Maitland backtracks on traffic plans

Sarah Wilson

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The city of Maitland is getting on track to make changes to traffic patterns aimed at keeping cars moving freely on the roads and – more importantly – off of the railroad right-of-ways.

The city put up two proposals to the Florida Department of Transportation in recent weeks it hopes will make the railroad intersection at Horatio Avenue safer for commuters, said Mayor Howard Schieferdecker. The first is for a preemption system that would clear out backed up cars in between Maitland Avenue headed toward U.S. Highway 17-92 when a train approaches.

The second is to retroactively re-stripe Horatio back to two through lanes removing the new parallel parking spaces on the same stretch of road, and also converting the left-turn-only lane onto northbound 17-92 from Horatio into a left-or-straight-option lane, which would take the road back to how it was prior to the traffic reconfigurations put in place earlier this year.

Plans for the construction earlier this year were based on a traffic study from 2004, and didn’t take into account the increased train traffic caused by SunRail, Schieferdecker said.

These proposed changes, he said, are helping to bring that 2004 study up to date with this decade.

“It’s an ongoing process,” Schieferdecker said.

The city’s Transportation Advisory Board and Planning & Zoning Commission held a joint meeting last week to encourage public input regarding the present and future state of downtown Maitland traffic, specifically on Maitland Avenue.

Planning & Zoning Chairman Dale McDonald said the city needs to get working on its vision for its roads in the future, especially with downtown development deals queuing up.

“We can’t keep doing what were doing,” he said.