TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Residents along Buffalo Gap Road are concerned with what they feel is a high rate of speed right outside their front doors. These concerns have led these residents to call upon TxDOT for a lower speed limit.
Wes Morgan lives just off Iberis Road, and told KTAB/KRBC turning onto Buffalo Gap Road and accelerating to the 70 miles per hour speed limit is a dangerous daily task.
“It’s become very dangerous to turn off of Iberis on to Buffalo Gap. A lot of people do more than 70 miles an hour. There’s homes that are directly off of that street, neighborhoods. And with all the new construction, it’s just extremely dangerous right now,” Morgan detailed.
Morgan isn’t the only one who feels the speeds are a problem. Elsa Reyna lives across the road from Morgan and said the previous owner of her home even had to move her mailbox away from the road because it was continually ran over.
“I mean, people pass at like 60 miles an hour on the shoulder… Down the road, sometimes 90,” said Reyna. “Sometimes, especially on weekends, some of those motorcycles will hit 100 miles down this road.”
For Morgan, the final straw was a near crash encounter he had while attempting to turn out onto Buffalo Gap Road as another driver was passing traffic in the oncoming lane.
“[I] Had a car that was passing a car coming south, and luckily, we were not into the lane yet or they would have hit us head on,” Morgan elucidated.
Morgan told KTAB/KRBC he reached out to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in hopes of getting that speed limit reduced to give his family and his neighbors a safer commute each morning.
“We tell our teenagers all the time, ‘take extra caution in the morning and leave extra early because we know it’s gonna be a hassle,'” shared Reyna.
TxDOT responded to a KTAB/KRBC inquiry, stating, “A recent speed study of this area (FM 89 and FM 338) last fall indicated that a reduction in speed is not justified at this time.” If such a change was to be enacted, TxDOT said it would take at least a year to conduct safety tests and further surveys.
“Well, obviously nobody wants to wait, but if that’s what it takes then we will wait a year,” Morgan added.
In the meantime, residents like Reyna said they hope some short-term solutions will be utilized to keep their home safe from what they feel is a dangerous high speed area.
Reyna detailed her recommendations, “Maybe positioning some cops around here and ticketing those people. Maybe if they pay out of their pocket, maybe that’ll slow them down some… And just more courtesy from neighboring people. I mean, we’re sharing the road together. We all have kids; we all want to get to work. We’ve just got to do that safely.”
Buffalo Gap Road began as a rural transportation road. But in recent years, it’s traffic load has grown through Wylie and Buffalo Gap development. Morgan said he would like to see safety standards stay consistent with the growth happening in the area.