Link to article here. It’s interesting to note that on one hand the RMA says the ONLY source of funding is tolling and on the other, they insist nothing is a done deal. Sounds like tolling is in their minds! Do they hear their own contradictions? They’re a tolling authority after all! Someone at the RMA needs to read the A&M study that shows there are many options other than tolling to fund our road needs. We also have additional proposed solutions for the Bandera corridor on our web site. And folks, if it weren’t for the massive outcry at the July public meeting last summer, there would BE NO COMMUNITY GROUP nor ANY input from the public at large. So way to go!
Bandera traffic solutions analyzed
Express-News Staff Writer
LEON VALLEY — Only 6.5 percent of all the traffic on Bandera Road is traveling the full distance of the thoroughfare between Loop 410 and Loop 1604 and likely would be the only traffic to use a proposed limited-access toll road, according to a study by a local group.Leon Valley officials and residents learned that during their first public briefing from the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority’s Bandera Road Community Working Group, which is charged with reviewing traffic solutions — including possible tolls — along the road.
Al Uvietta, a Leon Valley resident and member of the group, presented the information at the April 3 City Council meeting.
“We requested the information from the RMA on the number of cars that actually traverse the full distance on Bandera Road between 410 and 1604 because that is who would use a limited-access toll road,” Uvietta said.
“The answer was 6.5 percent,” he said. “That means that people are getting on and off in between the two loops, and that is the brunt of the traffic problem. That is what needs to be fixed.”
According to the RMA’s Web site, a daily average of 31,000 to 61,000 vehicles uses Bandera Road.
Appointed by state and local government officials, the 14-member community group consists of individuals who live or work along the Bandera Road corridor. They serve as a community advisory panel that provides feedback to the RMA, an independent government agency “that works in conjunction with the Texas Department of Transportation, the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization and other agencies to provide a tolled-lane network” to help solve traffic problems in the region.
Leroy Alloway, the RMA’s public information manager, said the group’s input will be part of the agency’s study of Bandera Road. The group is reviewing 21 options for dealing with traffic congestion along the 6.5-mile stretch between 410 and 1604.
However, no monies or funding options, except tolling, are available to pay for any road improvements, Alloway said.
He emphasized that no decisions have been made and tolls are not a “done deal.”
The Community Working Group was created to provide citizen input after a public outcry from the cities of Grey Forest, Leon Valley and Helotes, as well as residents from surrounding communities.
Each of those cities has passed a resolution panning the use of elevated lanes or toll roads along Bandera, and some of the board’s members have publicly stated their opposition to such plans.
The RMA will release an official statement about the progress and input from the group within the month, officials said. It will be the first of several such releases. The group has met monthly since January and is set to meet for a total of 15 months.
Members must report back to their respective communities about the group’s progress, as Uvietta did at the Leon Valley council meeting.
“Helping to improve connections like Grissom and Culebra could alleviate some of Bandera’s problems today,” Uvietta said at the meeting. “The configuration of the feeder and side streets is the real issue, and the solution is not to build a bridge. Many of them dead-end on Bandera instead of crossing over, so traffic is forced to go one way or another on Bandera Road.
“We understand that the RMA’s study is just of Bandera Road, but we are trying to look outside that for solutions.”
Uvietta told the council that he believes any limited-access roadway would be a problem.
“We are looking at all the options, but there are funding constraints because tolling is the only funding option,” he said. “We have to look at solutions for our community and there may not be funding now, but let’s plan ahead.”
Fellow board member Marcy Meffert also offered her input.
“I just really think the city of San Antonio should think about extending their roads, like Grissom, across Bandera Road,” she said.
“We are not responsible for all of Bexar County, and San Antonio really needs to look at their roads in this problem because the simplest solution should be considered first. We also have to consider the destruction of our city.”
Councilman Jack Dean said he appreciated the update.
“I want to thank the whole RMA committee,” he said. “This is really the first in-depth information we have had on this situation.”