Liberty Hill neighbors push for change on Hwy. 29 after 5 crashes, 2 deadly in one week

Williamson County

LIBERTY HILL, Texas (KXAN) — There are growing traffic concerns in Liberty Hill off of Highway 29 after a series of car accidents have happened in the last month.

Along a strip of Highway 29 are a series of new neighborhood developments that have popped up over the past few years.

KXAN gathered the most recent traffic accidents from the Liberty Hill Police Department and there have been five traffic incidents along the 10000 block and 12000 block of Highway 29 since Dec. 6. Two of which were deadly.

Accidents since Dec. 6

  • Dec. 6, 2021 @ 2:52 P.M., 10000 block SH 29: Car drifted out of its lane, and rubbed the side of a tractor trailer.
  • Dec. 7, 2021 @ 12:39 P.M., 12000 block SH 29: Car was attempting to turn left onto Stonewall Parkway. The motorist failed to yield right of way to a vehicle that was traveling Westbound on SH 29, causing a head-on style crash.
  • Dec. 7, 2021 @ 6:18 P.M., 11000 block SH 29: This head-on fatality crash may have been due to a medical emergency. Texas DPS worked this crash, and may be able to comment more on it.
  • Dec. 10, 2021 @ 5:52 P.M., 10000 block SH 29: Motorist entering roadway from Holmes Road failed to yield right of way to a motorist who was Westbound on SH 29, causing a roll-over crash.
  • Dec. 10, 2021 @ 11:51 P.M: Auto/Pedestrian, fatality crash. Male pedestrian in dark clothing walked Northbound, across SH 29, in an unlit area. Pedestrian walked in front of a vehicle that was traveling Westbound on SH 29.

The accidents have led residents in the Morning Star, Orchard Ridge, Rancho Sienna and Santa Rita neighborhoods to push for change.

“That road gives me anxiety, it gives my family anxiety to the point where we want to move,” said Dakota Hubbard, a Santa Rita Ranch Resident.

The root of Dakota Hubbard’s anxiety started in 2019.

“The other car ran a red light and the other two passengers in the car died instantly,” said Hubbard.

A car hit her husband’s truck going down Highway 29 head-on. She says the front barrier on his truck is likely the only thing that saved him. To her, things haven’t gotten much better.

“There’s reckless driving every day,” said Hubbard.

There are plenty more new homes to be built out in this developing area of Liberty Hill which could only mean more people looking to commute out of their neighborhood and onto Highway 29.

“It’s 65 all the way down to the Ronald Reagan intersection, and they just recently reduced it down to 55, but that’s a ways down,” said Chelsey Dawson.

Ever since Dawson moved into the Morning Star neighborhood, she’s pressed the developer and every government entity out there to change the speed limit or put more traffic lights up for drivers leaving the neighborhood.

In November, the Morning Star developer invested money and began constructing a traffic light leaving the neighborhood at the Kauffman and Highway 29 loop.

There’s one big problem though: The City of Liberty Hill doesn’t have the authority over the roads that connect into these neighborhoods.

“Our City Limits are so small. TxDOT has all of Highway 29 and Williamson County has Ronald Reagan,” said Chris Pezold, Liberty Hill City Council Member. “All the subdivisions in our ETJ, those roads are Williamson County.”

The traffic issues are on city council member Chris Pezold’s radar. The City Council has put up signs within the city limits that have a QR code directing people to TxDOT.

“The only way that TxDOT is going to give Liberty Hill the attention it needs is for constituents to start emailing them,” said Pezold.

TxDOT says it currently doesn’t have a feasibility study going along Highway 29 but has worked with the City of Liberty Hill on smaller projects like reducing the speed limit in town.

TxDOT is also working to install traffic lights at Highway 29 and Kauffman, Highway 29 and Lively Ranch and Vista Heights, according to a TxDOT spokesperson.

“TxDOT continues to monitor speed on S.H. 29. By law, we set the speed limit according to the 85th percentile (the speed the majority of the vehicles are traveling),” said a TxDOT spokesperson. “Speed studies to date have not resulted in justification to lower the speed limit.”

According to Liberty Hill’s Police Chief, as of Nov. 2021, there have been 240 crashed within the City of Liberty Hill this year. The numbers are not broken down to the specific roadways that they occurred on.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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