The increasingly frustrating traffic conditions on Sessom Drive need serious improvement.
This heavy traffic tends to be spurred by long lines of cars waiting to turn left at the LBJ and Peques Street stoplights. Sessom is often difficult to navigate throughout the day from continued construction and traffic. At times, it becomes almost impossible to force long lines of traffic into just three lanes at the LBJ stoplight.
For these reasons, the editorial board believes a police officer should direct the heavy amounts of traffic at the LBJ stoplight connecting Texas State’s main bus loop and Sessom at peak traffic times Monday through Thursday.
San Marcos residents and students on the roadway may see five, six or seven red stoplights pass at the intersection before the left turn signal appears, allowing cars to turn into the bus loop.
If one police officer was stationed in the middle of the crowded intersection, the left hand turn lane into the bus loop could be cleared so that the traffic heading north up the hill would not be backed up all the way to the river. This solution, in conjunction with the City of San Marcos and Texas State, would be a relatively simple fix for the current headache-inducing traffic issues on Sessom.
Ultimately, Sessom is too small of a road to allow a large, continuous flow of traffic. The entire road ends up becoming bogged down due to the inadequate available space for the left hand turn lane at the stoplight. Since the turn lane cannot be expanded without additional major renovations to the street, an extra 10 seconds for the left hand turn signal could also help ease a lot of stress on the roadways.
In addition to the issues at the LBJ stoplight, the left turn from Sessom onto State Street is dangerous, especially during high traffic hours from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays. When drivers turn left during those peak hours, it not only slows down the already overcrowded traffic conditions but presents safety concerns as angry drivers swerve into the right lane to avoid long waits at the stoplight.
Furthermore, the posted rule for the left turn at the Peques stoplight is also poorly enforced. The sign, which mentions that the turn is illegal from 4 to 6 p.m., is posted on the right-hand side of the road several car lengths behind the light. This rule is largely ignored by drivers who continue to turn left during peak traffic times.
If the sign was posted near the top of the stoplight or closer to the left hand side of the road where the turn will be made, more people would be aware of the rule. Officers driving by through the area should also step up enforcement to ensure lines of traffic waiting to turn left do not build up.
A police officer can drastically help the flow of traffic going in and out of the bus loop at the LBJ stoplight. When only five to 10 students cross the street, they tend to hold up the left turn traffic during their allotted 15-second walk time. The stationed police officer could easily help hold the students back to allow traffic to turn in and out of the bus loop. This would, in turn, get Sessom traffic moving more efficiently onto Aquerina Springs Drive and other surrounding streets.
Sessom has become one of the biggest traffic debacles in the city. If one officer is placed at the LBJ stoplight and awareness of the Peques left turn rules is increased, a large amount of Sessom traffic issues will likely be relieved. San Marcos could greatly benefit from these simple changes.