No one likes to be driving along a road at a nice rate of speed and see an oncoming traffic signal turn red. After all, we’re busy, we have places to go, things to do and people to see.
But there’s something we like much less. The sudden screeching of brakes, the squealing of tires, the shattering of glass, the crunching of metal.
Traffic signals have the potential to help reduce wrecks while also ensuring there is an orderly flow and movement to traffic.
For these reasons and many more, we applaud the city of Longview for its work to ensure that a traffic signal is constructed at the intersection of Hawkins Parkway and Good Shepherd Way.
That intersection leads into the Christus Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living and into the Lowe’s and Home Depot shared entrance. Due to the popularity of both the gym and the nearby stores, that intersection has been known to become backed up with heavy traffic as cars attempt to make left-hand turns into the driveways.
This particular traffic signal is part of a five-year capital improvements program plan that the Longview City Council adopted in 2019. It is the second traffic signal to be added to Hawkins Parkway within the year, with the first aiding traffic at Hawkins and Heritage Boulevard.
For the planned Hawkins Parkway and Good Shepherd Way signal, the city of Longview is providing $247,500 for the project while the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NETRMA) is providing a $270,000 grant.
Gregg County serves as the pass-through agency between the city of Longview and NETRMA, a transportation planning agency that serves 14 member counties in East Texas.
Last week, Gregg County Commissioners formally accepted the NETRMA funds and approved an interlocal agreement to pass the funding along to the City of Longview.
With funding in place, construction should begin soon. The city is estimating construction will start in January and take about four months to complete.
When completed, there will be a four-way traffic signal at the highly trafficked intersection of Hawkins Parkway and Good Shepherd Way. Hawkins Parkway will also be widened to allow for left-turn lanes.
We’re glad to see this work taking shape, and we believe the new signal will help with congestion and improve safety at that intersection.