Toll road lanes are being considered along a clogged 23-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 192 to help improve traffic flow.
The Florida Department of Transportation recently announced at a W192 Development Authority meeting that it has hired consultants to conduct a study on the proposal.
The study will examine the feasibility and possible impacts of adding toll lanes or “pay as you go” lanes to U.S. 192 from the Florida’s Turnpike in Osceola County to U.S. Highway 27 near Disney. The study is a collaboration with Osceola County, Lynx, MetroPlan Orlando and FDOT to evaluate “innovative mobility solutions” to create complete streets, said Steve Olsen, FDOT regional communications manager.
The study, conducted by Kittelson & Associates, will examine items, such as who drives on the highway and for how long. It will also need to tackle the issue of implementing tolls in a heavy tourist area, where visitors may not be aware of the system.
The feasibility study is still in its earliest stages and should take at least another year-and-a-half to complete.
“The department will evaluate multi-modal improvements for the corridor, including using mobility lanes that may generate revenue for transportation enhancements,” Olsen said in a statement Wednesday. “This is a very early line of thinking, which may or may not gain traction.”
Mike Johnson has lived in Celebration for 19 years and witnessed congestion get worse along much of U.S. 192.
He said he’s not a fan of implementing a toll lane, but admitted that it’s better than sitting in traffic when you’re in a hurry.
“Ultimately, if they’re looking at making it a choice, like the I-4 expansion is supposed to be, then I’m OK with it,” Johnson said. “I’m not a fan of paying to use roads, but I don’t like gridlock either.”