Transportation officials want to change deadly Austin road

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City seeks public input on Cameron, Dessau Road

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN)– A section of northeast Austin with a history of deadly crashes is getting special attention.

Austin’s Transportation Department wants to change Cameron Road, which becomes Dessau Road, to make it safer.

Austin Transportation Department officials want public feedback on Cameron/Dessau roads between 51st Street and Parmer Lane. (COURTESY/Austin Transportation Department)

In just five years, the area saw 348 crashes with serious injuries or fatalities.

“I’ve seen a lot of accidents on this street right here,” says Ernesto Ramirez, an employee at Cameron’s Tire Shop off of Cameron Road and E. 53rd St.

Ramirez has worked at the shop for about a year now.

Every month, he says, he sees an accident at the intersection across the street.

“We’re here from 7:00 [a.m.] to 7:00 [p.m.] so it could be any time of those hours that we see one wreck here,” Ramirez says.

Parts of Cameron and Dessau roads see up to 35,000 drivers daily.

“I saw a big U-Haul truck knock somebody off their bike once,” says Nathan Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has been working at his family’s food truck next door for just two months and sees near-misses everyday– even experiencing one, himself.

“It’s happened to me where the outside lane, the person wants to go to the inside,” Rodriguez says.

The stretch of road is part of what Austin officials call the High Injury Network: Eight percent of the city’s roads that make up nearly 70% of all accidents that have serious injuries or death.

KXAN has responded many of those crashes including one in 2016 that left a three-year-old boy dead.

“They really need to fix it,” Ramirez says.

Now, Austin transportation officials are asking for the public’s input.

They’ve set up this survey and this interactive map to help identify the biggest problems.

Feedback ends December 22nd, then officials plan to come up with a plan and present it to the public in early 2020.

Two problems that are already popping up the most: Difficulty turning and congestion.

“That’s everyday a problem– the lines. They don’t have a good system here,” Ramirez says.

For now, Ramirez avoids the area altogether, taking a back road to work.

“I don’t want to get hit, or I don’t want to get hurt,” he says.

You can find out more information by clicking here.

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