No doubt, you’ve driven through it before. It might have been on the return trip from Daytona Beach, or business out in Seminole county, perhaps you drive it everyday on your I4 commute from Deltona to Downtown Orlando or the attractions.
The Fairbanks Curve. The most frequent location of catastrophic car crashes in the metropolitan Orlando area.
It looks harmless enough. You’ve just past the Lee rd. exit, probably catching glances of the Ferraris or Mini Coopers being sold to the right side of Interstate 4. Then, there is a slight incline your vehicle takes, and a deceptively sharp turn to make for the speed that’s allowed. It catches tourists and truckers off guard and since it’s the main break away from traffic in the Maitland and Altamonte Springs areas drivers are speeding to make up time. After the curve the interstate drops sharply again before it straightens out just before the approach to Princeton and Colonial.
You can’t take the Fairbanks Curve safely while going 70+ MPH in a clumsy and large vehicle, you definitely can’t take it if you’re a trucker in a semi or a tourist in a top-heavy SUV that hasn’t seen it before.
Our most recent reminder was the jack-knifed tractor trailer that blocked all lanes on I4 yesterday while commuters had to deal with feeder bands from Tropical Storm Issac. Semis are the worst. When they jack-knife, they block all 3 lanes and nothing is getting through for at least an hour.
An hour of blocked traffic during rush hour? On I4? Oh, yeah. We do it at least once a month because of the Fairbanks Curve.
Local leaders have to find a solution and it can’t wait.
No, it’s not an easy task. We’re talking about I4 here. You get enough moaning and groaning when work is being done at 3am on a Sunday morning. It’s the only way some Central Floridians know how to get around. You can’t exactly tear it down and start over.
The current solutions haven’t worked. A big sign? Reflectors on the walls? That’s not going to work. In fact the only real solutions are costly ones. A stationed police officer? Multiple fully lit, video signs? Toll Roads? A speed bump?
Silly solutions but the current conditions can’t continue. Not unless we want more accidents, and the risk of more fatal crashes.
It’s up to local leaders to find solutions to these problems. That’s what their elected for. Yes, there has been whispers of constructions to begin next year but precautions must be taken now. These crashes are occurring on a monthly basis. Everyone agrees that the problem is there.
They just have to do something about it.