A Winter Park Advocacy Groups Sets It’s Sites On Fixing State Road 426

A Winter Park Advocacy Groups Sets It’s Sites On Fixing State Road 426

A group of residents in Winter Park have created an advocacy group that is set on fixing State Road 426. They’ve formed the group known as Fix426, an advocacy group lobbying for the city of Winter Park and the Florida Department of Transportation to make the road better, State Road 426 is better known as  Aloma Avenue, among other names, locally.

As a member of Fix426, Tara Gaffey lives on the road. She lives in an area commonly referred to as Brewers Curve by local residents.

Tara recently told local sources: “I just graduated school, first house, newly engaged, and didn’t realize the road was so terrible until I had kids,” said Gaffey, who is a mother of two young boys. “And was like, ‘Oh my God, this is horrendous,’ and I literally broke down into tears when I was walking (my child in) the stroller down the S-curve.”

While a park sits across the street from her home, Tara claims she’d rather drive than walk with her children. “Sometimes, I drive just so I can get over here to walk the dog and play with the kids,”. Officials have stated that there have been more than 640 crashes on less than a two-mile strip of Aloma Avenue in the last 6 years.

What The FDOT Says About Fixing State Road 426

A spokesperson for the Florida Department Of Transportation (FDOT) said the department is already planning to repave State Road 426 and then decided to work with community participants to look at other improvements to the road, between Park Avenue and Lakemont Avenue.

The FDOT gave the following statement:

“(FDOT) is evaluating safety, pedestrian and bicyclist mobility, speed management, and traffic operations,” said FDOT community outreach specialist Tim Freed. “The next steps will include having a round of meetings with the city, the project visioning team and the public.”

Residents Are Hopeful That They Will Succeed In Fixing State Road 426

Tara is hopeful that Fix426 can work with the city and the FDOT to brainstorm solutions to the regular speeding and heavy traffic issues plaguing the roadway.

“Safety is the goal, for residents to be able to commute in their cars, (and for) pedestrians and cyclists to be able to get from point A to point B without feeling like they’re going to get hit by a car,” Tara said.

Tara also stated that the group is focused on ramping up patrols, and adding more pedestrian cross walks and traffic lights to make the road safer.

Tara went on to say “We love walking to Park Avenue, but literally feel like we’re risking our lives every time,”.

Florida Department Of Transportation officials say the project is funded for design next year, in 2024, with construction starting sometime in the next three years, aiming for 2026.

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