Council OKs 4-way stops on S. Milam
Several local residents voiced their concerns at Monday’s Fredericksburg City Council meeting about two intersections before a vote to approve adding four-way stops at its 6 p.m. meeting at the Law Enforcement Center.
Assistant City Engineer Garret Bonn presented the topic, saying the four-way stops need to be added at the intersections where West Windcrest and Live Oak streets cross South Milam Street for several reasons, including safety.
“That’s a huge safety concern for vehicular traffic and pedestrians who are trying to cross Milam,” Bonn said.
With the all-way stop, lane assignment signage would also be installed to alert travelers of the multiple lanes they may use.
After his presentation, the floor opened for public comment. At this time, residents and business owners in the area voiced their opinions in favor of the four-way stops.
Larry Werts, who lives close to the intersections and is president of Windcrest Town Homes Association, said it was the second-most common complaint he hears from homeowners. He also said he’s seen several near misses and has been informed of several traffic accidents.
Werts polled his homeowners and received nothing but positive feedback about adding four-way stops.
“I think our life would be simpler and a lot safer,” he said.
Jim Wilhite, president of Windcrest Patio Home Association, said his main concern is that when people accelerate over the hill on South Milam Street, they often can’t see ahead.
“Coming from the high school and from the Burger King, people coming from that hill have no vision of what’s on the downside of that hill and they usually come at a pretty good (rate of speed),” Wilhite said.
To ensure safety, he has been alerting visitors since he moved here of the lack of a four-way stop at the intersections.
Tom Luck, a resident who lives on Summit Circle, said he’s witnessed several near misses at the intersection, as he can see it from his house.
“I’ll be sitting, looking at the beautiful view and then flinching at regular moments during the day as I see people running back and forth between the hospital and rehab, seeing cars racing down the hill, after coming from the south,” Luck said.
Luck chose this location because it’s easy for him to get to his doctor’s appointments at the hospital. He laughed at the ironic possibility of him getting injured in an accident while walking back from the hospital.
There was a discussion between Luck and Bonn about adding traffic signals at that location, but Bonn said that would be added in the future if the population and development continues to grow in that area, as expected.
Resident Bruce Wille said while these stop signs may be necessary, a higher priority should be to focus on alleviating traffic congestion in the city.
Councilman Tom Musselman responded by saying everyone is aware of the traffic congestion problem in the city and the city plans to do something about it as soon as possible.
“I believe that we are all of one mind that we want to improve the mobility of citizens within our community,” Musselman said. “We’re not prepared to solely wait for the State of Texas to decide they want to build a loop or not.”
As for the four-way stop, Bonn said he plans to use portable message boards on the roads and use local media to notify residents when the stop signs are added.
He said the West Windcrest-South Milam intersection needs to be completed by 2022 and the Live Oak-South Milam intersection needs to be completed by 2024.
The council approved changing the zoning from neighborhood commercial to medium commercial on properties located at 108, 110, 202 and 206 N. Milam Street.
They also approved creation of a new Records Management Plan, updating the city’s Retention Schedule and updating its Record Management Program.