Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Will Sunrail Block First Responders?

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

So, I’m driving back home last night and join the other cars in line to wait as the train passes by. No big deal right? This is part of living downtown, part of living near the warehouse district in Longwood and pretty much everywhere in the Orlando Metropolitan area where these tracks run through.

Then an Ambulance crawls up, light on, sirens blaring, trying to get to the Orlando Regional Medical Center. For 4 minutes that Ambulance stands still in front of those tracks and I could only help the patient inside wasn’t in bad shape.

The train rolled by, the Ambulance sped over the tracks to it’s destination. As my car slowly moved through the line of cars, I asked myself.

When Sunrail arrives and traffic on these rails increase substantially, are these amublances going to experience more problems getting patients to hospitals?

With increased rail traffic, will first responders face challenges reaching residents?

ORMC isn’t the only hospital where this potential problem exists. You’ve got South Seminole Hospital in Longwood that could possibly be effected by the commuter rail that will extend from Deland to Poinciana.

Other growing cities face this problem, right? I mean, in Chicago, they’ve got the elevated trains. In other cities they’ve got overpasses that don’t cause back ups anywhere. While it’s exiting that we’ve got plans for more condominiums and more retail space, have we considered the aspects of the project that affect first responder services?

What about the police, the fire department? Are they going to face challenges getting to the scene of a crime?

It’s true, I wasn’t a fan of Sunrail when it got the green light but, it’s coming and I’m over it. Mass Transit is a necessary component for a major metropolitan area. If you commute through Sanford or Downtown Orlando on I4, you know that’s not the answer. But, when Sunrail gets here and we’ve got instant access to a Starbucks, or Taco Bell Express are the EMT’s and police officers going to have sufficient access to help those in need?

Condos? Check. Retail? Check. Efficiency?.........Hello?

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