Proposed charter school based out of Avalon Park’s South Village may be the solution for both Avalon Park and Timber Springs students and parents.
By Brian Yogodzinski
The County’s plan for a Middle School off of Timber Springs Boulevard is encumbered by several logistic factors. The primary factors are egress associated as follows:
-With two elementary schools and one high school in close proximity, a middle school would create a steady stream of traffic in and out of the area for an extended period of time in the morning and in the afternoon.
-Some students who are currently bussed to Avalon Middle school would now walk to school. This would result in an initial reduction in bus traffic, but as the area continues to grow, bus traffic will increase.
-Service vehicles will begin traveling to an area that typically does not have routine deliveries by service vehicles.
-Increased noise from the additional bus, car, and service vehicle traffic.
-The nearest main thoroughfare is East Colonial Drive which is 3 miles away. Infrastructure such as a school is best suited as close as possible to a main thoroughfare.
A more suitable location would be the area located on Innovation Way. The area has good access area and much undeveloped land. An official speaking on behalf of Orange County noted that this area was not being considered because it was zoned for Odyssey Middle School. The point is not a valid point because any changes for the addition of any new school or reallocation of students to any other school affects this zoning. Rezoning is inevitable.
The Avalon Park Group’s proposal to build a charter school on Mailer Boulevard is a solution to the issue. It places a school in a location that negates the logistics issues with the proposed Timber Springs location.
What will be interesting to see is if the plans from the Avalon Park Group take in to account the issue of all of the cars that backup on Mailer when parents drop off and pick up their children. A parking lot design that can accommodate a longer line of cars would easily resolve this issue if it is not already accounted for in the plan.
What the county needs to implement into its planning are dual divided lanes on South Alafaya Trail from Innovation Way to Mailer Boulevard.
Northbound traffic has always congested this area, especially when Avalon Middle Schools dismisses for the day. Car traffic also increases significantly when children that walk to school are dropped or picked up during inclement weather. Not dual having dual lanes was an oversight by the county during the planning stage of the Alafaya Trail Widening Project.
The proposal by Avalon Park Group will not add to the congestion as the number of vehicles entering and leaving at the times the issue occurs will remain constant.
Brian Yogodzinski is a Mechanical Engineer with a degree from North Carolina State University with over 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.