Stop Plans to 2-lane Maitland Avenue

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The residents of Maitland wish to petition to prevent Orange County from giving Maitland Avenue to the City of Maitland with knowledge that the City plans on a 2-lane Maitland Avenue.  The residents also sign the petition to further restrict the 2 lane of Maitland Avenue in the future until the LOS of B or better is obtained and sustained for 2 years.

Traffic is a huge issue in Maitland and reducing lanes on Maitland Avenue will only make the situation worse.  A traffic study was conducted in 2013/2014 by LittleJohn (funded by the City of Maitland) which shows how a 2-lane Maitland Avenue will increase the traffic gridlock in Maitland.  Do not let Maitland Avenue become another traffic nightmare similar to Horatio Avenue where City Councilmembers elected to reduce lanes on Horatio. 

According to the FHWA Road Diet Information Guide, Chapter 3.3.5 Average Daily Traffic (ADT) “The FHWA advises that roadways with ADT of 20,000 vpd or less may be good candidates for a Road Diet and should be evaluated for feasibility.”  This guide is the basis for road diets and is widely accepted as the guideline.

The 2013/2014 LittleJohn report shows that the 2013 traffic counts were 22,811 AADT on Maitland Avenue with a projected 2035 AADT of up to 33,779 AADT (see report link in Reference section).  The current 4-lane Maitland Avenue LOS has 3 of the 5 segments as LOS D with 2 of the 5 segments being LOS F.  The proposed 2-lane Maitland Avenue LOS has all 5 segments of Maitland Avenue as LOS F, which make the segments worse.  A level of service F is showing the roadway is failing the traffic demand.

Be careful: Please read the “Findings and Recommendations” and the conclusion of the report carefully.  The conclusion states, “For downtown Maitland, the altered network (2 lane Maitland Avenue,4 lane Sybelia Avenue between Maitland Avenue and US 17/92/Orlando Avenue) provides a better pedestrian environment within the Maitland CRA and actually improves the projected intersection delays and levels of service at the intersections when compared to the 4-lane section shown in the LRTP network, and this is the recommended alternative.”  This sentence only mentions the pedestrian and intersections not the roadway segments.  The roadway segments are the most important part and the 2-lane shows Maitland Avenue as LOS F.  I’m more worried about congestion of the entire road.  Also, note that Sybelia Avenue can not be 4-lane inside of the Right of Way.

The LittleJohn report attempts to justify the 2-lane by:

1)      4- Lane Sybelia Avenue between Maitland Avenue and 17/92

a.       Problem:  There is not enough Right-of-Way to have a 4 lane roadway with curb and gutter.   And defiantly not space for sidewalks. (See Orange County Property Appraisers Maps)

2)      Increasing SunRail ridership

a.       Problem:  SunRail is still struggling

3)      Build additional regional north/south arterials (such as Wymore Road)

a.       Problem:  No roadways are planned.

4)      Implement a Transportation Management Plan

a.       Problem:  What is this?

Recently, two Central Florida road diets have occurred: Denning Avenue (Winter Park) and Curry Ford Road (Orlando).  Denning Avenue had an AADT of 4,400 vpd which is much less than the 20,000 vpd in the FHWA.  Orange County and the City of Orlando just attempted a road diet that failed (see article in reference section).  Curry Ford has an 2017 AADT of 17,259 which is less than Maitland Avenue’s 2013 AADT count of 22,811.  Also, Orange County’s Traffic Counts map shows the 2017 AADT on the 2-lane (less traveled) section of Maitland Avenue around Lake Lily as 22,500 which is more than the 20,000 and not even the busiest section of Maitland Avenue.  The count station is on the least busy section of Maitland Avenue according to the LittleJohn report and the VPD is well over the 20,000.

Someone might ask, why is Orange County and the City of Maitland allowing a road diet on a 22,811 vpd roadway such as Maitland Avenue while Curry Ford Road with a AADT 17,259?

Answer: Money and policy change.  Orange County changed its policy to allow Cities to manage some additional roadways which takes the burden of maintenance cost away from Orange County.  This places the burden of paying for Maitland Avenue squarely on the Maitland Residents.  The former public works director Rick Lemke estimated the cost of maintenance of Maitland Avenue to be (I believe, working on confirming) around $1.2 million every 10 years.  One problem, Maitland does not have any extra money. 

There are present and past members that want to make Maitland Avenue so congested that no one cuts through Maitland using Maitland Avenue (audio files from meetings).

The residents of Maitland have reason to believe that Orange County understands that a 2-lane Maitland Avenue will be detrimental to the traffic flow in Maitland, since Orange County has been adamant about not relinquishing Maitland Avenue unless the City of Maitland agrees to not reduce lanes or speed.  We are petitioning Orange County because we find Orange County compliant and responsible if Maitland Avenue is a 2-lane roadway and negatively impacts traffic.

 

Background:

I was a member of the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) in Maitland in 2014 and 2015.  I joined the TAB after seeing what the City of Maitland did to traffic by narrowing Horatio Avenue in front of City Hall.  During my time on the TAB, the City Council have been trying to do a road diet (2-lane) Maitland Avenue as part of their Downtown Master Plan based on an older 2004 Maitland Area Traffic Study (MATS).  In order to modify Maitland Avenue the City of Maitland has been attempting to acquire Maitland Avenue which is currently owned by Orange County.  Orange County over the past 5 years of negotiating with the City of Maitland put restrictions on how Maitland could change Maitland Avenue by not letting Maitland reduce the number of travel lanes or reduce the speed limit.

 

 

References:

What Level of Service (LOS) means from Virginia DOT.

http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/hampton_roads/LEVEL_OF_SERVICE_i64.pdf

 

2013/2014 LittleJohn Traffic Report:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/onw5twpwrz7mynn/2014-8-8%20Memorandum--%20LittleJohn%20Traffic%20Analysis.pdf?dl=0

This is the one the City of Maitland and did not know about.  I recently sent it to them (see attached 16 mb).  This one was done in 2014.  Shows AADT 2013 of 22,811 and estimated AADT 2035 of up to 33,779.

 

Orange County Traffic Counts:

Here is the link to the traffic info from Orange County's page:

https://ocfl.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=2c7b959736d747f791ab461bd66c6092

 

FHWA Road Diet Info Guide:

https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/guidance/info_guide/ : Chapter 3.3.5 Average Daily Traffic (ADT) “The FHWA advises that roadways with ADT of 20,000 vpd or less may be good candidates for a Road Diet and should be evaluated for feasibility.”

 

Curry Ford Road Diet:

Information about the Road Diet disaster on Curry Ford.  This has less traffic than Maitland Avenue.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-curry-ford-diet-reaction-20180417-story.html

http://www.cityoforlando.net/transportation-planning/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/03/CurryFordCorridorDraftConceptPlan.pdf

 

Downtown Maitland Master Plan:

See pages: Page 31 to Page 33 show the 2 lane Maitland Avenue.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ie3kpj3p08sy4jm/Downtown%20Master%20Plan%20Adopted%20July%2024%202017.pdf?dl=0 

 



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