Latest US 281 public meeting tomorrow

Artist's rendering of possible elevated expressway at 281 and Evans

Artist's rendering of possible elevated expressway at 281 and Evans

The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority will be holding the third public meeting on its Environmental Impact Statement for the US 281 North corridor tomorrow evening (Thursday).  This meeting will allow ARMA to share the latest status of the study and get input from the public on the remaining proposals.  The process has whittled-down the list of options to three viable proposals:

  • Overpasses: This would build overpasses on US 281 at major intersections.¬† This proposal provides the least increase in capacity but has the lowest cost.¬† However, as a toll-free option, funding would need to be found.¬† Also, because the overpasses would increase travel speeds, many side streets and driveways would possibly need to be eliminated for safety and operational reasons.
  • Expressway: This option would build a conventional expressway with six to eight main lanes and six lanes of frontage roads.¬† The new expressway main lanes could be toll-free, tolled, or managed.
  • Elevated expressway: This proposal would leave the existing 281 mostly in place as-is and would build four to six elevated expressway lanes above the existing lanes.¬† South of Stone Oak, the elevated lanes would be on each side of 281, much like the double-decked expressways downtown; north of Stone Oak, the elevated lanes would run along the west side of the existing lanes.¬† Access ramps connecting to the existing 281 would be provided at strategic locations.¬† Just as with the conventional expressway option, the new elevated lanes could be toll-free, tolled, or managed.

In addition, any final proposal will also consider bus and park & ride facilities, pedestrian and bike improvements, growth and demand management, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (e.g. TransGuide).  All of the options also consider reserving an envelope for a future high-capacity transit option, such as HOV lanes or light-rail.  One option that had been carried forward previouslyРthe overpasses coupled with additional expansions of Blanco and Bulverde RoadsРis recommended to be dropped because of a number of factors.

Each of the options to be carried-forward has strengths and weaknesses.  The next phase of the study will further analyze each to determine which has the most pros and least cons.

The meeting will begin with an open house from 5:30-7pm, followed by a presentation from 7-7:30 and small breakout group sessions thereafter.  It will take place at the Summit Christian Center at 2575 Marshall Road (the same place where the Super Street meeting was held last year.)  More information, including advance copies of the presentation and a map of the meeting location, is available here.

 

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