Orange County has completed a traffic engineering study that concentrated on Lakeside Village of Horizon West. Citizens have expressed concern about bicycle and pedestrian safety in the area, especially along Tattant Boulevard and Overstreet Road, where vehicles commonly speed, and have requested the county install traffic-calming measures.
Orange County District 1 Commissioner Nicole Wilson and other county officials held a virtual community meeting Wednesday, May 25, to provide potential safety options and give residents a chance to offer feedback to staff. Vibhuti Patel, assistant project manager for Orange County, hosted the meeting.
“Safety is, of course, a top priority, and quality of life is right behind it,” Wilson told attendees.
Nathan Hicks, multimodal transportation planner at HDR, and Jamie Krzeminski, HDR’s senior transportation engineer, presented the results of the study.
Hicks stressed these are potential remedies, and the county is seeking feedback from residents. Traffic engineers collected speed and volume data from six previously studied locations as well as eight new locations and looked at crash data for the corridors — all between 2016 and 2022.
The study looked at origin-destination data, too, which indicated any potential cut-thru traffic.
Daily traffic volumes averaged 3,000 daily on Overstreet and Village Lakes roads and the 35 mph section of Tattant. On Bentonshire and Calderdale avenues and the 25 mph portion of Tattant, numbers reached between 800 and 3,000 vehicles daily.
The county’s speed hump program has several eligibility requirements. They must be local residential streets with a minimum and maximum traffic volume of 800 and 3,000, respectively; they must have posted speeds of less than 30 mph; and they must have an observed 85th percentile speed of more than 30 mph.
Two streets currently are eligible: Bentonshire Avenue and the 25 mph section of Tattant.
Crash data collected from 2016 to 2020 looked at two prominent locations: Overstreet and the 25 mph section of Tattant. Of the 40 crashes reported in the neighborhood, 28 had property damage only, and 12 were with injuries. There were no fatalities reported.
“Many of these crashes occurred during nighttime conditions, which was important because it showed us what potential traffic-calming devices (would be helpful in this area),” Hicks said.
Vehicle traffic patterns indicate the most frequently used roads are Overstreet, Village Lake Road, Ficquette Road and Winter Garden Vineland Road. Cut-thru traffic was high.
Krzeminski shared possible solutions with attendees, including constructing roundabouts, adding crosswalks to high-visibility areas to reduce vehicle speeds, creating median islands, reducing four-lane roads to two lanes, building speed cushions and speed tables, installing street lighting, and lowering the speed limits.
“Roundabouts do a great job of slowing people down because it deflects virtually around a center island,” Krzeminski said. “It’s proven to reduce the number of crashes and, particularly, serious crashes.
Street lighting was recommended along Overstreet “to make those curves a little more obvious,” he said.
A community trail could get safety enhancements by way of marked crosswalks, and Krzeminski said there are about a dozen areas on the trail where signage could help.
The team shared potential treatments for each of the study areas.
On Overstreet Road, options include speed feedback signs, street lighting, speed cushions or tables, a two-way cycle track, additional median islands and the removal of the existing center turn lane.
Speed cushions or tables are recommended in the 25 mph section of Tattant Boulevard; the 35 mph portion of Tattant could see additional median islands, a reduction in speed limit, a roundabout at the intersection with Village Lake Road and lane elimination.
One area of frequent traffic backup is at Sunset Park Elementary School, which has a single onsite queuing lane for student drop-off and pick-up.
“The mass majority of traffic was parents coming to pick up their kids from school (who) were coming from the east and going back that same way,” Hicks said. “In terms of managing that, there’s an opportunity potentially with coordination with the school. If they go to a double queuing line, they can reduce the traffic out on Tattant.
“I’m going to try to make sure — if there are things we can do sooner rather than later,” Wilson said. “These options really, really get to the heart of the problem.”
A survey was held among meeting attendees, and Orange County is keeping the survey open for residents who would like to participate. Visit menti.com and use Code 5859 9075.
Commissioner Wilson said she welcomes comments from citizens, and she can be reached at [email protected].