LIBERTY HILL, Texas (KXAN) — People in the Liberty Hill area want to see changes to State Highway 29 after a woman’s death Friday from a wreck.
The Liberty Hill Police Department confirmed that Gloria Puckett, 76, died after a minivan struck her vehicle when she tried to drive across the highway from County Road 214. The intersection is only a two-way stop.
Some of the employees at Mojo Coffee witnessed the crash, which happened right in front of their store. Owner Forrest Jackson said this particular intersection was his biggest cause for concern when he opened the coffee shop earlier this year.
“A lot of the parents to the kids that work here, they don’t even let their kids turn here,” Jackson said, pointing to the street. “They have to go to the signal up the street and turn and go the back way because they feel this intersection is a little too dangerous. They’d rather their kids weren’t apart of that.”
Liberty Hill police told KXAN they responded to five wrecks on S.H. 29 during the past week alone. Chief Maverick Campbell said he’s noticed an increase in collisions during the past 18 months, which has led officers to conduct monthly traffic operations to monitor speeding and other conditions.
Chief Campbell attributes the spike in crashes to more growth happening in the area.
“We’re a small community, but we’re growing fast,” he said. “We have to look out for one another, so the main thing there is to slow down and share the road.”
City leaders are trying to be proactive to deal with these issues. Last year the City Council voted on a resolution to ask the Texas Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit through town from 55 mph to 45 mph.
However, the city secretary said the results of a TxDOT traffic study determined that the speed change was not necessary right now, but that does not mean it couldn’t change sometime in the future.
Jackson said he would like to see a traffic signal added at the intersection of S.H. 29 and CR 214, which is currently a two-way stop. He said it’s especially needed because other businesses are coming in nearby.
“When those developments come into play,” Jackson said, “I think you’re going to see significantly more traffic here.”
A TxDOT spokesman said the agency will add a traffic signal in the area, just not at that particular intersection. He said one will instead be installed further west at the intersection of Bronco Boulevard and S.H. 29.