Growth is something many North Texas communities are dealing with. Because of that, Flower Mound is planning to expand Morriss Road there. Some folks are trying to make sure that never happens.
With growth comes added traffic. That is why the town proposes expanding Morriss Road from four lanes to six.
“Everybody here in the neighborhood knows it's dangerous getting out into the street,” said resident Karen Rawson.
Just after last Christmas, Rawson and her husband Rob lost their son. Andrew Rawson was riding his bicycle home from the store, when he was struck by a truck and killed. The Rawsons say unsafe roads played into the mishap.
About a half mile up the road is where the Morriss Road expansion would begin. And Rawson opposes the move.
“Considering expanding Morriss road, the lanes would be narrower than they are right here,” she said.
Just last month, the town of Flower Mound approved a traffic study, looking at traffic flow issues across the town, including Morriss Road. The project would also include repairing the road surface and replacing underground water lines, which have leaked and broken in recent years. While town officials say the latter two are absolutely necessary, they want to hear from residents regarding the road expansion.
Without those changes?
“The commute will take longer to get to work, and to get home in the evening,” said Tiffany Bruce, Flower Mound’s engineering director.
Bruce cites studies which have already been completed, which show the road to be inadequate to handle current traffic flow. As Denton County continues to grow, officials fear the traffic issues will only worsen.
“The traffic counts we've done on this section of roadway show that it's failing,” said Bruce. “So adding those two lanes, we can bring that service up."
Kevin Bryant, deputy mayor pro-tem, says he’s heard from residents on both sides of the issue. He has concerns about widening the road, in an area where a school, churches, and homes are located.
“We're always looking for a ways to improve people getting in and around our towns,” said Bryant. “But we have to pay attention to what our residents say about, is this the right place to do that?"
For the Rawsons, driving past the cross marking the spot where their son died is hard.
“People appreciate us keeping it there because it reminds people what a dangerous intersection this is,” said Karen Rawson.
They don't want others to go through what they have.
“It's not a good idea,” she said. “You don't want what we have down here."