AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the moon bids adieu and the sun waves hello, headlights flood West Gate Boulevard.
“It’s crazy,” said Kevin Hall who lives off the busy roadway. Car zooming by, bumper-to-bumper is a common sight, Hall says. It’s a concern for Hall, who’s lived in the area for nearly two decades. He says he’s witnessed accidents for years.
“I’ve had a car flip over [on my yard], somebody rolled over and ended up against a tree, somebody actually missed a tree one time and went into that fence and another crashed into my neighbor’s garage,” said Hall.
This is just one of many, Hall says, the most recent two just last Thursday
“They hit the curb and you heard the first boom,” he explained.
Hall says he tried to get something done by reaching out to the city. He first started sending emails in 2008. Hall continued to email back-and-forth with the city’s Public Works Department until 2015.
“I just kept getting sent from person to person and back to the original person and I just finally gave up because I didn’t see it going anywhere,” Hall said.
It wasn’t until the most recent crash he decided to reach out again.
KXAN reached out to the city for some answers, too. Officials with Public Works said staff had evaluated the street to determine whether or not a guardrail was needed in 2008, 2009 and 2012. At the time, Hall requested a guardrail in hopes of creating a barrier between his home and the traffic.
The city says, “based on the data available at the time, it was determined that a guardrail was not warranted.”
However, they say they understand a lot can change in 10 years and are working with the Austin Police Department to gather crash data from the last five years and “will conduct a site visit to reevaluate the need.”
Currently, the Austin Transportation Department is working on mobility improvements for the area. They say they have been for the past couple of months, but nothing is set in stone. Some of those improvements include traffic signals, pedestrian refuge islands and relocating bus stops for safety.
Hall says he’s just hoping to see some kind of action taken.
“I get that Austin has grown a lot, but I feel like we should be growing the street with it, somehow,” he said.
The Austin Transportation Department says it is still very early in the process. It is taking vehicle and crash counts to determine what are the most-needed improvements.
They expect to have an update by the end of the year.
Closures along West Gate
Traffic is about to get more congested on parts of southbound West Gate Boulevard between William Cannon Drive and Fentonridge Drive. Starting Monday, Oct. 1, the city is reducing that area to one lane each direction.
Northbound West Gate Boulevard will be converted to a two-way street with one southbound and one northbound lane.
Austin Water crews are going to work on replacing parts of a water main. They located three sections on the 48-inch water main, approximately 100 feet total, that are damaged.
The repairs should be complete by the end of the month.
Any concerns during construction should be reported to Austin Water Dispatch at 512-972-1000.
Also, on West Gate Boulevard, the transportation department activated a pedestrian hybrid beacon at West Gate and Cohoba.