Doctor Detour answers your transportation questions.
Q: In 2014, we were told that, with the opening of the new Intermodal Center at Port Everglades, freight trains would no longer block traffic on State Road 84. Yet, it still happens. What gives? Shawn Michaelson, Fort Lauderdale
A: Prior to 2014, the trains were assembled across State Road 84. Most Florida East Coast freight trains are now put together at the new Intermodal Container Transfer Facility next to Port Everglades.
The FEC trains still cross S.R. 84 at slow speed every morning going into the facility. But, the number of trains has been reduced from about 40 to 14 per day. The train is never stopped on S.R. 84 unless there is a problem, according to FEC.
There are occasional situations where drivers encounter trains that are stopped or slowly moving back and forth. This happens when the train is longer than 9,000 feet — more than the capacity at the ICTF.
Sometimes, engines assembling trains will trigger track sensors that close the crossing gates momentarily even though no train is crossing S.R. 84.
Q: Who can I contact to suggest a modification that might lessen traffic congestion on westbound State Road 84 at Davie Road? The far right lane can easily be configured to be a thru lane. Kevin Shrock, Fort Lauderdale
A: Good news. A continuous flow lane or “turbo lane” is expected to be in place early next year.
The Florida Department of Transportation started looking into it in 2015. The lane would be restriped, get new signage and have a 4-foot buffer from the other lanes.
Existing crosswalks would not be affected because pedestrians could get a crossing signal with the push of a button, stopping turbo lane traffic. Otherwise, the far right lane would have a constant green light.
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