WINDERMERE, Fla. – A new study commissioned by the town of Windermere shows most drivers who use the town's popular roadways are merely cutting through the area to get to their destination.
Town Manager Robert Smith told News 6 much of the problem comes from new developments located in West Orange County.
"People who are living there, aren't working there," he said. "They're working in Orlando, they're working at Disney. That's why they're using that cut through, to get to their jobs, to get to their entertainment complexes, to get to their schooling."
The study, conducted by Kimley-Horn and Associates, focuses primarily on Chase Road, 6th Avenue, Park Avenue and Maguire Road.
Jennifer Bradshaw works at Tranquility Wellness Center on Main Street, and sees traffic problems non-stop in the town.
"Traffic is crazy," she said. "When it comes to a complete stop, we just stand and wave at everybody and hope they'll stop in."
Karen Chambliss has lived downtown for 10 years and has watched as traffic has grown exponentially.
"People are definitely using it as a cut through," she said. "My husband goes to the gym, which is 2 miles away. When he comes home, it takes him 45 minutes [because of traffic]."
According to the study, 22,000 cars pass through the town every day. That number is seven times higher than the town's population.
"It's pretty much putting a stranglehold on us and there's not much we can do," Smith said.
Now, the town is exploring its options, including asking for help from neighboring jurisdictions and Orange County.
"It's because of them we are experiencing this issue," Smith said.
Town leaders will also look at alternatives like installing road barriers on some dirt roads to prevent drivers from trying to use shortcuts when traffic is backed up.
To view the full Town Council agenda, click here.
The Town Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 25 at the Town Hall at 520 Main Street.