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Steiner Ranch Additional Permanent Road to 620 - SRMA Board Update

3/11/2019

 
 
  
 

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Route
F - Additional Permanent Road for Steiner Ranch


Connecting
Flat Top Road to 620 Just East of Mansfield Dam - SRMA Board 3/11/2019 Update




Current Situation


    Steiner Ranch is one of the largest master planned communities in central
Texas today with more than 4,500 homes, apartments and commercial complexes. There
has been tremendous growth over the last 10 years and over 15,000 residents now
call it home. Since the catastrophic fires of 2011, our Community has added
over 500 homes and two apartment complexes (approximately 600 units in total). Currently another 100 homes are being built in the northeast corner of Quinlan Park
Road and 620. This means that all
together, our Community has added more than 2,300 cars and 3,700 residents since the
2011 fires. This is a tremendous amount
of growth and traffic added to Quinlan Park Road with no current improvements
to our roads infrastructure. If Quinlan Park Road became blocked before Steiner
Ranch Blvd during another catastrophic event (or for any other reason), 70% to
80% of Steiner Ranch residents would have no other evacuation route and alternate
commute.




Recommendation


    Travis County and an independent engineering firm (retained by the County) fully realizes the graveness of our emergency evacuation and daily traffic
problems. They have evaluated 12 routes, explored ways to secure a $7 million
investment and overwhelmingly recommended route F connecting Flat Top Ranch Road to
620 at east side of the Mansfield dam. To be clear, Route F is the only route option that will be
fully funded. Route F will alleviate daily traffic and emergency scenarios for
Steiner Ranch residents. Improvements to 620 are also critical and TXDOT is
exploring ways to improve the portion of 620 outside of Steiner Ranch. These options
include the 620/2222 bypass project and the additional lanes being added to
2222. The Steiner Ranch Board will continue to partner with local
organizations, County, City and TXDOT to improve overall traffic patterns in
our area.


    One of the primary responsibilities of the Steiner Ranch Board is to
address the needs of the entire Steiner Ranch Community. After carefully
evaluating all the information, considering the safety, evacuation and transportation needs of more than 15,000 residents, 2/3 of the Board voted to
support Route F on March 4th, 2019. Questions were raised via email, social media and
phone calls by residents prior to and after March 4th, 2019. In order to keep you as
informed as possible, we have listed the questions we have received and provided
as much information as possible to help every resident understand why the
Steiner Ranch board supports the onlyfully funded evacuation route, Route F.






Benefits, Concerns, Mitigations and Q & A


      1.
Why do we
need Route F - Additional permanent road out of Steiner Ranch to 620?




Benefits
to Entire Steiner Ranch




        ·
Steiner
Ranch community desperately needs another road connecting to 620 away from
Quinlan due to tremendous growth over last 10 years.


         ·
There is a
serious safety concern for our Steiner Ranch residents if Quinlan Park Road is
the only exit out of Steiner Ranch. A method for fast evacuation of more than 15,000
residents from catastrophic emergencies is very much needed.


     ·  Route F
will divert a portion of daily traffic on Quinlan Park Road away from Steiner
Ranch Elementary School which will help to keep approximately 700 students
safer. It will also help minimize the congestion on Quinlan Park Road during
peak commute.


      ·
Route F
will be available for daily emergencies as Quinlan Park Road can be jammed
during peak hours of the day.


        ·
Another
100 homes are being built over the next 3 years at NE corner of 620 &
Quinlan. This will add up to 200 cars to our current daily traffic exacerbating
the current Quinlan traffic.


        ·
Route F
is the only fully funded
option available to Steiner Ranch.




       2. Will Flat Top area
residents benefit from Route F?

Benefits to Flat Top area
residents




         ·
Residents
surrounding the Flat Top road will benefit through Route F implementation.


        ·
Travis
County committed to building a 30-car parking lot for the area parks. This will
make Flat Top Road much safer because cars will not be parked on the street.


      ·
Residents
in the Westridge and Headlands surrounding areas will be able to exit directly
onto 620 without having to get into the congestion on Quinlan Park Road.
Rerouting cars off of Quinlan Park Road will help to alleviate other
neighborhoods whose only way to exit is Quinlan Park Road one direction.


         ·
New
walk ways & paths along Route F will benefit the surrounding Flat Top residents.




      3. Wouldn’t Route F impact residents
that use the Westridge park and children walking and riding their bikes to
school on Flat Top area?




Concerns
& Mitigations


     ·
Travis
County is committed to addressing concerns raised by residents. Additional landscaping,
vegetation, including berms, sound barriers & other safety measures will be
implemented to improve overall safety, aesthetics and minimize noise.


      ·
Currently
Flat Top Road gets packed with cars during sporting events creating hazardous
areas for residents and children. The Route F plan includes a 30-car parking
lot. This will lower the number of cars parked on Flat Top. Travis County will
also take other measures to make the park area safer for children.


       ·
Westridge
Park would be no more impacted than Towne Square Park is to Quinlan Park Road. Children
cross Quinlan Park Road daily as walkers & bike riders to and from the
elementary and middle schools. Those children cross 6 lanes of traffic daily.
So much so that Steiner Ranch is working with LISD to expand Country Trails sidewalk
to make room for the bikes.




     4. When did this initiative
start? Were there meetings with the residents & Board prior to the Steiner
Ranch Board voting on Route F recommendation?




     ·
This
Evacuation route project started early 2018. Yes, multiple meetings were held.
Travis County representatives attended the Steiner Ranch Board Meeting in
Feb/March 2018 and provided us with an update. There were subsequent open house
meetings with all Steiner residents, with effected area residents, with working
groups, with neighborhood organizations & their boards or board representatives,
as well as discussions with community leaders. All of these meetings took place
prior to the Steiner Ranch Board’s vote to support Route F.




     5. Why did the Steiner Ranch board
vote on the Route F recommendation prior to full Traffic study results despite
concerns expressed by Flat Top area residents?




      ·
The
Steiner Ranch Board’s responsibility is to the entire community. The Board learned
from Travis County that the full traffic study results would not materially impact the Route
F decision. Additionally, initial results indicated that Route F traffic volume
will be lower than earlier estimates. Route F is the only route that does not
touch any residential driveways.


      ·
The
Steiner Ranch Board gathered all the concerns from Flat Top area residents in last
few months. Board ensured that commitment is received from Travis County for
addressing residents concerns with a proper plan prior to voting on the Route F
recommendation on 3/4/2019.






       6. Will development
(commercial or residential) along Route F be allowed?




      ·
No
further development will happen. The land is owned by Steiner Ranch and Travis
County. Travis County has confirmed they are not planning on selling the land they
have recently acquired. The Steiner Ranch Board will not allow any development
on the Steiner Ranch land.




       7. Will Westridge Park be gone
if Route F is built?




        ·
The
park will remain as it is. In addition, a 30-car parking lot will be built next
to the park.




       8. Will Travis County acquire
HOA land to build the Route F?




       ·
Travis
County may use various mechanisms to acquire property for Route F, including
right of condemnation / eminent domain. However, Travis County Commissioner’s
Office explicitly stated that they prefer to collaborate with the Steiner Ranch
Board in Route F implementation and work towards mitigating concerns.




       9. Why did Travis County recommend Route F out of 12 Routes as
another road for Steiner Ranch connecting Flat Top Ranch road to 620 (east side
of the Mansfield dam)?




      ·
Travis County and the independent consulting
firm reviewed dozen Route options (including Routes through Golf Community /
Portofino Drive to River Place, end of Quinlan over the Lake to 71).
Considering various critical factors, 16 County experts (Safety & Traffic)
scored the Routes and overwhelmingly recommended Route F (received highest
score). Some critical factors considered in making the decision are:




       o
VPH – Vehicles (evacuation) Per Hour
(F-VPH is 1500, up to 100% more than other options)


       o
Ease of evacuation (straight line of sight
vs winding roads, road width - 44 feet vs 27 ft)


       o
Land acquisition complexities (Balcones
Canyon Lands / Preserve – BCP)


       o
Topographic complexity (Hills &
Canyons)


       o
Economic feasibility (Costs range from few
million to upwards of $75M)


       o
Route F is the only route that will be fully funded. This made all other
route options impossible to implement which is why the County recommended Route
F.






       10. Will there be another Open House with both residents
and Travis County officials?




         ·
Yes.
Travis County is planning an open house with residents in April. Details to
follow.






       11. How long will the Route F road will take to
complete once it is started?




         ·
Once
started, the road may take up to 2 years for completion.






       12. Where can I find the latest information on
Route F (additional Road for Steiner Ranch) ?




        ·
Travis
County is committed to post information as it becomes available on this
website:


        ·
https://www.traviscountytx.gov/tnr/public-works/steiner-ranch-area-evacuation-route-design


        ·
https://www.traviscountytx.gov/images/tnr/Docs/wr-park-route-f.pdf


        ·
https://www.traviscountytx.gov/images/tnr/Docs/decision-matrix-all.pdf




       13. Where I can go to
voice my support for Route F or answer my questions?




       ·
Residents are always welcome to reach out to Travis County via email
SteinerRanchEvacRoute@gmail.com to voice their support or address
their questions.



Key Documents from Travis County


Route F – Additional road
connecting Flat Top Ranch Road and 620


 
 
 

Design of Route F
connecting to Flat Top Road (Westridge Park with new Parking lot)

 
 
 

Evacuation / Traffic
volumes for each road and route options


 
 
 

Comprehensive Route Scoring
& Decision Matrix


 
 
 
The Steiner Ranch Master Association Board will continue to focus on the
projects that benefit broader the entire Steiner Ranch community. The Board will
keep the residents updated with any new developments. Residents are also
encouraged to visit the Travis County website. Thanks for your support!

Regards,


Steiner Ranch Master
Association (SRMA) Board

email:
board@steinerranchhoa.org


12550 Country Trails Lane,
Austin, Texas 78732


 
 
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This is a Publication of The Steiner Ranch Homeowners' Association