Casselberry businesses right to be dubious about flyover

Traffic can get snarled along U.S. Highway 17-92 at Horatio Avenue in Maitland.

Sometimes I have to wait through a couple of red lights to get to where I want to go.

Hey, let's build a flyover. You know, a massive concrete overpass that lets drivers throttle over a busy intersection without hitting the brakes.

What's that? Too disruptive? A flyover would cut off access to businesses? Motorists would speed by too fast to notice what shops are there, much less stop and buy something?

If you're asking those questions, you're right.

A flyover at Horatio makes about as much sense as encouraging texting and driving in a school zone — none.

So why should Casselberry, less than three miles north on U.S. 17-92, have to live with such a solution to its traffic woes?

Each day that goes by makes it more likely that a flyover on U.S. 17-92 over S.R. 436 will begin construction this fall.

The answer is rooted in this state's addiction to speed.

When the Florida Department of Transportation engineers look at a road, they typically care about two things: how many cars the street can move, and how fast.

Sometimes I think the guys at DOT are speed junkies posing as bureaucrats.

Look at the monstrosity over State Road 436 at State Road 50.

There has been an exodus of businesses from the nearby plazas on S.R. 436.

But you don't have to hit your brakes as you're flying over them.

This is what critics of Casselberry's flyover plan fear.

And I don't blame them.

If state transportation officials and the community in general were willing to accept a little more congestion, then perhaps we would see a solution there that looks more like a boulevard than a freeway.

But that's unlikely now.

Contractors are already competing for the job. The contract will likely be awarded by the end of next month.

Even if somebody walked into DOT today with a perfect plan to keep the street moving as well as make it more business and pedestrian friendly, it's unlikely anyone could stop the flyover plans already in motion.