As residents and business owners in the Lake Travis area, we all get caught up in the excitement of what’s next on the “new in Lake Travis” list. Most of us are genuinely excited to see Oaks at Lakeway, more preschool options, new local shops and, of course, new restaurants.
But with all of the excitement in the air, the traffic concerns are becoming more substantial. Let’s face it, growth will happen. It’s inevitable. We can’t change that. We’ll probably see more storage facilities, car dealerships and other types of things along RR 620 and Highway 71 that some of you will consider to be … well, er … less appealing.
On the flip side, most of us who live in the Lake Travis area love it here! While we may complain about the traffic, we want to stay. This is where we moved to raise our children, take advantage of some of the best schools in Austin, enjoy life in the Texas Hill Country and own a slice of serenity in this often overwhelming, over-connected life.
Enter Texas Department of Transportation findings.
This is where the rubber meets the road. No pun intended.
To make a long story short and easy to digest, plans, studies and proposals are in the works to make sure we can turn left in the year 2035. (Yes, that’s sarcasm. Seriously, how hard is it to turn left in LT?) Road-widening, traffic signals, resurfacing and the addition of medians are just a few of the solutions TxDOT is considering — or will soon consider — to address traffic woes in the Lake Travis area.
If you’ve been keeping up with major transportation projects in Austin, you’ll notice that three biggies are right in the Lakeway area. And that’s just the tip of our non-existent iceberg.
One of the Lakeway projects that is already underway is an attempt to protect the beauty of the area by improving landscaping with native grasses and hardy native plants between Flint Rock Road and Lohmans Spur. Okay, thumbs-up emoji for that one.
The next $6 million project that’s slated for the Lakeway area is to widen two miles of Flint Rock Road and add an asphalt shoulder. The City of Lakeway is also paying for turn and grade changes on this notoriously steep, windy and well-traveled road.
Next on the list is installing a traffic signal at Clara Van Street and RR 620 where the new Lexus of Lakeway dealership is located.
Last week we mentioned the new signal at Main Street (southbound lane only) at the main entrance of the new H-E-B at Oaks at Lakeway, also on RR 620.
We’ve touched on short-term transportation solutions, so what’s the long-term proposed plan of traffic attack for the Lake Travis area?
In a proposed concept plan presented by an independent TxDOT consultant who has been tasked with the job of keeping our highways safe and efficient, almost every intersection along RR 620 was evaluated. Keep in mind, this plan is proactively anticipating growth through the year 2035.
The majority of the RR 620 intersections in the Lakeway area will essentially “fail” to perform well without necessary improvements, especially during peak traffic times: Debba Drive, Lohmans Crossing Road, Flint Rock Road, Spillman Loop and Bee Cave Parkway just to name a few.
Proposed solutions include widening 620 to make it a 6-lane divided roadway north of Lakeway Blvd. to 71, adding a median from the Colorado River to 71, adding left-turn and right-turn lanes at RR 620 and Cavalier/Aria drives which is located at Lake Travis High School and Alta Vista entrance. Tip. Of. The. Iceberg.
Yes, growth is imminent, but you have a voice.
If you feel strongly about these proposed changes, keep you ears open for the opportunity to express your concerns and ask important questions. According to TxDOT, the next step in the process is to solicit comments from residents in the (potentially) effected areas, so we’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, drive safely friends!
maryann carmichael says
great article. how DO we get on the list to share comments with TXDOT on local LT traffic issues? I honestly think an immediate ban on left turns out of businesses between Lohmans Crossing and Clara Van (I. e., Sonic, Post Office – always, always a wreck there from blind lefts) I always go around to the light to turn left outta those places only because I have the time to do it – I understand the temptation not to do that but it is dangerous. Wish there was a service road behind all of that area to get people to the lights at 620 for funky left turns!) anyway I would love to get involved in the solution instead of just griping about it all 😉
thanks so much for reporting on these important issues – I read all of your posts!!
Cathy Hale says
Thanks for the comment! I’m a Lakeway resident myself and just had the exact same discussion last week with a friend of mine who also lives here. The left-turn situation in Lakeway is scary indeed! We were discussing how we both go out of our way to get to a light instead of trying to turn left. It’s so dangerous. I’ll keep an eye out for more info from the City of Lakeway and TxDOT to see what residents can do to participate. We will certainly keep you posted. Stay tuned!
Does anyone know who is in charge of the timing of the lights on 620 from Lakeway blvd to 71? The timing is terrible. Austin once received an award for the timing of its lights so experts are nearby. There are standards about how many cars at the start should be able to make the next light depending on the distance etc. There are also standards on how long the side streets have green lights compared to the main road. These are all out of sync on 620. How many times do you see the side streets at Flint Rock, the high school, Lohman’s spur, and Spillman are completely empty yet the light stays green for many extra seconds while traffic backs up on 620? Coming from FOD at 6:00 you be caught at every single light until past Lohmans. Now they are adding another light. Oh dear. It takes 45 minutes to go from Hudson Bend to the Bee Cave Parkway in the mornings. If this keeps up, people will quit shopping in Lakeway. Also, there are too many left turn only on the green arrow lights. There are many times that you could turn left on 620 because there is no oncoming traffic, yet you can’t because you can only turn on the green arrow. Fixing the timing of all the lights and the left turn only lights would be some simple fixes. They aren’t going to fix traffic completely but it will ease some tension. Those could be done in a few months not years. Does Lakeway set the timing on some and Bee Caves the other? Or, does TXDOT do them all? It could be the worst stretch of road in Travis county. I’m not even including the light at 2222 and 620.