TxDOT lowers speed on roadways known for fatalities - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

TxDOT lowers speed on roadways known for fatalities

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TxDOT has lowered speed limits along two major roadways where multiple fatality crashes have occurred over the past year.

Drivers zoom along U.S. 290 west of Austin. At Sawyer Ranch Road a bouquet of flowers blows in the cold air. Robert Remmers knows what they stand for.

"I was probably the fifth car on the accident," Remmers said.

Austin Police Lt. Clay Crabb lost his life there in October when his patrol car collided with a truck. A month prior, four people lost their lives in a crash at the entrance to Belterra off 290. That's where Remmers lives.

"When you start seeing accidents like that it means something is happening in this area, people need to slow down, be more cautious," Remmers said.

Concerned residents sent emails to TxDOT requesting safety improvements. FOX 7 obtained copies of those messages through an open records request.

One woman writes "help!" Another person mentions a woman involved in a crash who now suffers from a brain injury.

TxDOT is taking action. On Tuesday crews will swap out the 65 mile per hour signs for 60. Look for the change from Rob Shelton Boulevard to Nutty Brown Road.

"That's really encouraging to know that they're actually taking notice of that and putting an effort towards helping it," said driver Bevyn Howard.

Another area where drivers hope to see safer conditions is along R.M. 620 near F.M. 2222. TxDOT recently reduced the 65 mile per hour speed limit to 55.

The area includes the spot where Leander teacher Peggy Howard and her son were killed by a suspected drunk driver two days after Christmas. Lakeway police officer Chris Doles also died in along 620 after crossing into oncoming traffic last July.

Drivers say the change hasn't had immediate results.

"Everyone just goes the same speed unless there's a cop around," said Amelia Ginac.

But their complaints aren't going unnoticed and that means a lot.

"At least they're trying," Ginac said.

The signs along 290 go up Tuesday morning at 10. So watch out when you head home from work tomorrow it will be different than when you drove in.

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