Highway 50 traffic at new apartments

Traffic counts in East Orange County

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Last week I posted a blog on the history of McCulloch Road.  This post goes one step deeper and gives you a birds eye view of what traffic looks like in East Orange County.

I found this link on the internet that shows planning level daily capacity of a road (Round numbers based on Level of Service D/E thresholds in HCM 6th Edition) to give you an idea of roadways capacities.

  • 2 lane local street:  1,000 vehicles per day based on livability
  • 2 lane (w/ left turn lanes):  18,300 vehicles per day
  • 4 lane (w/ left turn lanes):  36,800 vehicles per day
  • 6 lane (w/ left turn lanes):  55,300 vehicles per day

When it comes to our traffic problems, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to quickly see where the problems are when looking at the map below.It’s McCulloch Road, University Blvd, Alafaya Trail and Hwy 50.  The worst section in the entire area is McCulloch Road with 22,518 cars a day.  Even though the other roads have more volume, 11,259 cars per lane make it the king of the roads in this area.  (Counts came from here)

Traffic Counts

Traffic Counts

Then when you look at the accidents from 11/1/2017 to 11/1/2018, you can see a direct correlation.  What is saddening is there has been 6 fatalities in this period.  (Counts came from here)

Crashes from 11/1/2017 - 11/1/2018

Crashes from 11/1/2017 – 11/1/2018

What is the plan to address our ever increasing roadway problem?

Sustany - 1,999 units

Sustany – 1,999 units

There is no plan and there hasn’t been one unless you consider Ted Edwards plan that included two huge subdivisions in the Lake Pickett area which would have brought thousands of cars onto the same roadways.  His plan required the developer to pay millions for road improvements but in reality none of them would have helped our situation.  They would have benefited the developer because after all, it is their money.  This is called “County Partnership” Roads on the Long Range Transportation Plan and is the county’s solution to fund the roadways.

One example was the proposed Sustany development just east of the Econ and south of the county line.  1,999 homes with a road through the middle snaking down to Lake Pickett Road.  The other end of the road linking to McCulloch with a bridge over the Econ.  We were told this road would benefit the area and relieve traffic but anyone paying attention quickly realized this was to the benefit of the development and provided a way out of the community to the east.  There was massive resistance from both Orange County and Seminole County which ended in a down vote from the Orange County Board of County Commissioners.

County Partnership Roads

County Partnership Roads

What is the Solution?

There is only one way to adequately fund the 1.6 billion in roadway needs in the county.  That is through a tax that Mayor Jacobs resisted.  I hear Mayor Demings is amiable to the idea.

Pulling in every direction

Pulling in every direction

But that doesn’t solve the problem in East Orange County because there are different ideas on how the roads should be fixed that pull the county in every direction.  That is a subject for another blog but here are a couple to think about.

Research Park is talking about tolling their roads and not allowing pass through traffic unless you pay which cuts off a path traffic take from Avalon up Woodbury through Research Park to UCF.  This forces traffic onto Alafaya which is already over capacity.  In addition to the tolling, The partnership road labeled, “New East West Rd” on the map will never happen as Research Park will never allow it because it links to their private roadway.  This means traffic from the ever increasing traffic from the east must use either McCulloch or Hwy 50 to get around UCF/Reseach Park.

Also the people who live in the rural area don’t want any more traffic on their roads so 4-laning Lake Pickett will meet maximum resistance as will any changes to the roadways in and around the Lake Pickett area.

And then we have our car-centric society with no real multi-modality options.  A whole other blog.  Wow, lots to talk about.

It is the job of our district commissioner, Emily Bonilla, to find solutions to these problems but as far as I can see she is focused on other areas and traffic problems in East Orange County is not a priority.


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Posted in McCulloch Road.