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Wed October 1, 2008
Grant being sought to improve road safety in Greenville
By Scott Harvey
Greenville – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) has recently applied for a grant that could improve safety along State Highway 34/Wesley Street in Greenville. The Hazard Elimination Grant being sought by TxDot is part of the 2010 Federal Hazard Elimination Program.
TxDOT has proposed an access control project that would include construction of a concrete curbed raised median along Wesley Street, from Interstate 30 to Joe Ramsey Blvd., with left-turn bays at all city streets. U-turns at median openings would be prohibited.
Traffic congestion along Wesley has steadily increased in the past few years resulting in an increase in vehicle accidents. This project is being developed to reduce hazards to life and property for Greenville residents and improve traffic flow by minimizing congestion. In addition to the congestion along Wesley, the left-turn lane and an excessive number of access points along the roadway, creates potentially hazardous conditions for motorists and reduces the capacity of lanes to safely carry and maneuver traffic.
The most recent traffic count on Wesley Street shows the annual average daily traffic at 21,000 vehicles per day, an increase of over 2,400 cars per day since 1995. In 2006, there were 155 traffic accidents on the portion of Wesley Street from Interstate 30 to Joe Ramsey Blvd., and 176 traffic accidents in 2007. There have already been over 100 traffic accidents on this same stretch of road in 2008. Traffic along Wesley is expected to continue to increase once the Interstate 30/Highway 34 Interchange Project is completed.
The City of Greenville is reviewing how this project might impact public safety and emergency response vehicles as well as the effect a median may have on businesses located along Wesley Street and motorists accessing those facilities. TxDOT should learn if the project is funded by the end of the year. If the grant is awarded, City Staff will work closely with TxDOT throughout the process of developing plans, letting and construction of the project.
Other cities throughout Texas have already implemented this type of system to improve safety and mobility along their roadways. If constructed, Greenville drivers may need to access certain locations along Wesley in a different manner. However, the overall improvement to safety along the City's main corridor will save lives and the improved traffic flow will be beneficial to those traveling along Wesley Street.