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Woodway traffic flow changes could hinge on committee recommendation

By DAVID TEWES
Dec. 7, 2010 at 6:07 a.m.


TRAFFIC SURVEY RESULTSA city official said the traffic survey for Woodway indicates the following:

Overall traffic through the subdivision dropped 300 to 400 vehicles a day when Railwood Street was closed, indicating drivers cut through the neighborhood.

Traffic on other Woodway streets increased when Railwood was closed, but most of that was internal Woodway traffic generated by drivers looking for different exits.

There was no significant increase in traffic in Woodway resulting from the new schools.

The verdict on what, if anything, should be done to reduce cut-through traffic in a north Victoria neighborhood is still out.

The city has wrapped up traffic counts in the Woodway subdivision and is awaiting a recommendation from a neighborhood committee.

"I'm satisfied with what the city did," said Don Porr, chairman of the homeowners association and a member of the committee. "I think there are a number of potential solutions, but I think some action is warranted."

Controversy involving the neighborhood arose when the city council was asked to close the Railwood Street entrance into Woodway. Traffic uses the short street as a shortcut between Nursery Drive and Briggs Boulevard.

Some Woodway subdivision residents were concerned the problem would get worse when Victoria West High School and Cade Middle School opened this fall.

Residents said speeding drivers and others using it as a cut-through to avoid major interchanges endangered Woodway residents, including children. Others argued closing it would only shift traffic to other entrances.

The topic has morphed into a look at the larger picture of the traffic flow in and around Woodway. Porr said the committee was formed to bring together opposing sides and to deal with the cut-through traffic.

Ray Miller with the city of Victoria said the traffic survey looked into whether drivers cut through Woodway, if closing Railwood would shift traffic to other entrances and whether the high school increased traffic in the subdivision.

He said preliminary findings are that traffic does cut through Woodway.

"When we closed Railwood, the overall traffic in and around Woodway seemed to decrease by 300 to 400 vehicles per day," he said. "When we reopened Railwood, then it went back to its original count."

He said the survey also indicated there was no significant increase in traffic in Woodway resulting from the new schools.

Miller said traffic on other Woodway streets increased when Railwood was closed. "I would suspect that most of that is just internal Woodway traffic looking for different exits."

Woodway resident Tommy Lowe said it appears traffic on Nursery Drive and Briggs Boulevard dropped by several hundred vehicles per day when Railwood was closed. Lowe said he was present when Miller made his presentation.

"Given that information, it was thought it would be beneficial to everyone if Nursery Drive was closed about where the Woodway boundary would be going north," he said. "You wouldn't have all that traffic on Nursery and you would have less traffic on Briggs, which would cut down on some of that going through the Northcrest area."

Porr said while he doesn't have a timeline, the committee will meet and prepare a recommendation to the city.

Miller said he will then prepare a report and get it to the city council, which will have the final say.

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