Rosenberg voters to decide fate of TxDOT One-Way Pairs project

By Betsy Dolan 

Rosenberg voters will decide whether to give the controversial “One-Way Pairs” road project the green light in a May 10 special election.

Voters will decide whether to prohibit the city from donating land to TxDOT for the proposed project, which would turn Avenues H and I into one-way streets in order to alleviate congestion.

The property is on Damon and Louise Streets and would be used as a crossover for the one-way streets.

“The one-way pair conversion would involve simply placing a new asphalt surface on the existing roadways, re-striping them for one-way operation, constructing new signals at the signalized intersections and building a one-way to two-way connection in the city block between Damon and Louise streets,” said Danny Perez, TxDOT spokesman.

If voters reject the plan to donate the land, the project could still move forward by widening the roads which would involve acquiring the right of way and take years to complete, TxDOT officials said.

On February 18, the Rosenberg City Council voted 5-2 to call for the special election after a petition was submitted to city officials on December 6, 2013. Mayor Vincent Morales and Councilmember Dwayne Grigar voted against.

Some officials and residents questioned how the one-way streets would help the traffic situation. Others voiced concern that the project could cause problems for businesses along the roadway. Throughout the process, city councilmembers have expressed concerns about traffic jams that are caused by semi-trucks, as well as, whether or not the problem could be solved with proper signal synchronization.

Project advocates say the one-way pairs project is basically two, one-way roadways that work together for better traffic flow and reduce the number of traffic accidents. According to TxDOT statistics, crashes on Avenue H are two to five times higher than the state average.

“The one-way pair scenario would reduce accidents by reducing the number of potential conflict points along the roadway,” Perez said. “Further, this is also the most cost-effective option available.”

TxDOT and the city have been working on the traffic problem since 2000. Back in 2003, the City of Rosenberg supported the project and even called a public hearing in 2005 to allow residents some input. But in the nine years since, the council make-up changed and the project became controversial after business owners and residents expressed concerns.

TxDOT officials had planned to start the work this year. The project is anticipated to cost $4.4 million and would take about a year to complete.

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