Thanks to all of you for submitting comments through the County’s survey. The draft plan’s vision shows the County Commissioners are listening to public input and responding with purpose since the CAMPO 2045 regional transportation plan adopted last summer. Nonetheless, our community will benefit from additional care and consideration, as the plan is refined.
The WVWA Directors and staff put significant thought and effort into comments and considerations. The following letter was submitted to Hays County as part of the public comment record.
Your time is now to comment on Hays County’s Transportation Plan update, which has been in development since the summer. Virtual Open House Round 2 and public input survey (due by Feb. 7) are available online:
A six-minute video presentation is accompanied by an interactive plan map and detailed list of roadway recommendations. For context, you may want to read about the plan as WVWA provided for Round 1 in October (https://wimberleywatershed.org/2020/10/05/roadways/).
An initial look at the draft plan shows few surprises, but many concerns worth review. In the Wimberley area, a long-term south extension of Jacob’s Well Road across Wilson Creek to Wayside Drive would likely spur development in a mostly natural area west of FM 2325 and north of the Blanco River. Ranch Road 12 would become over the mid-term a four-lane divided parkway, with two lanes in each direction, northward from Winters Mill toward Dripping Springs and southward from the Junction toward San Marcos. The parkway would have a 200-foot right of way, remaining narrowed through Woodcreek and Wimberley at 100 feet.
Near Driftwood, a much-discussed extension from Rutherford Ranch at FM 967 south to FM 150 W, would bring a new four-lane divided major arterial road along the easternmost path considered in the County’s 2017 FM 150 W Character Plan, also completed by K Friese, which is consultant on the Transportation Plan update.
A number of roadway upgrades are planned for Dripping Springs to address its growing pains. Two new four-lane divided major arterial roads and one two-lane road over the mid-term will provide some relief for congestion along US 290 and RR 12, while a multi-decade upgrade of US 290 by TxDOT continues building outward from Oak Hill.
Along the I-35 Corridor, where much of the county’s population growth has been concentrated, lies the bulk of new roadway construction. Most immediately, a four-lane divided major arterial bypass in Kyle from FM 150 to Old Stagecoach Road will relieve traffic and over the long-term connect with three additional segments to create a western loop connecting at I-35.
Plans in western San Marcos deserve a closer look. A mid-term four-lane divided major arterial would extend across open ranch land as a bypass from RR 12 west of the city to I-35 south and potentially pull development westward. Only after that, in the long-term, would a western loop segment be constructed closer in to San Marcos, connecting the RR 12 and Wonder World Drive junction around to Centerpoint Road.
No trace of the 2010 Wimberley Loop proposal is included, suggesting that the Jacob’s Well Road extension is the primary worry considering its tendency to attract and direct development to that area. Also noted as long-term is a Fulton Ranch Road upgrade “emergency access” project that connects Flite Acres Road in Wimberley, however tenuously, with Hilliard Road extending from San Marcos.
The full Draft Roadway Recommendations list includes more than 160 projects. The Virtual Open House will be open for comments and survey responses through February 7. The finalized plan will be presented to Commissioners Court in early spring.