The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is seeking public comment to help its feasibility study for the future of US 290 from RM 1826 in southwest Austin to RM 12 in Dripping Springs.
During an open house event Oct. 10, local residents and business owners expressed their concerns of traffic accidents in the area, inconvenient roads that are hurting local business and roads that increase police and EMS response times.
TxDOT Pubic Involvement Officer Alex Navarro said community input is prioritized and highly encouraged to help engineers make the roads safer and adaptable.
“Anyone who lives, works or travels in this area will notice the traffic. We are noticing that growth will not stop, so we are really trying to come up with a suggestion on how to connect these different areas. We want to improve safety and mobility to accommodate the continuous growth,” Navarro said.
Local business owner and resident of the area Senora Lee said the current roads make it difficult to access her property and business. Her daily inconvenience is also a threat to the health of her neighbor, who frequently needs emergency medical assistance.
“We live in an area that we have to drive two and a half miles, then do a turn around to access our property and businesses. If you had to call EMS, they would have to go all the way down then turn around to get to elderly people. My neighbor has had several heart attacks, so parking is not allowed near our business in fear that EMS won’t be able to reach him,” Lee said.
Local resident Gary Gemar travels through US 290 occasionally for work and fun. He said he hears about accidents in the news or first hand.
“There’s a lot of bad accidents, I have seen several on the roadway the past few years. It seems to be increasing because of traffic is increasing. New business development along the roadway and drives out to the roadway create other potential problems for business, customers and the traveling public,” Gemar said.
Individuals may email comments to US290W@gmail.com or mail in their comments to: Alem Workie, TxDOT Austin District, P.O. Box 15426, Austin, TX 78761. For more information on the project, visit www.txdot.gov and enter the keywords “US 290 from Oak Hill.” To be included in the public record, all comments must be received by Monday, Oct. 21.