50ºF

Winter Park police recommend right turns only onto Orange Avenue

City officials waiting for input from Orwin Manor neighborhood before changes

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Winter Park police are recommending the city build medians at certain side streets to restrict right turns only onto Orange Avenue.
 
News 6 learned about the recommendations after reporting residents in the Orwin Manor neighborhood are pushing for similar safety measures.
 
"Placing a physical restriction of the pork chop median on both sides of Westchester and on Berkshire and making them all Right Turn Only," Lt. John Montgomery with WPPD wrote to News 6 in an email. "Motorists that use that area as a cut through will be less likely to chance a left turn if the intersection physically does not allow it."
 
Kim Lawton has lived in the neighborhood for five years. She said drivers take a risk every time they try to cross Orange Avenue at Westchester Avenue.
 
She said motorists dart between traffic as they try to turn left onto Orange Avenue or cut across.
 
"You either pick times that you just jet across or you wait and then risk this street backs up a long, long way, especially during traffic," she said.
 
So far this year, the Winter Park Police Department said it has responded to seven crashes in this area. Three crashes were reported last week alone.
 
Some residents of the Orwin Manor neighborhood are pushing for the city to restrict right turns only from side streets, hoping that would reduce the crashes at these intersections. 
 
News 6 learned Winter Park police officials made the recommendation of right turn only restrictions to city officials in last May.
 
A city spokesperson told News 6 it does take the police department's recommendations into consideration but no decisions have been made. City officials said the Orwin Manor HOA was not in favor of this recommendation before and they're still waiting on feedback from residents before making any decisions.
 
The Florida Department of Transportation initially proposed right turns only onto Orange Avenue but those recommendations were not included in the final safety study of the corridor released in January.
 
The neighborhood association tells News 6 it plans to hold a community meeting, but no date has been set. 
 
A spokesperson with the City of Orlando said it is not considering right turn only restrictions in their jurisdiction.
 
FDOT said work on the short-term solutions along Orange Avenue is scheduled to start in April. Speed limit signs are now painted on Orange Avenue. Regarding the long-term matters, FDOT said it is continuing to work with the local jurisdictions.


About the Author: