Safety concerns spark at new flyover on John Young Parkway

ORLANDO, Fla. - Many drivers tell Local 6 the traffic pattern surrounding the new flyover near John Young Parkway and Lee Road is dangerous.

It's been open for several weeks, but confused drivers are still causing close calls and accidents.

In less than 30 minutes, Local 6 cameras spotted a half-dozen near accidents, mainly caused by drivers merging to avoid the flyover at the last minute. One driver even came to a complete stop, backing up in the middle of traffic.

"It's an accident waiting to happen," said Lourdes Quevedo, who takes the flyover between her son's school and home.

Kristen Kuhns works across the street from the flyover at the Collision Center of Orlando. She says it saves her time, but the confused drivers make her nervous.

"They dart over in front of people, they smack into people. There's going to be a very bad accident," she said.

Kuhns says she witnesses at least four minor crashes on the first day the project got the green light. Drivers blame the erratic maneuvers on poor signage.

"Signs are not placed with sufficient time where you can decide if you're going to stay on the left or on the right," said Quevedo.

They say speed is a factor too and Local 6 caught several speeders, even a school bus going well above the posted 35 mph speed limit.

According to Florida Department of Transportation Spokesman Steve Olson the signs marking the fork in lanes--several continuing onto the overpass and the others heading onto Lee Road--are properly posted.

In a statement Olson did say, "...We may have a situation where drivers are not used to the new traffic patterns. The roadway and the signage meet specifications and are properly designed. However, that said, we will send observers to gather data during peak traffic times to determine if improvements might be made."

According to FDOT, they will also solicit comments and criticism from law enforcement and public at the Orange County Transportation Safety Team meeting next Tuesday at the Orange County Public Works building.

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