Long-term solution sought to ease Oak Hill traffic woes

Long-term solution sought to ease Oak Hill traffic woes

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Oak Hill Parkway is one of the most congested areas in the state.

While a short-term solution is already underway, what's being discussed now are improvements that will help 20 years out.

As more people move to Austin, intersections like US 290 and SH 71 are experiencing big traffic delays on a daily basis.

It is also making it an unreliable route for transit and emergency vehicles, as well as putting driver's safety at risk. It's a waiting game for drivers going through Oak Hill Parkway.

"My typical rush-hour traffic commute is about 20 minutes to downtown. If I have to take an alternative route like I did last week, it was an hour and 15 minutes," said Jenny Coezolino, area resident.

"You always have to wait, no matter what time of day," said Ana Lois-Borzi, area resident.

That's why TxDOT and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority are working with several agencies to help reduce traffic delays and improve quality of life for drivers.

"Drivers waste more than 340,000 hours per year stuck in traffic here in the Oak Hill area; that's just unacceptable. So we're looking to put in a long-term solution that's going to help create mobility," said Kelli Reyna, TxDOT.

Improving safety is also a top concern; there were 304 crashes in the area between 2009 and 2011.

"I go into really, very fast traffic. I don't like that, so you have to be a pretty aggressive driver," said Ana Lois-Borzi, area resident.

There are eight different concepts and two options to help improve long-term mobility. The newest concept was created by the public. With so many concerns from residents, trying to keep everyone happy won't prove to be easy.

"I would love to ride my bike with my kid and go over to the next neighborhood and have friends come over. When my son is 16, is he going to be able to drive through five lanes of traffic on both sides? I want that, I want it to be friendly," said Ana Lois-Borzi, area resident.

The eight concepts vary, ranging from adding an overpass, underpass or frontage roads. That's why public input is needed to shape which one is selected and it can then move forward in the process.

For more information or to voice your opinion go to www.oakhillparkway.com.

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