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Winter Springs fights development with traffic calming

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A recent announcement that the maximum speed limit in Winter Springs would be dropping may have triggered more speed limit changes ahead in the city. And some more traffic changes are coming, according to at least one current and former city official, because of development just next door in Oviedo. 

“I’m not opposed to investing heavily in speed calming mechanisms for all these streets because the traffic will continue to grow,” Winter Springs City Commissioner Ted Johnson said during a March 13 City Commission meeting. “You don’t have to go far down Winter Springs Boulevard to the Oviedo side and see all that and see that it’s coming.” 

Johnson pointed to a new apartment complex in Oviedo being built just south of Winter Springs Boulevard that could add more traffic to the road and beyond. 

“There is a very distinct possibility that they will be able to run a road dumping the traffic from all those apartments right onto Winter Springs Boulevard and that is going to have a significant increase in the number of cars heading toward Tuskawilla Road on that corridor road,” Johnson said. “So I’m not just thinking about the here and now, I’m thinking about the next year, the year after, the year after that.”

The fear of Winter Springs Boulevard being used increasingly as a cut-through road to and from Oviedo had been a frequent lament from then-City-Commissioner Kevin Cannon in the past year, as he pointed to the increased traffic capacity of a widening State Road 426, currently under construction, at Winter Springs Boulevard’s eastern terminus. 

On Feb. 27 new Interim City Manager Phil Hursh was still considering taking the helm of the city as he announced S.R. 434 would be dropping to 45 mph throughout, eliminating sections within the city where the road’s speed limit rises up to 50 mph. That change had required Florida Department of Transportation approval, which was announced to the city in late February. 

That has led to more discussions, with the city’s March 13 City Commission meeting seeing formal requests to add traffic calming measures and begin lowering more speed limits in the city. The big target, Winter Springs Boulevard, is now dropping its speed limit after a March 13 vote. 

“A 5 mph increase in speed limit dramatically increases the fatality rate,” Cannon said at that meeting. “Go with 25 mph. Play it safe for the kids.” 

Former City Commissioner Robert Miller predicted police would soon be writing “a heck of a lot more tickets” along the road if the speed limit dropped. 

A couple of minutes later, the Commission voted unanimously 4-0, with Commissioner Cade Resnick absent, to reduce the limit on Winter Springs Boulevard. 

Listen to the full March 13 meeting here


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