Most congested roads in San Antonio

Most congested road segments in Bexar County

TxDOT released their second annual list of the 100 most congested roadway segments in the state.  Last year’s list inexplicably missed US 281 north of Loop 1604, but not this year.  However, it still wasn’t tops in Bexar County.   more »

28 Aug 2010, 9:20pm

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E-N rips AGUA

If you didn’t see it, the Express-News editorial board took AGUA to task today over their 281/1604 interchange lawsuit, calling the legal action “stunningly irresponsible” and saying that “(a)ny notion that (AUGA is) operating in good faith now lacks credibility.”  Furthemore, the editorial reveals some of the ludicrous demands made by AGUA.  Check it out:

There’s also a good John Branch cartoon:

26 Aug 2010, 2:16pm

Comments Off on Heat already on AGUA?

Heat already on AGUA?

In reader comments posted yesterday in response to the Express-News’ story about AGUA’s lawsuit to stop the US 281/Loop 1604 interchange, several posters were calling for boycotts of local businesses listed on AUGA’s “donors” page.  Today, that list of businesses is gone from AGUA’s site.  Reading between the lines, I think it’s pretty obvious that the heat is already on AGUA from their donors over their wildly unpopular and inane decision to sue.

What effect do you think this will have, if any?

AGUA files suit to stop 281/1604 interchange

In what really isn’t a surprise (at least to me), the enviro-wackos at Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas (AGUA) have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the planned US 281/Loop 1604 interchange project, which would build the first four direct connectors at that intersection.  According to an early Express-News report, AGUA claims that the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (ARMA) didn’t kowtow to their demands, so they had no choice but to file a lawsuit.


more »

Loop 1604/Braun update

Future new westbound lane

Future new westbound lane

A couple of weeks ago, TxDOT completed the restriping of Loop 1604 to three lanes in each direction at Braun Rd.  This seemingly minor change has had a fairly dramatic effect on traffic.  From my own observations, typical peak period traffic jams in both directions have been significantly reduced.  For instance, southbound traffic used to back-up nearly to Bandera Road during the evening rush hour, a distance of a mile or so.  But now it typically backs-up only half of that distance or even less.  I’ll be interested to see how it looks when school gets back into session, but for now, the improvement seems to have eased things quite a bit.  If you drive through this area regularly, post a comment and let me know your observations.

TxDOT is also planning at least one other improvement at that intersection, that being an additional lane on westbound Braun.  more »

Where you don’t want to be this weekend

Traffic cam

Live traffic cam from TransGuide. Image refreshes every few minutes or so.

Workers closed all main lanes of westbound Loop 410 at Starcrest for the weekend.

Motorists must exit at Harry Wurzbach and re-enter past Broadway. The busy stretch of highway is sure to coagulate into a nightmare shortly after sunrise.


Crews are putting drivers through the hoops so they can place rebar onto a Nacogdoches Road bridge deck. The work is part of a $119 million construction project, the city’s largest, to widen that part of the freeway to 10 lanes.

The job so far is on schedule and should end before the year’s out, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

“Everyone will reap the benefits,” an official said.

Also bogging down this weekend is eastbound Loop 1604 at U.S. 281. Workers there will close a lane through 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday to repair a bridge joint.

Click map for options.

Loop 1604 “super-street” previewed

1604ss_thumbLate last month, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority held a public meeting to show plans for a super-street and other related improvements on Loop 1604 West.  (My vacation started immediately after the meeting, thus the reason I’m just now getting around to writing this.)  At this time, the plans include super-street intersections at New Guilbeau and at Shaenfield and ancillary improvements at Braun and at SH 151 (with work on the former now underway.)  Here are the details of those planned improvements.

more »

Terri vs Bruce

Bruce Davidson, one of members of the Express-News’ editorial board, wrote a spot-on editorial in yesterday’s paper about how the root cause of toll roads is the Legislature’s and Governor’s resistance to increasing the gas tax.  His editorial essentially says not to blame the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (ARMA) because they’re just playing the hand they’ve been dealt and that, in reality, they are working to find funding for 281 and other projects “wherever they can get it.”

Of course, the response out of southern Comal County was nearly instantaneous.  more »

What’s in store for your Loop 1604 commute?

People mill about at a meeting for Loop 1604

People mill about at a meeting earlier tonight for Loop 1604

Here’s the gist of what’s being laid out, in a series of public meetings wrapping up tonight, for Loop 1604’s future.

The problem, officials say, is that traffic demand in 25 years will be twice as much as what can fit on the highway today. The lanes can currently handle about 80,000 vehicles a day, but demand is 110,000 now and will surge to 155,000 by 2035.

An environmental study is sizing up impacts of three basic strategies:

Buses and passenger rail. At best, this can meet 15 percent of demand when you consider that top-notch transit cities such as San Francisco, Washington and Boston snare about that much of the trips in those cities.  

Managing and improving traffic flows. This is done with engineering, like the super street idea, and behavior incentives that range from carpooling to staggered work hours and telecommuting. California enacted laws requiring large employers to use such commuting strategies but cut traffic just 3 percent.

Adding four lanes to the highway. Since each lane can handle about 20,000 vehicles a day, that would do the trick.

So you can see where the math leads. 

However, a dozen various community criteria will also drive decisions, and that produces a little more mix into the approaches.

more »

13 Apr 2010, 5:43am
Commuting Construction and closures:

Comments Off on Loop 1604 getting a helping of stimulus

Loop 1604 getting a helping of stimulus

Work starting up to widen Loop 1604
Work starting up to widen Loop 1604.

Workers began plopping orange cones into place along Loop 1604 near Randolph AFB and driving in heavy machinery last week. 

The job is to widen the road into a four-lane divided highway from FM 78 to Graytown Road by summer 2011, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Federal stimulus dollars are funding the $6.63 million cost.  

“These improvements have been in the works for several years but were unfunded,” TxDOT engineer Frank Holzmann said in a statement. “With availability of economic stimulus funding, we now have an opportunity to move forward on this.”

But moving forward could be a slow and/or muddy affair for now. The National Weather Service has forecast rain throughout the week.

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