Colleyville — The Babb brothers have seen Glade Road change from a stretch of gravel to what it is today, and they say they are ready for whatever comes next.“Everybody has children and they have cars too,” James Babb said. “They ought to know it’s gonna build up.”Last week, James and Marvin Babb joined more than 200 residents and business owners at a public meeting in Colleyville Center to share their opinions on possible changes to Glade Road. TranSystems, the company that conducted the road studies and is contracted to create a preliminary design, hosted the meeting to solicit public input for a four-mile portion of the road that stretches from half a mile east of Precinct Line Road to Heritage Avenue.James, 76, and Marvin Babb, 78, were there to hear what could happen to the road they’ve lived near since the mid-1930s. James didn’t fill out a comment card, but he said he’s accustomed to the city’s growth.Mayor David Kelly said the road currently is in need of maintenance, so the project is an attempt to fix the deteriorating mostly two-lane road and improve it in one “swoop” that will last 40-50 years.“That is our charge. To preserve what many in Colleyville, and in this room, see as a symbol of Colleyville’s rural beginnings while addressing the changes that have transpired during the past half a century or more in Colleyville,” Kelly said to those in attendance.The road has been divided into four sections based on its residential or commercial use.“There is going to be a multitude of answers throughout the corridor,” Kelly said, stressing that the road was never designed for its current traffic volume.Colleyville resident Bobby Lindamood opposed expanding the roadway.“If we open Glade Road up it’ll open more traffic,” he said. “Hall Johnson was built for it, let’s keep traffic there.”Lindamood, 41, has lived on the corner of Glade Road and West Jim Mitchell Trail for three years and does not want the project to impact his yard. He said his concerns include traffic flow and noise pollution.City officials said research shows that traffic is not anticipated to grow much more than its current capacity, but research indicates some areas of the road are getting backed up.Mayor Kelly and representatives from TranSystems said no plans have been put in place and the public’s input is the first step.Chad Gartner, the project’s designer with TranSystems, said most residents have told him they want to keep the road’s rural feel.“We’re going to try to find a solution that best fits Glade Road,” he said.Gartner said the next step is to review all the comment cards from the public hearing and review opinions online with the www.gladeroadproject.com website.His team will then create alternate designs, which will be shown at a public meeting in the fall.The City Council will most likely see the request early next year.City officials said it is too early to budget the project, but funding sources have been identified. Using the tax increment financing district, the city plans to avoid raising taxes for the project.Councilman Chuck Mogged said he was happy with the turnout.“I think people are happy that we have that rural town hall that’s our flavor.” he said.Kelly said he was impressed with the amount of people in attendance, and is confident the project will balance residents’ wants and needs.“Residents want to keep the rural feel but with growth comes growing pains,” he said.James Babb said he didn’t understand the need to keep the road’s and the city’s “country” feel, pointing out that the meeting was being held in a spot that once was used as a dairy.“They can’t hold on to the country feel because it’s not here anymore,” he said.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dussssstin