Residents push for right turns only onto Orange Avenue in Winter Park

City officials waiting for input from Orwin Manor neighborhood before changes

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor

WINTER PARK, Fla. - Some residents who live along Orange Avenue in Winter Park are pushing for city leaders to take action following multiple crashes this week.
 
Garrick Spears, who witnessed three crashes in front of his home on Orange Avenue during afternoon rush hour this week, said he is "beyond frustrated."
 
His neighbor, Michael Galletta, said the road gets very busy during peak times of the day. Cars try to turn left or cross over Orange Avenue from side streets, like Westchester Avenue. 

"They're not seeing oncoming traffic in the far lanes, and they're getting sideswiped, T-boned," Spears said. "There was a head-on accident last night."
 
The neighbors think a solution could be restricting turns to right turns only onto Orange Avenue from city side streets during peak hours.
 
The Florida Department of Transportation initially proposed that idea last year, but Winter Park officials tell News 6 residents in the Orwin Manor neighborhood were not in favor of the recommendation.
 
Restricting turns was not included in FDOT's final safety study of the corridor, which was released in January. Instead, FDOT proposed long-term solutions, such as building a roundabout and reducing the number of lanes. FDOT also proposed short-term solutions to make the road safer, like painting speed limit signs on the road and adding merge signs.
 
However Spears believes the city can do something now to prevent more crashes.
 
"Something needs to be done, and honestly, the city of Winter Park has an option at their hands that they could do today," he said.
 
A city spokesperson told News 6 in an email, "The city met with the Orwin Manor (Homeowners Association) who are reviewing the report and we are waiting on their feedback so we have their input prior to making recommendations to the City Commission. It is important to have the neighborhood's support and input on any changes made to this area."
 
An FDOT spokesperson said work on the short-term solutions along Orange Avenue is scheduled to start in April. Regarding the long-term matters, FDOT said it is continuing to work with the local jurisdictions. 

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