Dripping Springs officials say proposed roads will not cut through properties

The newly approved transportation masterplan for Dripping Springs will add several minor arterial roads around downtown. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
The newly approved transportation masterplan for Dripping Springs will add several minor arterial roads around downtown. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)

The newly approved transportation masterplan for Dripping Springs will add several minor arterial roads around downtown. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
In the city's proposal for new roads, solid lines represent existing roads. Orange and yellow dotted lines represent potential major and minor arterials, respectively. Blue and green dotted lines represent smaller roads. (Courtesy Dripping Springs)
The Dripping Springs Transportation Plan that City Council approved unanimously Oct. 19 took years and many public meetings to complete, but some residents are still concerned about the proposed roads.

The plan identifies certain immediate needs for the city, including an extension of Roger Hanks Parkway, the connection of a new roadway between RM 12 and US 290 in Northeast Dripping Springs, and enhancements to Rob Shelton Boulevard, according to a press release from the city.

In the long term, the plan states that the city will need to widen US 290, construct new north/south connections within Dripping Springs and create bypass routes around the city, many of which would run through new developments.

Concerns

At public hearings, residents have aired worries about certain roads in the plan seemingly cutting through existing backyards or dividing ranches in two. City officials have insisted the plan is a rough idea of roads that would connect existing roadways.


At an Oct. 12 Dripping Springs Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Chair Mim James said the conceptual plan addresses major congestion problems and fast population growth, but developers would need to determine roads’ exact paths considering property lines and topography.

James said the city will not build roads through someone’s property. In fact, the city does not have a budget to build the roads it has deemed necessary. Instead, it will ask developers to build roads as a condition of their development in Dripping Springs.

Leveraging developers

“​​If there’s undeveloped property next to my home, it’s going to be developed,” James said. “This is a planning tool. It’s a very important planning tool because it then allows us to force a developer, [so we can] say, ‘We’ve got a plan to move traffic from here to here; now go figure out how to do this.’”

At a Sept. 22 meeting, Mayor Bill Foulds said leveraging the developers of Double L Ranch to build a new road that will reduce traffic at the intersection of Hwy. 290 and RR 12 will be crucial for downtown businesses. Some have lost hours of business each day by starting daily appointments as late as 10 a.m. in response to traffic jams, Foulds said.

“We must make sure that any enhancements and additions to 290 and other road infrastructure protects and maintains the character of downtown Dripping Springs,” Foulds said in a press release.
By Maggie Quinlan

Reporter, Southwest Austin/Dripping Springs

Maggie joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July 2021 after a year spent covering crime, courts and politics at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, near the border with Idaho. In Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs, Maggie covers education, business, healthcare, transportation, real estate development and nonprofits. Prior to CI, she graduated from Washington State University, where she was managing editor of the student newspaper and a section editor at her hometown newspaper based in Moscow, Idaho. Maggie dreamed of living in the Austin area for years and feels honored to serve the communities of Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs.