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Local leaders looking to make McLennan County roads safer, looking for public's opinion

A dirt track along a portion of Valley Mills Drive used as a temporary sidewalk for commuters.
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 18:06:55-05

WACO, Texas — The City of Waco's Metropolitan Planning Organization is looking for your opinion to help make areas across McLennan County safer.

“I stopped an individual for doing 102 mph as he was coming South on Valley Mills Drive towards Beverly Hills — to do it on a road that’s only 40 mph, so we’ve got to be conscious of our decisions," said SGT. Steven Chad Ashworth with Waco Police Department's Traffic Unit.

"In a lot of these areas especially on the pedestrian side and where these projects helped out, is making it an area where people want to cross, so a lot of our crashes occur with pedestrians."

TxDOT reported 37 crashes that involved pedestrians and vehicles last year in Waco — that’s ten less than in 2022.

The City of Waco’s Metropolitan Planning Organization is looking to help by identifying crash hot spots in McLennan County.

The goal is to make areas safer for not just pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists, but also people driving in and out of businesses, schools and offices in those areas.

A main focus is several spots on Valley Mills Drive — their planing is in the early stages. Mukesh Kumar PhD is the MPO Director.

"What we want to do is do some demonstration projects," he said.

"They’re going to be temporary measures in terms of light changing to lighting, striping for pedestrian as well as designating some spaces.”

They’ll take what they learned and analyze it to see what works.

"Interventions that make people feel safer are the ones that then, we will be applying for further grants to actually implement them.”

Some of those temporary demonstration projects are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

Kumar says that opinions of the public are really needed and valued for the comprehensive action safety plan.

Click here to learn more or read more below from a press release sent out this week.