If you’ve travelled on State Highway 36 north of Brenham recently, you’ve probably noticed that the Texas Department of Transportation is proceeding with its so called “safety” construction project. That’s the one where they plan to replace the Highway 36 overpass with a “T” intersection and traffic light. I don’t know a single person who believes replacing an overpass with a traffic light is a good idea. The only government official who has gone “on record” as being in favor of it is Washington County Judge John Brieden. But TXDOT knows what’s best for all of us, and apparently it’s a traffic light that will stop all north and southbound traffic on Highway 36….and force anyone trying to get to Brenham on the North side of town to make a left turn across traffic.
By the way….I checked to see how many fatal accidents have occurred in that area in the last 6 years. Zero. That’s not to say that there haven’t been wrecks involving people making illegal U-turns there, because here have been. The simple, safer and much less expensive solution of putting more of the reflective barriers down the highway to prevent illegal U-turns…and adding signage directing people the correct way when they leave Hohlt Park…wasn’t on TXDOT’s radar.
While TXDOT never held a public hearing on this so called safety project, as they have done in other towns, they did hold an informal open house meeting to discuss their ideas. For those of you who, like me, thought there would be a follow-up meeting before a decision was made…we were wrong. That’s why I am urging anyone who cares about what TXDOT is planning for the 36 Loop between 290 West (West Main Street) and Business 36 (North Park Street) to attend tonight’s informal open house meeting. TXDOT is hosting the meeting from 5:00 to 7:00 tonight at Brenham Elementary School to display their plans for the 36 loop. You can make comments at the meeting, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While it’s too late to stop that traffic light, it’s not too late to let them know what you think about it! Personally, I don’t believe a traffic light will be safer than an overpass.
And that’s the way it looks to this Spectator.