Northeast Tarrant

Southlake residents cite traffic as top concern in survey

Mobility is among the top concerns weighing on Southlake residents’ minds, according to survey results recently released by the city.

“Managing the additional traffic that will come from the new subdivisions going in and the new retail development that will draw more people to our city,” a citizen said in response to a question about what the city staff can do to improve Southlake.

The city administered the online survey from Oct. 4 to Nov. 6, and some 803 residents took it, nearly double the 450 needed for a proper sample, according to city staff and outside contractor Decision Analyst.

According to the survey’s analysis, traffic management is a top priority, along with increasing bicycle-friendly streets and trails, and managing the city’s growth.

Public Works Director Bob Price said the city takes citizen input during the annual budgeting process and that mobility is a continuing challenge. He said the city is working to find solutions.

“With the entire region growing as fast as it is, we continually have to be looking for other opportunities for improvements,” he said.

Short-term solutions include the city’s adoption of roundabouts to reduce delays, as well as continued work at intersections, especially along FM 1709. He added that improving intersections, including better light timing and turn lanes, is key to improve traffic.

Along Southlake Boulevard, the Texas Department of Transportation is installing flashing left turn signals. The city also will implement new timing to the signals to better move traffic along the roadway.

“We should see traffic beginning to move less impeded along the 1709 corridor,” he said.

In 2011, residents said they wanted to see was more and better sidewalks and trails. This past year, that demand has fallen behind a recognized need for growth and traffic management.

But Price said there’s still more work to connect the city via sidewalks and trails.

“City Council is probably going to continue to see it as a strong need for the community,” he said. “Council will probably still want us to continue to address sidewalk issues until we can get a full network along our major thoroughfares.”

Southlake conducts a citywide survey every two years. City staff and leaders use the input for planning and decision making.

Other than traffic issues, most citizens that took the survey seemed satisfied with the city’s operations.

Part of the survey asked citizens to rate how certain phrases best fit the city of Southlake. Most said phrases like “Excellent School System,” “Safe and Secure,” and “Quality Shopping,” best fit the city.

Fifty-four percent of survey takers have lived in the city for 10 or more years, with most between the ages of 40-74.

Sixty-seven percent of survey takers said since living in Southlake they have seen the city improve, 22 percent said it has stayed the same and 11 percent chose the “gotten worse” option.