Tx-Dot's upcoming renovations to I-410 are bad news for CHP.
The highways near San Antonio International Airport are among the busiest and most accident prone in south Texas. To relieve congestion, in October 2020 Tx-Dot announced a plan that will utilize two strategies to overhaul the highway and adjoining frontage roads:
Close several highway entrances / exits and expand those that remain.
Speed up frontage roads by widening them and removing traffic lights.
As a result, Crownhill Park residents will see traffic diverted onto their residential streets. Residents will no longer have easy access to the McCullough Street bridge in both directions. And they'll be put in danger when trying to merge onto the faster moving frontage road. The plan could break ground as early as 2023. See the adjacent video for more details.
In over 4 years of pre-planning, Tx-Dot representatives enagaged CHPNA only once in 2017 to outline its initial goals. When the final plan was announced to the community, CHP residents were allowed just 14 days to provide feedback on these sweeping, highly complex changes. CHPNA quickly organized a community meeting with Tx-Dot and has been negotiating changes over the past year.
Community meeting with Tx-Dot unites residents.
An overflow crowd attended the November 2020 community meeting with TxDot. Residents expressed concern not only with the impact on our residential streets, but also with the agency's planning process that may have violated Federal protocols to insure communities are adequately engaged to provide feedback at key stages.
Although then-Councilman Trevino's office was unable to attend, senior staff from State Senator Menendez's team spoke and pledged that community concerns would be given fair consideration before the plan is finalized. Organizers also contacted State Rep Bernal, who is the former Councilperson for our district and very familiar with Crownhill Park's unique raodway and access challenges.
CHPNA negotiations continue. Slow progress being made.
CHPNA has arranged several meetings with TxDot and CoSA stakeholders to either implement changes to the plan or protections for the neighborhood if plans proceed that will have a detrimental effect on the community. The core issues being discussed are:
Traffic from nearby hotels and office buildings will be inadvertantly diverted onto Crownhill Park's residential streets when access to the McCullough Bridge is severely curtailed.
A proposed merge lane for residents entering the Frontage Road via McCullough will be routinely obstructed by customer back-up from the nearby Chick-Fil-A and thereby make merging even more dangerous. School buses may also utilize this route.
Residents who currently access the neighborhood via McCullough will begin favoring Jones-Maltsberger instead which will increase cross traffic through the neighborhood. This simple two-lane road does not have turn lanes or stop lights to provide safe access and will be more dangerous as congestion increases.
A Tx-Dot problem that can only be solved with CoSA funding.
Meetings with City and State leaders revealed that if the Tx-Dot plan goes forward as is, funds to remedy the impact on Crownhill Park won't be provided by Tx-Dot due to state regulations. Our residential streets are CoSA jurisdiction and the city's Public Works department would be responsible to develop plans and fund the needed upgrades.
CHPNA is pressing the City's team to be proactive and address the pending problems before they become a reality. This isn't the normal protocol. The City typically addresses a problem only after it manifests, but CHPNA isn't willing to wait. We feel that the City should have done a better job reviewing Tx-Dot's plans with a more critical eye and negotitated protections long before the plan reached this stage. We will continue to pressure the City to protect Crownhill Park before the community suffers.
CHPNA is coordinating with District 1's new councilperson, Mario Bravo, to assist the negotiations. His staff will coordinate additional meetings with Public Work's leadership to find a compromise. Watch this website and the quartely CHPNA newsletter for more updates.