To reduce the number of crashes along a treacherous part of North Tarrant Parkway, Keller officials are proposing to lower the speed limit and add traction to the road’s surface.
Councilman Ed Speakmon, City Manager Mark Hafner, Police Chief Michael Wilson and Public Works Director Alonzo Liñan recently met with about 20 residents from the Lakes of Highland Oaks and Highland Oaks neighborhood to discuss both near-term and long-term solutions.
At issue is the 800 to 1100 blocks of North Tarrant Parkway where city officials have recorded 12 significant accidents in seven years. From January through September of this year, three accidents resulted in a brick wall being knocked down. Those accidents occurred when the pavement was wet. Another rainy day crash happened on Nov. 8 when a car spun out of control and into a barrier city workers had placed in that location to prevent vehicles from hitting the wall or an adjacent tree.
Maureen Patrick, who lives on the corner of Lakeview Drive and North Tarrant where most of the accidents occurred, said that city officials promised several actions to make the area safer.
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“I’m confident they’ll follow through,” Patrick said. “It’s just a matter of timing.”
Officials plan to bring a proposal to Keller City Council at the Dec. 5 meeting to lower the speed limit from 40 to 35 mph. They also have engaged a contractor to “scarify” the road, which involves carving grooves in the surface of the pavement to improve traction, Liñan said. The cost of the roadwork is just over $23,000.
City crews also have placed digital signs to notify drivers of their speed and will install additional signage to warn of a “slippery when wet” area, Liñan said.
Other plans include more of a police presence to enforce the speed limit and working with North Richland Hills officials to try to better warn drivers of the slower speed and narrower roadway as it crosses the city limits into Keller.
He said city officials plan to leave the orange and white barriers in place until they determine the additional measures have improved the road’s safety.
Since 2012, Patrick and her husband Marcus Jones have had to get the brick wall on the edge of their property replaced five times. Each time, they must get quotes from contractors and work with the drivers’ insurance companies to get repairs made. By now they know the drill. The process takes about eight weeks and costs anywhere from $5,000 to $13,000.
Repairs from the Sept. 29 accident cost more than $10,000 for replacing the brick wall and repairing a portion of the adjacent wooden fence.
Until the additional safety measures are in place Patrick will be careful.
“When it’s raining now, I can’t go in my back yard or that side of my front yard,” she said. “Hopefully, that will change soon.”