Future Land Use Traffic Analysis

Welcome to this week’s Wednesday Workshop, where we examine the features contributing to Groveland’s natural charm. This week we will dive into the traffic analysis that was crucial to the upcoming Future Land Use Element.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) required a traffic analysis for the submission of our proposed Future Land Use Element. As part of the review process, their consultant generated a model showing the impacts of full buildout on the proposed transects, based on the maximum allowable density with no new transportation facilities. The network that currently serves Groveland, which is adequate to serve agricultural and low density housing, was overwhelmed by the traffic generated in the model.

Of particular concern to FDOT were SR 50, SR 19, US 27 and the Florida Turnpike.  These are part of the Strategic Intermodal System that are carefully monitored because of their importance in freight mobility. These are also very important roads for Groveland’s economic wellbeing. Logistics has, for good reason, become a mainstay in the local economy.

FDOT recommended engaging a traffic modeling consultant to provide the data they require. The Planning Division engaged Luke Transportation Engineering Company (LTEC) to model future traffic volumes with the actual forecast population distributed. Using the Lake-Sumter MPO forecasts for 2045, they have provided positive results for Groveland.

Traffic models use Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs) that distribute households and employment in the region. The model is run multiple times to assign trips to jobs in the region until the total trips are balanced. The results estimate the number trips on each road in the region and illustrates levels of traffic flow. In Groveland’s case the model results were quite positive, and support adding some new connecting roads during the 2040 planning horizon. Table 5 in the Image Gallery shows the findings.  The segments labeled “Better” showed improved performance as a result of the additional road links.

Because of the importance of freight facilities to Groveland’s economy, additional links were added to reduce the pressure on SR 19, in particular. They are shown in Figure 1 (featured in the Image Gallery) via red dashed lines. As a system they provide an alternative residential network that reduces the pressure of residential travel on SR 19. As a result, SR 19 can continue to operate as a 2-lane road well into the future.

As labeled, Figure 2 demonstrates:

  1. A North-South road, originating in Downtown was extended through the Cherry Lake Tree Farm.   
  2. Lake Emma Road Extension that creates a link between Villa City Road, SR 19 and Wilson Lake Parkway
  3. Southwest Libby Road Extension that creates a parallel North-South connection to US 27
  4. American Way Extension, which ties O’Brien Road and the Ford Commerce Park to Villa City Road and provides an alternative exit for the Ford Commerce Park.

The Image Gallery also shows an exemplary tree-lined boulevard, a 2-lane road with on-street parking and a planted median, which was used as the model.

Thank you for joining us this week and make sure to stay on the lookout for future Wednesday Workshop posts!

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