Boerne-area transportation committee expected to deliver summer report
The Kendall County, Boerne, Fair Oaks Transportation Committee is expected to present its transportation plans to ease traffic congestion in the area to the city and county governments by this summer.
The committee is working on a plan that can be implemented in the short term to relieve congestion and a long-term plan to address projected traffic flow. Boerne's population grew by 70% from 2010 to 2020 — from a little more than 10,000 residents to nearly 18,000. Kendall County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state.
Bob Manning, who co-chairs the committee, said all of Boerne's major roads are in state hands, so there is little city or county public works crews can do to relieve problems. He said the city and county don't have the funding to take on the scale of work that is needed.
He added that city-county relations with the Texas Department of Transportation are better now after some past state transportation plans for the area were rejected by locals.
"There have been three previous attempts since I've been here to do thoroughfare planning, transportation planning. And some of them have been poorly received by the community because they seem to have been conducted by others who didn't live or work here to solve problems through their lens, rather than ours," Manning said.
Manning said one of the most infamous transportation plans presented by the state was dubbed the Kendall Gateway. He said it amounted to a series of bypass routes to connect Texas 46 East to Texas 46 West without getting bogged down inside the City of Boerne. Manning said that plan appeared to locals as an attempt by TxDOT to complete another outer loop around San Antonio.
The committee wants to get locally-backed transportation plans before TxDOT.
"Our attempt now is to work cooperatively with TxDOT, but to use ideas that organically developed by the people who do live and work here," Manning said.
Manning said connector roads in the area with I-10 are a top concern along with U.S. 87, Boerne's main street, which connects twice with I-10, to the north and south of the city. TxDOT has finished some work on U.S. 87 and the rest should be completed this summer along with the rest of TxDOT's nearby major work on I-10.
The area's most notorious intersection for traffic jams is River Road at Esser and Herff Roads during the morning and afternoon rushes, according to Manning.
He said local planners like the idea of improving traffic flow at intersections and not necessarily more lanes carved through the Hill Country scenery.
TxDOT may add more lanes to I-10 within 10 years, which Manning said is good news since many residents of Boerne work and shop in San Antonio.
TxDOT in a statement to Texas Public Radio said:
"We are staying engaged with them in a support role as they have taken the lead with their transportation planning committee."
TxDOT also dispelled any rumors about plans for a loop for Boerne. Officials said no such plan exists and there are no other planned projects in the Boerne area at this time.