Speedometers in hand, a host of Winter Park workshop participants explored a small segment of Denning Drive up close and personal in May and saw how motorists tend to drive about 10 mph above the 30 mph posted limit.
The City of Winter Park is considering the possibility of narrowing four-lane Denning, or “right-sizing” it. The Winter Park Community Redevelopment Agency Board, which consists of the Mayor, City Commission, and an Orange County Commission-appointed member, voted in June to approve a Denning Drive concept based on input from residents.
One of the major benefits of “right-sizing” is that it cuts down on speeding and related crashes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports “right-sizing” projects can lead to a 19-47% decrease in crashes.
In case you aren’t familiar with this project or even this area in Winter Park, you should know that the Bike/Walk Central Florida board fully supports “right-sizing” Denning Drive (read more here).
In a nutshell, some may be wondering – if Denning goes from four to two lanes, will they be better off or not? City staff contend motorists will see little to no increase in commute time (at max 4.3 seconds), but they anticipate the “right-sizing” will encourage more biking and walking and help reduce speeding.
Even so, some resistance to “right-sizing” Denning seemed to come from motorists. They were worried that making Denning Drive two lanes will cause a backup for drivers whenever a LYNX bus makes a stop. Other participants wanted to see wider sidewalks and safer, more accessible crosswalks, especially for wheelchair users and seniors.