Happy New Year! I hope you all have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and New Year Holiday! I wish you an enjoyable and prosperous New Year. Now we have to start writing 2019 on our checks....
Well, we've had interesting weather for the last week / month of the year. the last large rain event brought us about 2.8 inches. .2 inches yesterday. We had a total of 6.05 inches for the month of December. Temperatures are interesting too. For December we had a high of 87.3 and a low of 30.4.
Rain and cold for the next few days. 35 degrees at Live Oak's 15th tee. About .91 inch of rain so far since midnight. Don't forget, here is a link to my weather station. It's available 24/7. And as a New Year's present, the Texas Longhorns won the Sugar Bowl with a score of 28-21. Great way to start the New Year!
Lot's of talk about traffic issues. There are really two issues we are facing. Internal and external traffic. Internally it would have been nice to have a road from Lohmans to the Oaks. It can still happen, but will most likely require city money. Lakeway historically has not spent money on new roads, they have negotiated with developers to provide new infrastructure. That was the case with the MUD property until negotiations were cut off when the original project there was denied and negotiations were stopped by ZAPCO.
Now that project is moving forward with another direction. Instead of a 4 lane blvd. crossing the property, the developer is suggesting a 2 lane access to his development with ROW furnished if the city would like to make it wider. I'm unsure of the plan for the second road crossing the property near the library. This will be a significant expense for the city - my guess is at least $5M, probably more. This also does not take into account that the road will end at the Stratus property - the developers agreement with them requires the road be built only when they start development. This part requires a bridge - about $2M+.
That being said, this would have some impact on the external issues. That impact would be the local traffic that could access the Oaks internally - It would relieve that traffic that is now forced to go via 620.
There are two external issues facing the city. One of course is 620 and the other is Hwy 71. 620 is up for improvement and the design and planning process is ongoing. This will require a $5M contribution from Lakeway and Bee Cave. The total cost of the project is between $70-$90M and will make 620 6 lanes from Hwy 71 to Oak Knoll with a median. Most of this project is being funded by TxDOT and CAMPO.
The real issue is the amount of traffic! 620 was designed for about 20,000 cars a day and now is handling about 50-60K cars a day. This number is increasing continuously. Hwy 71 is in about the same predicament. Although I don't have data, my guess is it was designed for 30-40K cars per day and is handling 50-70K cars per day.
These external issues are mostly caused by lack of planning by Travis County. Their plan was to not increase the roads so people would not move into the Hill Country. That didn't work.
So, what the solution. I have one, but it's not real popular with Travis County. The solution is connecting the "Loop". You know, we have "Loop 1", you can go North on it and then turn around and go South on the same route. We also have "Loop 360" that is really a blvd.
I'm talking about a REAL loop. This would connect at 45 on the North side of town where it ends near Lakeline Mall. It would eventually go Southwest and cross the "Preserve" that is just East of Lakeway and continue to eventually connect to 45 again. Some of the South part has already been built.
When I was on the CAMPO Board, I actually had this on the illustrative plan a few years ago. Here is a link to an article by the Four Points News. The environmentalists don't like this and fought to have it removed. They succeeded but it would still be a good plan. We need to work hard to get the plan reinstated. Damage to the environment would be minimal with an elevated road across the "Preserve" and it would take much of the load off 620, Hwy 71 and 360.
There's NO other plan. The improvements to 620 and 360 will help but will be overwhelmed within years. We need a new route. The longer we wait, the harder and more expensive it will be. The environmentalists have no concern for the people injured and killed in the traffic fiasco we are all living.
Give this some thought - what do you think? Do we need a long term solution or just a temporary patch.
Thanks for the support! Let's work together for a solution. I'll have more about what's coming up in Lakeway later in the week.
If you have a pet, be sure to consider Lakeway Vet on 620, they are GREAT folks and really care. They are part of our community and work hard to make our animals happy and healthy - open 24 hours a day. There's a link at the top right if your using a PC.
I've completed my eye surgery with Dr. Rhodes and Lake Travis Eye and Laser center. What a wonderful experience. Both Dr. Rhodes and staff were outstanding. This was probably the best professional experience I have ever had. If you need an Ophthalmologist, please consider Dr. Rhodes and Lake Travis Eye and Laser Center. They're the best!
In case your interested in getting a website or even a domain for an email address, I do low priced hosting. For a simple site it costs less than $50 a year and I have space available on my servers. Send me a note or call. 512-970-1041
That's all for today. More as the weather progresses - hopefully no ice. Have a GREAT New Year! If you want to be added to my blog, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you added. Questions are welcome, and I'll try to get the right info.