Some improvements to our intersection at County Road 535 and Overstreet occurred over the summer, and we recently received an update from Commissioner Scott Boyd as follow-up from our April 2012 meeting regarding traffic and pedestrian safety at and around the school. You may click here to open a pdf from Orange County Traffic Engineering, but these improvements were:
Existing crosswalk striping was refreshed. Faded white crosswalk striping on bleached out asphalt resulted in barely visible crosswalks.
Yellow paint was applied to somewhat extend the median nose of CR535 on the southern side of the intersection. We campaigned for extending the median nose (grass) on both the northern and southern sides. The application of a few strokes of paint is much less effective, but at least there is admittance that the nose was too short. (photo below)
Left-hand turn signals were added at Overstreet. This helps the flow of vehicles but it also extends the traffic cycle which further delays aggravated drivers.
And the big one…crosswalk striping was added so now there are no missing legs. This is important because now students and parents have been rerouted to cross CR535 on the northern side. They may then walk to school on the sidewalk against Harvest. This eliminates the necessity of crossing a 90′ bus driveway, the school’s vehicular access point, and a very busy 55′ vehicular access point for the Lake Butler Shoppes as well as the danger of passing through a section of sidewalk with no buffer against Overstreet. This was one of our early suggestions, and one we felt would be simple to implement, so we are delighted to see it put in place.
The problem that this exposes is also something we have pointed out. The new crosswalk leg on the northern side of the intersection sits 50 feet from the end of the median. This median, like its southern relative, is pushed way too far back. Unless this is a new unconventional method in which the crosswalk is so far from the median that drivers can’t help but notice, this median nose needs to be extended! Pedestrians feel like they’re in a sea of asphalt, and this encourages drivers to make a speedy turn. (photo below)
The bottom line is some steps have been made. They may be baby steps, but we’ve seen movement. Commissioner Boyd, in his update, indicates that he and traffic engineering are still working towards a solution for the vehicle stacking. We all know this may require a relief valve of some sort especially as long as we are overcrowded at Sunset Park.