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Traffic Truth

Carolyn Cooper recently sent an email with the subject: “13,753 Daily Trips Generated,” related to the Orange Avenue Overlay, apparently thinking this was a meaningful data point.

She thoughtfully linked a video of the traffic consultant’s presentation on future traffic expectations.

I encourage you to take time to view the video. The presentation debunks years of dogma about traffic as a meaningful Winter Park policy issue. I am no fan of large development within Winter Park but we need our leaders to stop making “traffic” the boogeyman and focus on encouraging redevelopment that complements the character and quality of Winter Park.

The consultant concludes, referring to Orange Avenue between Orlando and Fairbanks Avenues, “The road is already at capacity and if there is more demand that will really just push people to take other routes.” In other words, traffic generated from new development on Orange Ave (or anywhere else in Winter Park) will not have a material impact on our future traffic.

The consultant emphasizes that over 70% of trips on Orange Avenue in Winter Park are cut through traffic originating over 5 miles away. The consultant also talks about the larger reality that major roads in Winter Park, being influenced by growth around Winter Park, are currently at capacity as a result of cut through traffic. Think of a road as “at capacity” if you have to wait more than one traffic light cycle to pass through an intersection. All “red” roads in the map below are at or expected to be at capacity within 20 years, whether or not there is any new development in Winter Park. Click the map below for a larger version.

Time to stop the dogma. Its time our leaders started telling our residents the truth about traffic. If you hear an elected official or candidate for elected office tell you they are concerned about “traffic,” hold onto your wallet and vote for someone who is focused on encouraging redevelopment that complements the character and quality of Winter Park.

Regards, Pete Weldon

Posted in Development, Policy.

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