620 turn lanes improve traffic but congestion still an issue, TxDOT is studying Four Points traffic

By RICH KEITH, Four Points News

Four Points drivers moving through the intersection at RM 620 and RM 2222 have noticed an improvement in traffic flow since the new dual turn lanes opened several weeks ago.

But now there is more congestion on RM 2222 where traffic backs up from RM 620 to River Place Boulevard.

Traffic engineers continue to work on signal timing solutions through the area as well.

A view of the dual turn lane in motion.  photo by Rich Keith

A view of the dual-turn lane from RM 620 to FM 2222. 
photo by Rich Keith

Steiner Ranch resident Robby Garlington sent a letter to the Texas Department of Transportation about the situation. He received a reply from TxDOT’s Greg Malatek, a District Engineer looking after the Four Points area.

“These signals are at capacity and are the reason for your added delay in your commute,” the letter states. “TxDOT has recently hired a consulting engineering firm to look at innovative ways to move traffic on RM 2222 from RR 620 through McNeil Drive.”

Malek also pointed to future planning efforts being undertaken by TxDOT.

“Planning dollars are also being spent to look at ways to improve mobility and enhance safety from that top of Tumbleweed Hill down to Loop 360,” Malek’s letter states.

As an example, Malek points out that at the intersection of McNeil Drive and RM 2222 where they are planning dual left-turn lanes onto McNeil Drive. “This project is currently unfunded for construction, however we will continue to move it through the planning and design phases in hopes of funding at a later date,” he said.

Brian Thompto, chairman of the Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association, is well aware of the infrastructure studies. “I’m very familiar with the work TxDOT is now pursuing – this is the work to identify the next round of solutions,” he said, noting that as a registered neighborhood association, the SRNA is involved with TxDOT discussions.

TxDOT’s Malek knows the limitations of which years of neglect of Four Points traffic planning and the lack of funding road improvements have produced. “These projects are isolated improvements at best,” he said. “As a result of added growth and continued development in the area, we are also looking at ways to improve mobility in a much broader perspective.”

At the moment, there is no funding to make broader improvements.

The Four Points’ traffic issues remain to be a big concern for SRNA. For now, the dual-turn lane is a start, Thompto said, adding that the intersection could be better with the longer, original dual-turn lane plans.