Weatherford Democrat

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April 7, 2013

Looking further down the road

One of the biggest challenges Weatherford and Parker County residents deal with each day is transportation and traffic, issues local officials say they are addressing

(Continued)

The loop, once fully in place, is expected to handle 20,000 cars by the year 2035, Hughes said. U.S. Highway 180, which the loop was built to help alleviate congestion in town, is expected to handle between 24,000 and 27,000 vehicles a day in the same timeframe.

With the continued population growth, which is expected to double Parker County’s growth by 2030, future roadwork and projects will be needed. Projects like the South Main Street widening will need to be done. Hughes said work will continue to be looked at to determine its effect on people and businesses.

“We’re going to see how it affects the downtown area and around the schools and hospital,” Hughes said. “We’re also going to look at not only traffic but economic development concerns as well.”

Cost benefit scenarios have been run and will continue to be run under the new plan with the want of making sure any new roads have cost benefits to them. Most new road construction is expected to have brand new lighting. Hughes said lighting is being looked at on current roads as well, most notably Palo Pinto/Fort Worth Highway from the Ranger Highway split to Bankhead and even a few blocks south along South Main to lighten up the downtown area a bit, which was mentioned during a recent downtown meeting earlier this year.

“We really want a gateway effect as you’re coming into Weatherford from all directions,”

Hughes said.

Pedestrians

Much of the talk at a downtown meeting in February was wanting to make the city and downtown more pedestrian friendly and trying to unite the four quadrants of the square as much as possible. Some of that can be done, Hughes says, by linking the city’s walking trail system into one complete trail which would be about five miles.

A possibility of creating audible crossing signals around the courthouse to help those with visual and hearing issues is part of the plan.

“Everything we do we want to continue to be cognizant of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Hughes said.

 

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