By Brian Yogodzinski
The traffic pattern revisions implemented on February 1st for the Alafaya Trail widening project continue to concern people that use the road. Orange County continues to implement changes that do not help improve traffic flow and in this case have made the situation worse.
Drivers are most likely un-pleased to see an additional viable southbound lane that is being prevented from being utilized. If that lane was opened it would have a positive impact on the traffic situation. Opening up the second southbound lane would move the merge point of the two lanes approximately ½ of a mile further south, much further away from the traffic signal at Curry Ford Road.This would increase the number of cars that can pass through the intersection at Curry Ford more efficiently during each light cycle.
Drivers may have noticed that the change made the traffic situation worse. When approaching Curry Ford Road the southbound thru traffic previously used the left lane and the traffic turning right on to Curry Ford was able to maneuver in to the right hand turn lane as the right hand thru lane is generally free of southbound traffic.The traffic back-up is now longer as the southbound and eastbound traffic both struggle to occupy the same lane.This also impacts the ability of people wanting to get in and out of businesses near that intersection. How many of you have chosen to shop someplace else because you knew stopping would require a painfully elongated drive to let you back on to Alafaya Trail?
The County would most likely respond that they did not open both lanes because the lanes still need to add the final layer of pavement. Drivers would welcome a small inconvenience of having to shut a lane down for a day in the near future if they could use both lanes now. The County might also respond that they have not finished all of the work in that area, for example on the median. Well, why didn’t they as there has been adequate time to make that happen? Orange County, open up the lanes and improve our lives!
Brian Yogodzinski is a Mechanical Engineer from North Carolina State University with 25 years of experience, primarily in the power generation business. During that time he became a specialist in the area of Transportation Engineering for the movement of over-dimensional and over-weight components such as power plant generators, combustion turbines, and steam turbines, with typical components ranging from 110,000 pounds to 1,000,000 pounds. He has extensive experience working with state and local authorities to ensure regulation compliances and safe transit of these commodities in the public domain. He currently works for a firm that builds equipment for and constructs power plants.