Planned road changes worry business owners

August 12, 2009 4:36:06 PM PDT
There's a change in the works for a busy stretch of FM 1960. The rapid growth along the seven and a half mile stretch from I-45 to State Highway 249 has lead to plans to replace the center turn lane with permanent medians. The plan is to add medians on FM1960 to prevent accidents. But some business owners say that plan will hurt their bottom line.

Dr. Burt Williams opened Champions Chiropractic 35 years ago when 1960 was just a two lane road. Now talk of new medians has him worried.

He said, "The access in and out of my business is definitely going to be affected."

Williams says a lot of businesses along this corridor feel the same way. He collected more than 1,400 signatures from people who say medians are a bad idea.

"A lot of the local businesses are going to fail because of that lack of access," Williams predicted.

TxDOT says adding medians and designating lanes for left turns will make FM1960 safer by preventing drivers from cutting across three to six lanes of traffic.

Driver Anieece White said, "That's what a lot of people do because they don't want to wait on the light."

"Well, sometimes traffic safety is not about convenience," explained TxDOT spokesperson Raquelle Lewis.

But it's convenience that keeps Paul Nimsiri's restaurant open.

He said, "If they can get in and out, you know, very easily, I think it's going to be better for the business."

That's why Williams says he wants the median project stopped.

"I think medians are a great idea, but just not here," he said.

Construction is set to begin in January. Road work could last up to one year.

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