North Texas

Drivers Sound Off on Highway 380 Improvements

Road connecting Denton and Collin counties congested, dangerous

Drivers sounded off Tuesday about long-range improvements for one of the most hated highways in North Texas -- Highway 380 connecting Denton and Collin counties.

The Texas Department of Transportation held a public hearing in Denton.

"It's almost like you can see the growth and the congestion happening and growing by the day," department spokesman Ryan LaFontaine said. "We can see something has to be done."

Even after rush hour is over, all drivers see on Highway 380 is red.

It's frustratingly slow. And many believe it's dangerous.

Peter and Letanya White's 24-year-old son Devron was killed on a Sunday morning in November when another driver crossed the median and slammed into his car head-on. The other driver also died.

"He was such a sweetheart," Letanya White said about her son. "Start implementing some of those safety changes. My son could have been saved by a simple median."

TxDOT said it knows Highway 380 is a problem.

But at hearings like the one in Denton, state experts are hearing from competing interests.

Drivers want to speed up the flow of traffic as long as it is done safely.

Some business owners don't want to lose money.

"If you guys put a median in there, it's going to screw up my business park big-time," Robert Stock told TxDOT workers as they huddled over a map.

Stock, who owns a TV production studio on Highway 380, said he's worried about losing left turn lanes and forcing large semis to make U-turns to get to where they need to go.

"What they need to do too is use some common sense," he said.

The Whites just hope whatever happens will be done with safety in mind.

"We don't have time for all this planning or feasibility studies," Letanya White said. "We need something now."

Tuesday's hearing focused on Denton County. But TxDOT is also coordinating a long-term solution with Collin County.

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