ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Orlando City Commission is the first government entity to give the green light to a $1.2 million study that will be conducted by Lynx, looking at 21 miles of the State Road 436 corridor and how to improve efficiency on the road.
The study would cover from the state roads 436/434 intersection in west Altamonte Springs, all the way to the Orlando International Airport.
Commissioner Tony Ortiz has been pushing for new options for seven years. "There's over 60 thousand vehicles that travel through that corridor on a daily basis." He says transit will be more of a focus than moving cars faster. "We have a lot of seniors in that area. We have a lot of youngsters that don't drive vehicles yet, and what not, and we need to provide them public transportation."
Lynx will study bus travel: how can they move faster and how they transport more employees to the airport? Ortiz says most importantly, the study will examine the viability of a bus rapid transit, or BRT, lane to be installed in either direction or both. "That is what this study is going to be all about. How can we make it happen? There are a lot of challenges of course. From Curry Ford Road south is wider. From Curry Ford Road north is narrower."
The $1.2 million cost will be split by the number of miles in each jurisdiction: Orlando will contribute $450,000, Seminole County will contribute $455,000, Orange County will contribute $190,000, and the Florida Department of Transportation will contribute $175,000 to look at bike and pedestrian improvements.
We asked Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortiz if the spending was worth it or wasted? "This particular study merits that amount of money because we definitely need to come up with public transportation. There is a lot of people out there in need that has to move from one point to the other, especially seeking jobs."
The ultimate dream for Ortiz is a BRT lane for both SR 436 and Colonial Drive that would connect and have a transfer point. He says if that can ever get done, he would ride it to work at City Hall.