The area of North LBJ Drive intersecting Sessom Drive up to Holland Street will undergo major road construction and landscape alterations beginning in October, lasting approximately 18 months.
The most significant changes to the area will be a newly-paved, 14-foot shared road and a 5- to 8-foot sidewalk that will be available on both sides of the road, according to a presentation given to residents during a neighborhood meeting Sept. 16. Texas State students living further down North LBJ will be able to use the improved road and new sidewalks to travel to class without having to wait for buses, said Shaun Condor, San Marcos city project engineer.
A right-turn lane will be added to Sessom, according to the presentation. Both lanes on North LBJ will be able to turn left, and new traffic signals and crosswalks will be added at the intersection of Sessom and North LBJ. New water mains, wastewater lines and storm drains will be part of the reconstruction. The projected end date for the project’s construction is spring 2015.
During the reconstruction, North LBJ and Chestnut Street will both become one-way roads, according to the presentation. The construction will begin on the east side of North LBJ with barriers set up along the path. This set up will not alter the current North LBJ bus loop, but may cause delays.
“I’m excited that I will eventually be able to ride my bike to campus,” said Amanda Higgs, psychology sophomore. “Right now the road is too narrow and dangerous for me to ride my bike on. Plus, the bus takes forever, so it’ll be nice to not deal with that anymore.”
Although some bikers like Higgs are excited to have a safer commute, no bike lanes will be added to the roads. Condor said because of design standards, the area does not allow for bike lanes. The lack of bike lanes concerned some residents of the surrounding area at the neighborhood meeting.
“I think it’s great we’re finally putting money into LBJ,” said Joe Tomasso, San Marcos resident. “I moved here in 1981 and it hasn’t changed, but I’m afraid (the construction) might kill someone.”
Some residents said they are worried more accidents will occur because of the increased bicyclist attention North LBJ will start to receive. Signs cautioning drivers to share the road will be put up to remind everyone of the new changes, the presentation said.
Members of the community at the Sept. 16 meeting said the newly paved road could be an invitation to speed for some drivers. They suggested the university become involved to help regulate traffic, or decrease speed limit of North LBJ to increase safety along the roads.
“The construction is going to be annoying,” said Aaron Witting, political science senior. “There’s already so much construction going on in San Marcos, but LBJ is a busy road and in the long run it’ll be good to get that side of town cleaned up.”