Nacogdoches proposes shutting down six crossovers due to safety concerns
NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The City of Nacogdoches is looking to make a four-mile stretch of road on Stallings Drive safer for the community.
They’re proposing the closure of six of eight crossovers that allow people to make u-turns, which City Engineer Steve Bartlett says are unsafe.
“The crossovers, as we call them, can be problematic because they’re a point where traffic has to slow down then re-enter traffic,” Bartlett said.
Since 2000, that stretch of road has seen 667 crashes, 11 of them being fatal, like the crash that killed a Timpson city councilman. Bartlett said that fatal crash was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“It’s been a disproportionately higher area,” Bartlett said on the crossovers.
Business owners down the road agree there’s a problem, but they’re split on if this is the correct course of action.
Bina Patel, co-owner of Econo Lodge, said many of the problems started when the speed limit was raised years ago.
“For the most part, it used to be 55 all the way around,” Patel said. “Then it was raised six or seven years ago, and since then you can hear that traffic zoom right by you.”
Sales Manager Robyn Kaak at Lumberjack Harley-Davidson said the crossovers are dangerous and need to go. Kaak, who regularly has to take people on test drives said it can be dangerous for customers and employees.
“Having to cross over with a customer, the one right here closest to us on this side of the hill, you can’t see any of the traffic,” Kaak said.
Whether businesses agree on closing the crossovers, there’s one thing most of them agree on.
“If they’re closing these turnarounds, they need feeder roads,” Patel said.
Nacogdoches submitted their proposal to TxDOT, who will have the final say on what to do with the crossovers. In a statement, they said, “TxDOT will study the city proposal and determine what is in the best interests in the way of safety for the travelling public.”
Bartlett said while the solution might not be perfect, the city hopes this can help alleviate safety concerns in the area.
“I’m not going to tell you this solves all the problems, but I’m going to say this hopefully reduces deaths,” Bartlett said.
If the crossovers are closed, drivers will be able to turn around at exits on SH 7 and 21 as well as FM 225 and 1638.
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