Possible East Loop 281 corridor safety improvements unveiled at meeting
Traffic congestion and the speed of vehicles along the East Loop 281 corridor concern Tammy Mitchell, who owns property in the area.
Mitchell attended a public meeting in May about traffic and safety on the loop from Tryon Road to Page Road/Delia Drive in Longview.
She said she was impressed to see some of her concerns voiced at that earlier meeting addressed Tuesday night at the East Texas Builders Association.
“I appreciate them coming to the community and sending us invitations to come to these meetings,” Mitchell said. “I think that’s the first step is getting the citizens onboard, and I’m impressed with the proposed changes and the way that they used the feedback from our previous meeting to have this meeting.”
The city of Longview’s Metropolitan Planning Organization held the second meeting Tuesday regarding the East Loop 281 Corridor Study.
“The east loop corridor is a rapidly developing area in Longview with considerable commercial growth in the last five years,” according to information from the city. “Major developments include Everett Rehabilitation Hospital at Tryon Road and E. Loop 281; a new Hallsville elementary school campus at ... Page Road and East Loop 281; and a 45-unit senior housing development at Delia Drive and Loop 281. Several other large acreage sites are for sale along the corridor.”
The last meeting four months ago focused on gathering feedback from residents in the corridor area. Tuesday’s meeting addressed the concerns expressed at that meeting and possible solutions.
Sandip Faldu, senior transportation engineer and project manager for consulting firm Freese and Nichols, which conducted a study of the corridor, pulled up a map with comments displayed at different points along the loop.
Comments included pointing out areas with short ramps that make it unsafe to merge, speeding traffic, high number of crashes, needing lower speed limits and more connections to the loop.
The comments were taken and then broken down into three portions of the part of the loop they pertained to.
Potential solutions to the concerns were displayed along the three portions. Some included installing a clear sight triangle; an acceleration lane at merging points; a deceleration lane for right turns; future shared access points and more.
Potential benefits of some of these additions could lead to safer maneuvering during merges; turns; a reduction in rear-end crashes; improved access management for future developments along the loop and more.
City staff and liaisons to the Longview Planning and Zoning Commission also were in attendance to help residents mark areas on maps where they still had questions or concerns about. The maps showed the area of Loop 281 along with surrounding land, streets and major highways.
Nolan Lewis said he and his son own property near Tryon Road, Hollybrook Drive and Loop 281. They’ve been working on development coming off of the loop and onto their property for years, he said.
“We’ve got everything pretty much approved, and we’re trying to see how this is ‘gonna affect our plans to develop it ‘cause it could drastically affect it,” Lewis said.
He said he doesn’t want to see the property value drop from construction. He said he is mainly concerned with access off the loop.
The corridor plan is set to be adopted in January of February.