DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) – No more going 65 mph while driving through Dripping Springs.
The speed limit was officially changed to 60 mph on Tuesday. The Texas Department of Transportation changed six speed limit signs along the stretch of U.S. Highway 290 from Nutty Brown Road at the Travis County and Hays County line to Rob Shelton Boulevard in front of the HEB in Dripping Springs.
Five people were killed in automobile accidents on that stretch of roadway in the past five months, prompting Dripping Springs residents to start a petition to lower speed limit. Within days of starting a petition, nearly 700 people signed.
The woman behind the petition, Stacey Napier, says it’s a sign of how close the community is and how much they care about everyone driving on the busy highway.
“We are very close knit,” she said. “Many of us drive this road everyday with our families and with our young children. I think it shows that when a community has something that is important to them and they rally together, they can make a change. And that’s what we did.”
Napier took the petition to TxDOT and then to the Hays County Commission. She says she was taken seriously from the beginning, so she’s not surprised the change in speed limit happened so quickly. It took less than a month for the petition to be approved, and change to be planned along Highway 290.
Two months after it was approved, the signs went up.
The Department of Public Safety had troopers stationed along the highway as TxDOT crews made the changes to the speed limit signs. Within minutes of completion, drivers were pulled over for speeding.
Even so, most people who live and work in Dripping Springs say they support the speed limit change.
Junior Palomino owns the Feed Shop that is directly across from the Belterra Subdivision. The crash that killed four construction workers happened right in front of his shop, and he heard the horrible crash.
“It was really scary,” he said. “It sounded like a bomb, and then one car kept spinning.
“People just drive too fast, ” Palomino added. “Hopefully this will change everything.”