Imagine you are west of the railroad tracks in Winter Park, and an emergency occurs. It could be a sudden health issue, or an injury, or even a fire. If such an event should occur, you generally have two options. You may have to get yourself or your loved ones to the emergency room, or you may have to call emergency responders such as an ambulance or fire truck.
Both instances depend on being able to cross the train tracks through Winter Park. Currently there are two railroad crossings in Winter Park: the Vasquez Road crossing, and the King’s Crossing Road crossing. Both of these crossings are known as “at-grade” crossings. These at-grade crossings are basically designed for cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians to cross directly over the tracks. Unfortunately, such a crossing presents safety issues to the community.
With the at-grade crossings, motorists and pedestrians must always wait for the train to pass before they can cross. Sometimes a train can be particularly long. Sometimes a train can be moving at a slow speed, or can even be stopped completely. All of these instances create traffic delays. Sometimes these delays can last several minutes or even hours, yet in the event of an emergency, every second counts.
The at-grade crossings also create the possibility of an accident involving a train. If cars, bicycles, and pedestrians have to literally cross the tracks, then the potential exists for a collision with a train.
With a railroad underpass, there is no such potential. Automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians can safely pass underneath the tracks instead of having to cross over them. Additionally, a slow or stopped train can never bring traffic to a halt, since an underpass guarantees the uninterrupted flow of traffic through the community. This unimpeded flow of traffic can save critical time in the event of an emergency. It will be an added convenience for the community as well.
These are important factors when considering the construction of an underpass in Winter Park. Currently the underpass is planned in Grand Park near Leland Creek. The Grand Park community, the railroads, the engineers, and every other interested party is ready to move forward with the underpass project. However, the Town of Winter Park, who initially supported this project, no longer wants to honor their contractual commitment.
We need to generate public support for this project. We need to make the Town of Winter Park aware that the community will benefit from the underpass in a number of ways, and that the community wants the Town to resume their support of the project. Help spread the word!