The Town of Winter Park’s second attempt at quieting train whistles at King’s Crossing Road has created dangerous driving conditions again. In the recent snowstorm one driver (photo) hit the quiet zone median and high-centered on it. Fortunately no one was hurt…but future drivers may not be so lucky.
Forcing road improvements onto this stretch of King’s Crossing road to stop the sound of train whistles has a lot working against it. The allowed speed, curvature and slope of the road are difficult to drive already with the road covered in snow and ice 6 months of the year. Driving on a snowy road around a turn, downhill to a railroad crossing, while avoiding the newly installed one foot high median often concealed by snow only adds to the problem.
The first installation of such improvements on this road resulted in similar accidents. The median ended-up being removed only after the former Mayor skidded and high-centered on it. This should have been enough for the Town and its Manager to recognize they were going down the same unsafe road again. Why, when the City knows it can stop the sound of train whistles and eliminate this stretch of dangerous road if it participates in the new UPRR Underpass did it spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the King’s Crossing road improvements?
The UPRR Underpass will create a safe vehicular and pedestrian separated crossing of the railroad – but Winter Park’s Council and Manager refuse to keep their contractual commitment, (See 2004 Annexation Agreement ~ Section 4.1 (b), (ii) and Section 8.1.) and are bent on keeping the King’s Crossing of the tracks open – even though they know that that crossing is likely to be closed when the underpass becomes operational – construction scheduled to begin in 2015.