TxDOT's plan to connect the existing service roads along I-10 between downtown and the West Loop are generating complaints from the neighborhoods they'd run through.
TxDOT has plans to build the elevated frontage lanes as part of its $40 million effort to create a continuous feeder road system along I-10 between Washington Avenue and Taylor Street.
Linda Mercer, a resident of Cottage Grove, a community north of I-10 between TC Jester and Washington, said that if the frontage lanes are built 30 feet above grade, nothing will be able to be done to lessen the noise and pollution that will come with them.
"It would introduce an aesthetic to the neighborhood that we can't even imagine," said Mercer, who also is vice president of the White Oak Bayou Association. "There will be an industrial quality to the neighborhood. What you see along the frontage lanes in Cottage Grove now is largely residential because it's not too bad to live there. This would destroy that."
TxDOT project developer Jim Heacock said there are gaps in the frontage road system in three places along that stretch:
- Eastbound between Taylor and Studemont;
- Both east and westbound between Patterson and Heights Boulevard; and
- The area where the Union Pacific tracks cross I-10 between Washington and TC Jester.
It's at that third gap where TxDOT wants to build 30-foot-high, two-lane frontage roads on both sides of the interstate, Heacock said.
Construction of the project is expected to commence in September 2007 and last about two years, he said.
"What we have now is something the neighborhood is comfortable living with," said Monica Savino, vice president of the Woodcrest Neighborhood Civic Association. "(The project) would double or triple the amount of noise we have now, and that's a disaster."
Tom Dornbusch, president of the WNCA, said that when the stretch of I-10 inside the loop was built, TxDOT took steps to lessen the freeway's negative effects on neighborhoods.
"In the 1960s the neighborhoods negotiated with TxDOT to get it below grade in exchange for all the houses that were lost," Dornbusch said. "What we want to see is the frontage lanes built below the (Union Pacific) railroad tracks."
Heacock said building the lanes below the tracks is unfeasible.
"They just won't fit under there," he said.
I can see the need for the other pieces. It would be very nice to be able to enter I-10 West directly from Heights or Yale, without having to go east towards Studemont and take the turnaround. And with the opening of the new Target at Taylor Street, a service road between Studemont and Taylor would come in handy. Maybe I'm just not as familiar with the western part of the TxDOT Service Road Completeness Plan as I am with these areas, but I don't see the same kind of value in filling that particular gap. Can anyone comment on this?Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 23, 2006 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack