By Ann Fowler
When the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) begins to construct a continuous flow intersection at U.S. 290 West and William Cannon Drive next year, the Park & Ride facility where more than 100 commuters park to take the bus downtown will have to move.
Erica McKewen, a spokesperson for Capital Metro, told the Gazette, “TxDOT has not told us we have to vacate the site, but given the challenges, we think it will be better for customers to find a new location.”
According to John Hodges of the Capital Metro Facilities Design and Construction Department, “Our understanding is that the re-do of the intersection will substantially reduce the capacity and the entry/exit components of our park & ride. We are interested in a relocation to continue to offer adequate and convenient service.”
Hodges told the Gazette that the agency is currently analyzing a small number of sites for a Park & Ride, and said he recognizes riders’ concern about having to drive through the ‘Y’ to catch the bus. “We understand and recognize the concern as this was raised with the public during our previous site relocation efforts,” he said.
Hodges sited time and money as the key challenges to finding a new site for the Park & Ride. He said, “To identify, negotiate use agreement(s), design and construct a replacement facility with no moneys currently budgeted for any such activities, in the time before the TxDOT construction activities occur, all present significant challenges.”
Added Cap Metro Manager of Planning Roberto Gonzalez, “Any potential site is also being analyzed against potential operational issues and capacity availability. Joint use agreements, while often the most viable of the type of alternatives available, often have limitations due to timing, cost, size, other restrictions, etc.”
For now, the agency has time to find a replacement facility. But the clock is ticking.
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