Orlando's Robinson St. to see major changes in effort to slow traffic

Changes to Robinson Street can’t come soon enough for some Orlando business owners and residents. 

"The building we’re standing in front of has been hit by a car twice in the past two years," said Zac Alfson, Executive Director of Milk District Main Street. 

The "Milk District Spot" is no more thanks to the most recent crash in January.  

Alfson says the driver did structural damage and the place is empty now. The Spot was a space for retailers to test out their businesses. 

"We’ve had to end that program due to the accident here," he explained. 

The area will soon get a makeover with the rest of Robinson Street – about two miles stretching from Hughy Avenue to Maguire Boulevard.  Locals say drivers aren’t paying attention, and they’re going way too fast. 

"As the area continues to evolve and change – we want to make sure we’re changing to accommodate those needs," said Florida Dept. of Transportation Spokesman David Parks. 

The Florida Department of Transportation’s current plan is to reduce four lanes of traffic to two, with a third turn lane in some areas. The speed limit will go down to 25 miles per hour, and they’ll be putting in raised medians and crosswalks. In the downtown area, officials say they’ll add dedicated bike lanes. 

"I’m very excited. There’s extra room, extra lanes, and almost seemingly protected lanes for bicyclists," said Delaney Park resident Cynthia Gosiewski. 

Business owners and residents could give their input during a public meeting tonight. Alfson was there to weigh in on his block’s design.

"There are no pedestrian improvements, there are no bike facilities, and we’ll be losing all of our on-street parking," Alfson said. 

"That’s the point of the meeting. To get feedback from the locals, the people who use this road every single day so we can accommodate their visions and their needs," Parks said. 

FDOT is still in the design phase. The plan is to start construction in 2024. 

The project will cost about $10 million.