Construction confusion in one part of town

July 17, 2008 5:18:30 PM PDT
There are traffic troubles in one part of our area. Road construction is creating big headaches for drivers and business owners who are seeing customers drive the other way. The problem is happening along Holcombe in the small town of Southside Place. City officials there say they warned residents the construction was on the way. They held two public meetings and posted notices in the newspaper. Still, those we talked to didn't expect anything quite like this.

The owner of Green Park pharmacy, Ken Hughes, loves serving his customers. But as of late, he says he's been seeing a lot less of them.

"Our business here for the gifts in the pharmacy are about half of what they were," he said.

In January the city of Southside Place began construction on Holcombe to update its drainage system and make surface improvements. But since then, it's meant a traffic mess. Businesses which rely on Medical Center customers have seen that come to a screeching halt.

"We try to stay positive and keep going and our customers are very supportive but everybody is very concerned," said Gina Koutros with Nick's Pasta Place.

Drivers who travel the road say it's confusing. The signs are not clearly marked.

"Especially if they're not used to driving in this area, they don't know like where to go so they have to make a U-turn or make a detour," said driver Sarah Essaied.

We caught one driver attempting to back up in the middle of an intersection. Some drivers even drove the wrong way on a one-way street. Still, some complain police are targeting them for what they blame is a lack of a traffic plan.

"The police car was sitting right beside me," said Hughes.

No one from Southside Place would comment on camera about the construction. However, City Manager David Moss told us police are just enforcing the law. And enforcing the law they are. For the first six months of this year, officers have handed out a total of 158 traffic tickets for driving the center lane, a center lane that didn't exist prior to the construction.

"They are just not directing the traffic well enough to get people in and out of places," Hughes complained.

The city manager tells me that he will send a crew to look at the construction site and decide if any signs need to be changed. But in the meantime, drivers need to be warned. This project is not expected to be done until the end of 2009.

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