood Road. I think everyone agrees this is the perfect project for this location but to residents in Orange County it comes at a time when we are facing some difficult traffic issue that will only compound the problems we have now.
I went to the meeting to give a public comment not to oppose the project but instead to highlight the traffic issues on the two lane section of McCulloch Road. I attempted to explain how McCulloch was a critical East-West conduit by showing how it was one of only two roads (McCulloch and Hwy 50) in East Orange County moving traffic east to west. I went into some details about UCF and Research Park that showed ways to help alleviate traffic on McCulloch. Nearing the end of my presentation the chairman stopped me in mid-stream and asked what relevance my comments had on this project.
I was stunned and had to think about that for a while because to me, living in University Estates, more traffic on McCulloch is extremely relevant. And being so immersed with the Lake Pickett projects I was looking at this from an Orange County point of view.
I felt a bit embarrassed and belittled when I was cut off in my public comment but in a way thankful it happened because it forced me to think differently. Since then I have been trying to put myself in the Seminole County’s Planning and Zoning chairman’s place and from his perspective I can see how this short, one mile, two lane section of McCulloch Road is not relevant to Seminole County at all. It is a road to nowhere from a Seminole County viewpoint as traffic disappears down into Orange County on N. Tanner. It is also the section of road maintained by Orange County so that makes it even less important. I would say it is almost a burden; an unwanted, forced inconvenience. Perhaps what happened in this public comment highlights the problem we face and why traffic on McCulloch is so bad on this short section of roadway.
To Orange County this road is all important because it and Hwy 50 are the only two East-West roads drivers can take when crossing the Econ in this area. But to Seminole County it is of little importance. It all makes sense when you look at a map and see where Seminole County devoted funding and resources. The county four laned Lockwood Blvd. ending right at UCF and four laned McCulloch Road from Lockwood Road to Alafaya Trail. Seminole County has devoted it’s resource to make sure these roadways are the ones traveled. Old Lockwood and the two lane stretch of McCulloch Road are not important to Seminole County.
If my assumptions are correct, this puts Orange County and my sub-division of University Estates with its 374 families in a very bad position. Our geographical location places us right in the middle of this conflict. Orange County wants this section four laned and Seminole County does not. To Seminole County it means more cars on the four lane section of McCulloch Seminole County is responsible to maintain as well as a move closer to a possible crossing of the Econ. To Orange County it is one of the ways of solving the traffic problems in East Orange County.
Here is a YouTube video of traffic on McCulloch I took a few months ago:
The safety of our residents in University Estates is all important. So much so that for two weeks of the Fall semester we have hired an off-duty sheriff to direct traffic in the morning and evening rush hour. When the UCF semester begins, McCulloch becomes chaos as UCF comes alive with people and traffic as you can plainly see from the video. Most of the time it is a streaming string of never-ending cars.
I am not sure where we go from here but at least now I see this from a whole new perspective.
Resident of Orange County and University Estates