If Oakland commissioners have their way, the main east-west thoroughfare through downtown will be a consistent 35 mph for its entire length. At present, the east end of Oakland Avenue — also called County Road 438 — is a 35 mph speed zone but the western portion is 45 mph.
The Oakland Town Commission is in favor of the slower speed limit, but because it’s a county road, the town must request Orange County to make the speed limit reduction.
Pulte Homes is proposing an upgraded pedestrian walkway — across Oakland Avenue at the entrance of its new Longleaf at Oakland community — to connect to the West Orange Trail. To do so, a speed study was required, and the results of the study, conducted by Traffic & Mobility Consultants, indicate the speed needs to be lowered.
Two residential developments under construction have entrances on Oakland Avenue, which is a two-lane, undivided road. Hull Island at Oakland is developing 110 single-family homes, and its entrance lies within the 45 mph speed zone. Longleaf will have 185 single-family homes that lie within the 35 mph speed zone and 350 multi-family units that lie within the 45 mph zone.
The town will coordinate the construction of the pedestrian crossing and the speed limit reduction. Town Manager Steve Koontz said permitting for the crosswalk has taken several months and has been a difficult process because there are three entities involved — the county owns the road and the trail, the town owns the right-of-way, and the state of Florida owns surrounding property.
IN OTHER NEWS:
• The commission accepted the purchase and sale agreement for a .7-acre parcel of land on the north side of West Colonial Drive west of Tubb Street. The town is buying the 28,826-square-foot piece of property — former railroad right-of-way — from Casual Line Corp. for $45,000. The land is appraised at $196,300; the seller is being allowed to write off $151,300 as a charitable donation credit. The land will be used for a future trail network from the Longleaf neighborhood. This pedestrian trail eventually will run from the Amon Pavilion to Tubb Street near Colonial.
• Commissioners approved an agreement amendment with the West Orange Healthcare District to rename the town’s new arts and heritage building. The healthcare district, in an effort to promote its Healthy West Orange brand, has requested the new name be Healthy West Orange Arts & Heritage Center at the Town of Oakland.
• The Nov. 26 and Dec. 24 Town Commission meetings are cancelled because of the upcoming holidays. The remaining 2019 meetings will be held Nov. 12 and Dec. 17, both at Historic Town Hall.