Neighbors: Flawed traffic study kept ‘unsafe’ Georgetown road open

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GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — On Apache Mountain Lane in Georgetown, Jean Ann Rieder worries about her family’s safety.

“We’re afraid to go out to the mailbox and step into the street to open the mailbox,” explains Rieder. “We can’t let our grandchildren play out here, we can’t even let them be on the driveways because of all the traffic.”

The intersection of West Majestic Oak Lane and Apache Mountain Lane is the culprit — it’s a shortcut in and out of Sun City, Georgetown’s retirement community.

The city temporarily closed the intersection starting in 2015 for a few months. They then did a traffic study, but the number of cars passing through didn’t meet the criteria to permanently shut down the intersection. There had to be more than 1,000 cars per day for the change, but the study showed fewer.

Just before the traffic study started, Sun City resident Marshall Friedman sent an email to his neighbors and two city council members, in part writing, “we should try to temporarily avoid and restrict using Majestic Oak in order to minimize the traffic volume attributed to Sun City residents.” Friedman tells KXAN he was not trying to skew the numbers of the traffic study.

“The intent of the city was to have people use alternate routes, I supported that, I tried to encourage that with my emails,” explains Friedman.

Still, Friedman says without using West Majestic Oak Lane as a shortcut, he has to drive 5 miles to get to the main Sun City entrance. “We all contribute to the road, that is our road collectively and it is intended to be shared,” said Friedman.

Because of the discrepancy, City Council Member Rachael Jonrowe put the item back on the city council’s agenda for Tuesday night. She is recommending the city close the intersection because she says it’s not safe. She also points out that after the city re-opened the intersection to traffic in 2016, crews were supposed to wait 60 to 90 days to do a traffic study. Jonrowe says the city did three of the traffic counts immediately after the road opened, which didn’t give cars time to return to their normal traffic patterns.

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