Alamo Ranch Parkway intersection getting lots of criticism

The recent opening of the overpass from SH 151 to Alamo Ranch Parkway is drawing lots of fire from residents of the area claiming that the new design is dangerous. As if on cue, a tragic crash claimed the lives of three people at that intersection just four days after the overpass opened. However, it should be noted that the crash happened on the eastbound side of ARP prior to the overpass, not coming off of it, so the overpass played no direct role in the crash.

That said, the increase in traffic caused by the overpass is overwhelming the four-way stop at ARP and Westwood Loop. The county has a traffic signal under construction there that will surely ease many of the problems folks are complaining about once it goes into operation, currently expected by the end of January. The county planned to have it operational by the time the overpass opened, but the construction of the new Casa Blanca Theater there required them to change the design in order to accommodate the driveway from the theater. Unfortunately, there was a significant delay in getting the plans for that driveway from the developer, which delayed the signal project.

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Loop 1604/SH 151 changes tomorrow

UPDATE (11/1/11) – The changeover has been postponed until Wednesday.

Just back from vacay and have some local news to report.  The final element of the package of improvements along Loop 1604 West that included two superstreet intersections will come online tomorrow.  Namely, the left turn from southbound 1604 to SH 151 will be eliminated.  Motorists wanting to go to SH 151 will now exit at a new exit ramp just south of Culebra, follow the access road, then cross 1604 at a perpendicular signalized intersection.  The existing entrance ramp from Culebra will be closed and replaced by an improved entrance ramp at the SH 151 intersection.  (For a schematic of these changes, see the link under “Additional information” below.)

Like the superstreet intersections, this change will most likely seem completely unintuitive for many folks.  After all, southbound Loop 1604 traffic will now have to stop to allow traffic to enter SH 151 whereas before they didn’t ever have to stop.  But this new arrangement will actually be safer overall and will help reduce congestion in the area.  more »

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.

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