HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – A proposed concert venue near Dripping Springs is stirring up concern amongst people living in the area.
They worry about how it will impact traffic safety and EMS response times, which are two areas they said already need improvements.
“It’s not unheard of to have emergency services times 35 to 40 minutes even, just to come out here and that’s without 1000s of cars trying to go to music venue,” said Carrie Napiorkowski near Dripping Springs.
Napiorkowski called the concert venue a “recipe for disaster.” She’s part of the Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition.
“We found out about a year and a half ago that there was a proposed California developer that was coming in and trying to put in a 5,000 person music venue directly across the street, on a two-lane rural road,” Napiorkowski said.
She’s called this area home for years now. She moved out here to enjoy the peace, quiet and wildlife.
But, she’s worried the concert venue would jeopardize the safety of those who live nearby.
Road safety and EMS concerns
Napiorkowski said there’s already unsafe roads and traffic concerns in the area.
“Just last week, there was a beautiful young woman that was run off the road and she died,” Napiorkowski said. “It is suspected that it was a drunk driver that ran her off the road. This road has no medians, it has no shoulders.”
Along with road safety, Napiorkowski said the area experiences long EMS response times. She’s dealt with it firsthand.
“We had a fatality at my home a year and a half ago. It took 33 minutes for Hays County EMS to get to my home to try and save our friend’s life,” Napiorkowski said.
She and others are concerned wait times would just get longer and car crashes would happen more often with more drivers in the area.
In a statement sent to KXAN, North Hays EMS said it understands there is a concern regarding potential traffic congestion as the community grows.
“Response times is one of our most important performance measures and we are constantly looking for ways to improve. We have expressed overall transportation concerns with the Hays County Commissioners Court. Precinct 4 Commissioner Walt Smith ensured we had input on the County Transportation Plan identifying roads in need of widening and low water crossings in need of bridges. We identified Fitzhugh as one of those roads in need of widening and it is our understanding Fitzhugh Road was included in the current transportation plan for improvements.”North Hays EMS
Napiorkowksi said the expansion of Fitzhugh is expected to be in 2030 and is currently running six years behind.
The company’s response
KXAN reached out to Blizexas, the company behind the concert venue. We have not heard back yet.
In a previous story, a spokesperson told us they were aware of the opposition from neighbors and “plans to continue working with the community to discuss concerns and craft solutions.”
Napiorkowski and others said they are left hoping their issues are addressed.
“What we want is responsible change, safe change, good neighbors,” she said.