Bill Geck, a resident of the Butler Ranch Estates subdivision in Dripping Springs, points to a topographic map of the city between RM 150 and Hwy. 290.
“If they build that bypass, it will ruin our property value,” he said. “We’re very concerned that our street is so close to the [proposed]new road.”
Geck voiced his concerns to Community Impact Newspaper at a Jan. 17 open house debuting proposed updates to Dripping Springs’ Transportation Master Plan.
The plan outlines road, trail and greenspace projects—mainly located within the city limits and the half mile surrounding the city center—to address current and future, projected community needs.
The updates presented Thursday are not set in stone. The meeting was intended to capture public feedback that will be used to hone the plan over the coming months, Deputy City Administrator Ginger Faught said.
“Community feedback is critical to the process,” Faught said. “That’s how we build these master plans. They are first vetted by the public and ultimately adopted by the city.”
Why the change?
The population of Dripping Springs has more than doubled in less than a decade—from 1,788 residents in 2010 to 3,8876 in 2017, according to the U.S Census Bureau.
In addition, more than 40 new developments are planned for the area, according to city data on display at the Jan. 17 meeting.
Against this backdrop of growth and development, key transportation goals include safety, accommodations for growth and prioritizing mobility improvements, Faught said.
Jessica Graffunder moved from Southwest Austin to Dripping Springs about a year ago. Due to safety concerns, her 16-year-old daughter is hesitant to learn to drive, she said.
“She’s terrified to drive here,” Graffunder said. “I’m very concerned about safety. I know there’s a solution, but I’m not sure how long it’s going to take.”
Graffunder also mentioned concerns about an increasingly overcrowded Hwy. 290 for commuters traveling to and from Austin.
“There’s got to be some sort of transit to get into Austin,” she said. “It’s time for solutions.”
The city will next engage in traffic modeling, said Leslie Pollack, a project manager with HDR—a firm contracted to help the city with the updated plan.
Alongside community input, Pollack said the plan will also incorporate feedback from Hays County, Dripping Springs ISD and the Texas Department of Transportation.
A second open house is in the works and is anticipated for fall 2019, Faught said.
Residents are encouraged to provide feedback in the interim as well. A survey will be posted to the city’s website within a few days, Faught said.