Homeowners fear entrance to future apartments could make West Austin road more dangerous

Homeowners are still fighting against an entrance to an apartment complex they say could add to accidents on what they say is an already dangerous road.

Every day homeowners drive up and down City Park Road to get in and out of their neighborhoods. The road connects on the south side of FM 2222, just west of Loop 360.

On one part, the road drops into a steep hill that leads to an almost 90 degree turn. That area, homeowners say, has already had four traffic accidents in 2017.

“It’s just dangerous,” homeowner Linda Bailey.

Bailey says she drives it very cautiously, always relying heavily on her brakes. However, others can speed down the hill into the curve.

“They sling off into the guardrail,” Bailey said.

Near the end of that curve, she says a developer has made plans to put an entrance to a new 300-unit apartment complex. That would bring more traffic to the road pushing road trips from around 500 a day to around 2,100.

The Austin City Council approved that zoning change to allow the extra trips on November 10, 2016. This was after a long process where several homeowners spoke against it. Council members Sheri Gallo, Leslie Pool, Ann Kitchen and Ora Houston also voted against it, but it passed 7-4.

In that meeting a representative with the Austin Transportation Department said there is enough line of sight after the curve to make the location for the driveway safe.

“In our opinion they’ve picked the best location on city park road,” ATD’s Eric Bollich said on November 10.

Bollich told the council, the developer has agreed to remove trees along the roadway to improve the line of sight. A representative with the developer also told council, “If we can’t prove that it’s safe we don’t get a driveway.”

However, Bailey doesn’t agree with ATD saying around a third of people drive over 40 miles per hour. She says if that driveway is built, more accidents will happen.

“Well we fear there’s going to be deaths,” Bailey said.

That’s why she’s still fighting against the development and zoning change. She went to the Public Safety Commission Monday to ask for help.

She also says if construction starts on the driveway, she won’t stop then either.

“I think they’ll be protests,” Bailey said.

Bailey says ATD only did a traffic study on the roadway for the impact of the new apartment complex. She says the city should also conduct safety studies. She says other neighborhoods across the city go through this same issue.

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