Drivers soon will be required to slow down in a crash-prone stretch of North Tarrant Parkway in Keller.
The Keller City Council recently approved a 35 mph speed limit from the 800 block to the 1100 block of the busy road, dropping the limit from 40 mph. The new speed limit will go into effect Jan. 1.
“We’re trying to reduce the number of crashes on that stretch of roadway,” said Police Chief Michael Wilson. “It’s a denser residential area with a lot of cross streets.”
A brick wall in the 800 and 900 blocks has been knocked down 12 times in seven years, city officials said.
In addition to cars running into the wall, police were seeing numerous collisions between cars driving on North Tarrant Parkway and cars turning onto the road from side streets, Wilson said.
“By reducing the speed by 5 miles per hour, we’re increasing reaction time. That, in combination with the plan for signage and roadwork that will be done should make it less dangerous,” he said.
The challenge for drivers may be especially difficult coming from North Richland Hills to the east where the speed limit is 45. West of the 800 block, the speed limit remains 40 through the rest of Keller and into Fort Worth. About 20,000 vehicles a day drive on North Tarrant Parkway in Keller.
Police patrols will increase traffic enforcement in that area to remind drivers to slow down. Keller police post daily on Twitter where they will focus their enforcement efforts.
“It’s not a ‘gotcha’ or intended to increase ticket counts, but to change driver behavior to make the road safer,” Wilson said.
City officials have also hired a contractor to carve grooves into the surface so vehicles have better traction on the curve. Alonzo Liñan, public works director, said that project should be completed by early January.
Officials plan to leave the temporary barriers in the 800 and 900 blocks, for now. On a rainy day a few weeks ago, a barrier kept a car from hitting a tree in the 800 block.
“We’ll play it on the safe side and keep them in place until we’re confident the new speed limit and roadwork have done their job,” Liñan said.