City staff members working to verify the almost 1,000 signatures on a petition aimed at limiting the expansion of Glade Road.
Organizers turned in the petition — which aims to protect the road’s “rural feel” — to the city last week. City leaders have been working for months on a plan to widen and improve the heavily traveled road, but have not reached a consensus on what to do.
“I lost trust in the system,” Elizabeth Zeitlin, one of the Protect Glade Road organizers, said. “I didn’t feel like the City Council was dealing with us in a straightforward way. We didn’t have any choice but to submit this petition.”
The petition asks that the city not add a 10-foot sidewalk or medians or fill in bar ditches, which it says would lead to the loss of trees and could flood homes.
City staff members will take the next few days to verify the petition and its 999 signatures before presenting it to City Council at its Oct. 21 meeting. The petition must have at least 822 signatures — or 40 percent of the number of residents who voted in the last municipal election — to be valid.
If the petition is validated, council members will then decide whether to accept it as a city ordinance or resolution, or let voters decide in the May 2015 election if the city would be limited in any future expansion of Glade.
Glade Road is one of the main east-west roadways through the city and is popular with commuters who use it to get from Precinct Line Road in North Richland Hills to Texas 121 in Euless.
It is lined with upscale homes in some areas, entrances to gated neighborhoods in others and lush landscaping throughout. Because of its two-lane design, drivers often have to stop for people making left-hand turns, or to let ducks cross. During rush hour, traffic can back up for blocks.
Last year, the city began gathering public feedback on how to improve the road’s safety and mobility.
Contractors submitted a concept design this year that keeps the road to two lanes, includes more turn lanes and roundabout intersections, and has a 5-foot sidewalk on the south side of the road and a 10-foot trail along the north.
Zeitlin, along with residents who have spoken against the project, opposed the trail and other features that would expand the roadway, require the city to remove trees and acquire right of way on property owners’ land.
Some City Council members said they would not approve the petition because of its wording.
Councilman Chuck Mogged said by design, medians are required in roundabouts and turn lanes.
“I understand where the group is coming from and empathize with their desire to make sure Colleyville stays rustic, but I can’t stand by the resolution as it’s written,” he said. “I am hoping we can have some discussion and dialogue to come to a conclusion that makes more sense.”
Zeitlin said she was initially committed to working on a compromise and thought the city would keep her involved with the process of having an arborist study how an expansion might affect trees along Glade Road. But she said that when she found out the study was being conducted without her knowledge, that was the last straw.
Councilman Jody Short said he thought the groups would reach a compromise.
“I was very surprised to hear it had been filed,” he said. “We had good dialogue and were making progress with the design to accommodate their wants.”
The last time a petition was brought to the city was in 2009 related to development of a possible rail station. The city ultimately adopted a resolution not to fund a rail station.