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Residents protest Taylor Road expansion

Residents along Taylor Road pushed for an even more streamlined project at a public hearing to discuss expanding the roadway, citing safety concerns and lack of traffic.

In August, the city of Mission first presented a plan widening Taylor Road from U.S. 83 to Mile 4. The project brought together Mission, McAllen, Palmhurst and Hidalgo County, but after hearing opposition at the August meeting from residents of Palmhurst, the project was shortened to Mile 2 Road. Sharyland Independent School District, which has two campuses off Taylor, has issued a resolution in support of the project.

20141008 MISSION Taylor-Road 9865During the second public hearing earlier this month on the widening, Damien Tijerina, project engineer, said because of population increases and new development, Taylor Road is not carrying all of the traffic needed. According to Tijerina, there have been 81 reported accidents in five years on Taylor Road between the expressway and Mile 2.

Construction would change the rural roadway to a roadway with two lanes in each direction, a center turn lane, sidewalks and drainage.

Though fewer residents attended the second public hearing to learn about the revised plan, the majority still seemed to be against widening the roadway.

Melayne Martin, a resident who lives between Farm-to-Market Road 495 and Mile 2, said she remembered several residents south of Mile 2 expressing opposition to the project. Martin said she drives Taylor Road at peak times and never has had a traffic issue. Plus, she said, people have other options; they can take Bentsen or Shary Road.

“I think making it five lanes is more dangerous,” she said. “There’s a lot of residential. There are no businesses.”

On the other side of the debate, another Taylor Road resident, said the project needed to get done. However, he said, ending it at Mile 2 creates a dead end and a dumping station. Instead, it should be extended up to Mile 3, another major road. He suggested construction take place sooner rather than later at a reasonable price.

“It’s going to happen people. We might as well face it,” he said. “It’ll eliminate all of the dog-gone problems we have up and down this road.”

The original plan included the possibility of having to relocate two residences, but the revised plan only includes one residence.

Several residents, including a man who identified himself as Kyle, suggested a scaled down version of the project. He suggested a three-lane road.

“It just worries me that it’s either the big one or nothing,” Kyle said. “I realize there’s the school, and there has to be a turn lane because there’s a little bit of traffic there in the morning and afternoon. But if you build it, they will come, so if you’re talking about traffic, you’re going to get more.”

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