On June 18 city staffers walked the roadway and marked the planned locations for speed humps and signage stating the new 25 mph speed limit, he said. The project should take about 45 days to complete and is timed to finish for the end of July, he said.
“It would be ideal to have [the speed humps and signage] installed before school starts,” Wood said.
Resident Mark Zion approached City Council in spring 2014 about the amount of cut-through traffic and the high rate of speed on his street, Forest View, Wood said. He contacted his neighbors regarding their ideas to keep the area’s commuter traffic on the main roads instead, Wood said.
In fall of 2014, City Council hired engineering firm Klotz and Associates to evaluate the intersection at Redbud Trail and Westlake Drive, where the traffic backs up during peak times, prompting cars to cut through the Forest View neighborhood.
“[We thought] if you could get people through the intersection more efficiently, we could decrease the incentive for people to cut through the neighborhoods,” Wood said.
The Klotz report illustrated traffic-calming options, and a May public hearing showed widespread support by residents for the measures, he said. Council members agreed May 13 to set the speed limit at 25 mph for Forest View from Oak Ridge Drive to the city limits and add speed humps for a total project cost of $37,657.
Zion told Community Impact Newspaper that he declined to comment on this story.
On June 24, City Council approved an expenditure of up to $1,500 for engineering firm K. Friese and Associates to better determine specific costs for the engineering and design of adding a second turn lane from westbound Westbank Drive onto Loop 360. The engineering firm had questions regarding drainage and other issues that were unresolved and may add costs to the project, Mayor Dave Claunch said.
Claunch also agreed at the June meeting to ask Travis County officials for funding for the extra lane because the Texas Department of Transportation is set to call for construction bids in August on a project in the same vicinity. He said the city would pay for the Westbank project’s engineering costs estimated to be $50,000; however, the Westbank project may be able to “piggyback” on the TxDOT project to save costs.
The current estimate for the Westbank project is $350,000, Claunch said.
“Maybe this [Westbank project] is a mountain too high,” he said. “We have a lot of other transportation projects fully in our jurisdiction to fund.”
Claunch said he asked Eanes ISD to help fund the Westbank project but district officials declined because the project was not within the district’s mission statement.
Westlake Drive and Redbud Trail
City of West Lake Hills officials hosted a public hearing July 2 to discuss possible traffic solutions to improve the congestion at Westlake and Redbud.
At the request of City Council, Klotz and Associates prepared a preliminary report recommending three options—lane modifications ($900,000 cost), a traffic signal with lane modifications ($1.1 million cost) or a roundabout ($1.5 million cost).