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Community provides input at october open house

More than 150 citizens attended an Open House meeting on October 22, 2013 at Covington Middle School to review Oak Hill Parkway Project exhibits and discuss the environmental study process with staff from the Texas Department of Transportation and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.

Exhibits included preliminary concepts designed to improve mobility and safety along the busy US 290/SH 71 West corridor in Oak Hill. Draft criteria that will be used to evaluate the concepts was also shared for public review and feedback.

Any mobility improvement that is recommended at the end of the study must meet the Purpose and Need for the project. Other evaluation criteria include performance measures such as whether the concept will improve through-traffic travel time, enhance multimodal travel options, and provide a reliable route for emergency response.

 A Virtual Open House was also available online at www.OakHillParkway.com, providing the same information and opportunities to comment as the in-person meeting. More than 520 unique page views were recorded over the 14-day Virtual Open House.

There were 189 comments submitted as part of the October 22 Open House meeting. The comments are currently being reviewed and considered by the project team. Once the analysis is complete, a summary report will be posted for you to view on the project website. 

Public involvement is critical to the Oak Hill Parkway Project. Those interested can obtain information through the project website at www.OakHillParkway.com, by contacting the project team at 512-593-4202, or by attending public meetings that will be conducted throughout the environmental study process. Project team members are also available to meet with neighborhood associations, community groups and other interested parties.


More than 150 citizens attended a public meeting at Covington Middle School on October 22.


Attendees reviewed project exhibits and provided comments.
 

Valuable Insight Captured Through Community Survey 

More than 80 people responded to a community survey administered during the October 22 Open House and corresponding Virtual Open House. While the survey is not scientific, it does provide some insight into what Open House attendees and Virtual Open House participants thought about the ten preliminary mobility concepts. Survey respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed that each concept met the goals (Purpose and Need) for the project.  
 

  • Less than 30 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the Transportation System Management (TSM) strategies, such as traffic signal synchronization, changeable message signs and incident management or the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies, such as HOV lanes, telecommuting and parking management would address the purpose and need of the project. However, several people commented that these strategies should be implemented along with building one of the other concepts.
  • Less than 10 percent of respondents thought Concept E-1 (minimum improvements at William Cannon Drive and SH 71) or Concept E-2 (minimum improvements at William Cannon Drive) would meet the purpose and need of the project.
  • Concept A (US 290 depressed mainlanes) and Concept C (US 290 mainlanes north of Williamson Creek with Direct Connectors) had the strongest support with over 50 percent agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would address the purpose and need of the project.
  • Concept B (US 290 mainlanes north of Williamson Creek without direct connectors) and Concept D (US 290 Express Lanes with frontage roads) followed closely behind with 40 percent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would address the purpose and need of the project. 
  • Less popular were the 2007 Alternative (conventional highway with frontage roads and direct connectors at the “Y”) and Concept F (minimal frontage roads). 
  • Most respondents would like to extend the project west to transition past Circle Drive.
  • The majority of survey respondents agreed that the process for evaluating the concepts and the evaluation criteria are appropriate. 

 
Click here to access the community survey results.
 
Citizen input received from the community survey and submitted through comment forms and other methods is being considered by the project team along with evaluation criteria and other data to refine the mobility concepts for the Oak Hill Parkway. The next step will be to conduct initial evaluations of the concepts using criteria shown at the open house. A smaller number of alternatives will be brought back to the community in 2014 for input.

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