ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – If you’ve ever left a game at Shotwell Stadium trying to get onto Loop 322, you know how tricky it can be with the two-way access road. For some residents in the Lytle Shores area, they prefer the two-way road, while the City has long been looking at turning it into a one-way.
It’s been a nearly 12-year debate between some Lytle Shores residents and the City of Abilene over having Lytle Way be a one-way or two-way road. Speaking to residents in the area, they prefer it the way it is.
“Anytime we have to go to the southside of town, we use the access road. It can get pretty busy, but they keep the traffic flowing both ways,” resident Zack Leggett said.
Leggett has lived in his home for four years, saying it is his and his wife’s main exit out of the area. His one concern is the yield signs leading onto Loop 322, which he said some drivers take as a suggestion and not a mandatory rule of the road.
However, he said his family prefers the two-way road because it limits traffic through the neighborhood itself.
Glenda and Doyle Williams have a little longer tenure in Lytle Shores, living in their home for 35-years. Their main concern is safety for walkers, dogs and children who freely play in the neighborhood.
Glenda said with a one-way access road, she fears all of that excess traffic would funnel through their area and make it unsafe for the elderly folks and kids.
However, there may be a solution that both parties can agree upon – the Abilene Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) recently concluded its large traffic study throughout Abilene.
After much discussion, the Abilene MPO agreed upon two different designs for that specific area, allowing for the continuation of the two-way access road and by hopefully eliminating the safety issues with the on-ramps to the loop.
In both designs, another on-ramp is moved further north closer to the Expo Center. Moving the on-ramp removes the possibility of head-on collisions at the yield, but also allows for a jughandle, or traffic control area, to be placed at the intersection of Expo Street and Lytle Way.
This would force drivers coming from Expo Street to turn right, while redirecting drivers coming north from Loop 322 or Lytle Way to go down Expo Street.
The second design allows the same plan, but also redesigns the current access roads and would install a new on-way access road to Loop 322.
Taylor County Judge and MPO Board Member Downing Bolls said this is the “initial legwork” of any potential project and is still a ways away. However, he said with the continuous growth in North Abilene, with the zoo and airport expansions, as well as Great Lakes Cheese, it will be imperative to continue to look at all of their options.
And while it is still early on in development, it could signal an end to an over decade long dispute with both parties on the winning side of things.