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Thursday, October 29

Mail Bag (1 of 2): Wurzbach speed limits (again), potholes, highway signs, Loop 1604 northeast

To those who've reached out to us reporting potholes ... thank you! Those reports have been passed along to the appropriate folks and will be addressed as soon as possible. As for other questions, we've got two Mail Bag posts this week (look for 2 of 2 this weekend).

With just about everyone having access to Google Maps and or cell phones, why don't you include a GPS coordinate description option? This would eliminate cumbersome requested information. Your road crews have cell phones with that resource. Those reporting who don't have a GPS coordinate, can use the other descriptive sources.
- Ruben

Not a bad option, Ruben - provided those using the GPS feature to report the potholes were passengers only. Unfortunately, not enough folks have gotten the message that use of a mobile device - to call or to text - while driving is an extremely poor decision, so we're not about to start providing more opportunities for a bad choice.
Also, as luck would have it, our crews are actually not equipped with fancy GPS gear. We go by good, old-fashioned cross streets and mile markers for the most part. Sure, some of our guys have their own personal cell phones ... but not all have state-issued devices.
That said, if you submit a report with a GPS coordinate, we'll pass it along the same as the others!

Not a question, more of an observation. The questions regarding the speed limit on PA 1502 (Wurzbach Parkway) likely stem from the fact that it feels like it was designed for 60 and the local PD has been providing frequent written and costly reminders that it is currently 45.
- Bill

Bill, we've addressed this issue before. More than once, actually. That said, the issue should be adjusted pretty darned soon - the Texas Transportation Commission discussed this topic in today's commission meeting.

How do I keep myself safe going the 45 MPH posted speed when people are zooming around me going 60-70 MPH? Do I risk getting a ticket to keep up with them?
- Anonymous

The best advice we have is to be patient. As we've discussed before and in the question above, this issue will be completely resolved very, very soon....

Now that all the lanes are open on Loop 1604 on the Northeast Side between Universal City and I-10, would it be possible to have the traffic lights optimized in this area to improve the flow of traffic on Loop 1604? I drive 1604 daily, and I frequently hit every red light between I-10 and I-35, driving with the flow of traffic and at the speed limit. It would really help the flow in this area if the lights were timed better.
- David

Those signals, like most in the region, operate on a VIVD system and are optimized. We have to balance the timing of the signals on your route with the timing of signals on other routes. Heck, most of us have days where we feel like we hit every signal along the way. Every. Single. One. (SO frustrating....)
The signals are optimized, but we can make sure the detection cameras are clean and working as designed. Thanks for letting us know!
By the way, most signals in San Antonio - even those on state-maintained roads - are controlled by the city of San Antonio Transportation and Capital Improvements division.

On Loop 1604 between Braun and Culebra, would it be possible to have Williams Brothers close the third lane, in particular southbound before the turnaround to New Guilbeau and northbound after the turnaround? I recognize that these lanes feed into the turnarounds; however, it seems like it has transformed into a lane for opportunists rather than those desiring to turn left (at the aforementioned areas) and would improve the flow of traffic by eliminating another merge point.
- Ryan

This has been suggested more than once, and we've looked into it with pretty great detail. The problem is, per the engineers who've studied this option and run some models, this will create an even bigger problem with traffic flow than what's out there now.
On the plus side, as was written earlier this week, we could have the intersections at New Guilbeau and (with a little luck...) Shaenfield open to traffic as early as Christmas. That will help us adjust the way things look out there and help stop the folks who are cutting in line as you've observed.

Why are there no overhead signs indicating that the exit lanes on northbound US 281 at Brook Hollow and at Oak Shadows/Winding Way, as well as on eastbound I-410 at Airport Avenue, are exit only? Additionally, there are new signs along US 281 in the vicinity of Wurzbach Parkway that indicate the entrance ramps merge directly into the main lanes of 281. This is not the case. The ramps have their own dedicated lanes that turn into exit only lanes further along.
- Travis

We used to have those northbound US 281 exits marked as you've indicated - and the pavement is marked accordingly. Let us double-check with our traffic operations folks to ensure these markings are appropriate.
The southbound traffic issues you've identified should be corrected by now (in fairness, Travis sent his note to us a few weeks ago and these issues have been resolved, or mostly resolved, in the meantime).

When will the bicycle path west of Jones Maltsberger Road open for use?
- Tom

We're hoping by the end of the year! The rains put a hurt on some of what we've built down there, but we're working to get it all repaired and up to snuff again. Honestly, our contractor wants to be done and over with the project so all resources can be moved to a new job ... so you can bet you'll be riding through the whole thing well ahead of Christmas (and might even be able to do so by Thanksgiving).

How can we get a yellow flashing turn signal from southbound Randolph Boulevard onto eastbound Crestway Drive in northeast San Antonio that will prevent one from having to wait through two light changes to make a left turn?
- Terry

The area you've asked about doesn't fall within the authority of the state's highway department. However, Terry, we've already passed your request along to the good folks with the city of San Antonio - you should hear from them soon!