Traffic Analysis Crucial to Northeast Gateway Debate

Traffic Analysis Crucial to Northeast Gateway Debate

After a kick-off meeting by Blueprint officials and another meeting with the Killearn Homeowners Association (KHA), it is clear that the debate over the Northeast Gateway will hinge on the findings of a traffic analysis.

Killearn Estates Concerns: Ahead of the kick-off meeting, the KHA Board voted to oppose Phase I of the project which connects Welaunee Blvd. to Shamrock at Centerville Road. The Board’s concerns, echoed by residents at meetings, is the new traffic pattern will increase cars using Killearn Estates streets.

What the KHA Supports: KHA voted against Phase I, but supports Phase II of the project which will extend Welaunee Blvd from Fleischmann to Roberts Road. The KHA believes this road has minimal impact on established neighborhoods.

Northeast Gateway Purpose: Documents show that officials believe “Welaunee Boulevard and other region-serving roads” may take pressure off the scenic and protected Miccosukee and Centerville canopy roads, and potentially avoid costs for upgrades at the Thomasville Road and U.S. 90 I-10 interchanges.  (Emphasis added)

Traffic Analysis: Officials at the Northeast Gateway meetings have repeatedly said that the “alternatives” to the Phase I will be largely determined by a traffic analysis which has yet to be completed. If the traffic analysis shows that pressure is reduced at the Thomasville Road I-10 interchange by increasing traffic flows through Killearn Estates, expect Killearn Estates residents and the KHA to increase their opposition to Phase 1.

4 Responses to "Traffic Analysis Crucial to Northeast Gateway Debate"

  1. Blairstone was almost 30 yrs ago, and connected roadways funneling people into downtown for work. The flyover was maybe 20 yrs ago. Different issues and probably different people. People in Killearn don’t want traffic from Welaunee coming thru their neighborhood. Blairstone Rd impacted different neighborhoods. The I-10 flyover was a way to reduce congestion at a heavily congested interchange. It allowed further development in that corridor.

    Welaunee Blvd entension will just open up more land to be developed and give a new connection into Killearn and dump a lot of traffic onto Shamrock.

    Different people different issue. Maybe they all are NIMBY’s but that’s OK.

  2. Reminder….many objected to the Blairstone Rd extension connecting Centerville by way of Park and Mahan. Many objected to the I-10 flyover from Thomasville to CCNE. Is it possible that these same folks protesting the Gateway, believing it will cause more traffic through Killearn Estates, are the same ones denying the projections of Growth Management about the Gateway? Just saying…..

  3. First off, we need to have the travel demand model updated to reflect the latest population, auto ownership, dwelling unit type, landuse and all of the other inputs that go into the model. It was incompetent for the previous long range transportation plan to have been built without updating the base year from 2007. The census tract info and the traffic analysis zones need to be updated for the new proposed development. Probably right now it is one big zone and landuse is probably going to change within that big zone. Does the roadway network even have the new proposed road coded into it?

    On the face of it, people are going to use Centerville and Miccosukee to get to and from work, with most going into downtown, FSU/FAMU/TCC, and the hospitals (large employers very close to Miccosukee and Centerville). So I think the new road will just capture discretionary trips and work trips along the I-10 corridor to Monroe and Thomasville Roads. The modeling really needs to be done correctly and and not finagled with planning department BS “assumptions” of trip generation rates to and from TAZs. And it needs to be done both with a new interchange at Welaunee and without an interchange at Welaunee.

    Modeling is a good tool, but only as good as the data going into it, and the people running it, and without the political interference that sometimes happens when people want to justify a marginal project.

  4. Predicting traffic flows 5-10 years in the future is much like predicting the weather for the same time period. Although using certain existing data, for periods this far out they are both very subjective and based on the traffic analyst using “guesstimates” on what they “think” people will do when people leave/go to their homes and/or businesses in the development.

    The guesstimates I’ve been reviewing for the past 15 years for Canopy indicate that the vast majority of traffic will use Welaunee Blvd to access such locations as Publix, Lowes and Capital Circle. However, we are already seeing folks use the Fleischman Connector Rd to exit Canopy and travel to Centerville Road then to points N, E, and W. This Connector Rd is the shortest distance, naturally. The Residents of Centerville Rd Group, representing 10 subdivisions and 400-500 homeowners, feels the development will have a grave detrimental impact on Centerville Road, going both East and West.

    Likewise, existing traffic analyses predict an increase on both Centerville and Miccosukee Roads with the latter approaching a failure rate grade very soon. There is NO analysis predicting an decrease on either road which are already heavily traveled with the latter prone to very serious accidents due to speed and property damage and injuries due to open storm water ditches. (Several years ago, a traffic safety report I created using yearly accident data, had the FDOT Safety Division indicate Miccosukee Road was already an unsafe road based on current construction).

    Additionally, in a December, 2017 meeting with the Developers, we were told that the N. Dempsey Mayo connector to Centerville Road would be completed very soon. However, last week, we were told by Growth Management that the southern portion of DM would not be completed until at least 2021! We have repeatedly and unsuccessfully asked GM to have the North portion of DM connecting at Hickory Ridge be completed first in order to assist our Killearn and our own local neighbors who are already at a stress point. Our requests have been denied with each request. Why? This is the same GM Department that failed to enforce approved Canopy permits, whereas, the NW Water Management District did so and led to the largest imposed fines to Canopy in its history just a short time ago!

    Is this yet another wrongful political decision made by the much maligned former City Commission?

    What can our CURRENT City and County Commissioners do to assist changing GM’s decision?

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