MANOR, Texas (KXAN) – US Highway 290 in Paige is open again after a deadly crash, but some drivers are still shaken up.
Davina Davis said she worries that there is no median and hardly any lights. She travels with her family often and said even getting out of a nearby gas station is tough, “This little crossover right here… not that safe either, because you’re dodging traffic coming this way and traffic coming off that hill from Giddings.”
Davis also pointed out that the speed limit makes it tough to slow down with all the semi trucks on the highway. “The speed limit changes so fast from 70 to 55 at one point so it can be really dangerous.”
Heading west on US 290 towards Manor, drivers say it doesn’t get much better. At Leal’s Tire Shop everything comes to a halt when they hear screeching tires. “We’re always running out there to see maybe if somebody is hurt or something, but we’re always out there running out there making sure,” said John Ubias, who has worked at the tire shop for years. “Had a car crash into the sign, car crashed into another car, and then finally ended up over here in front of the shop.” Ubias said that was about a year ago. He thinks another traffic light and several stop signs could help.
Just in the last year, the Texas Department of Transportation said there’s been 173 crashes including three fatalities along US 290 from State Highway 130 to Elgin.
A spokesperson with TxDOT says, “As far as procedure goes, TxDOT employees review all crashes that occur on the state highway system in order to better understand the reason for the incident and to see how we can work to prevent incidents from occurring in the future. However, it’s important to note that safety is a two-part solution. While TxDOT can implement all of the engineering enhancements possible to build and maintain a safe highway system, at the end of the day, drivers hold the key to driving safely.”
TXDOT urges drivers to remember these safe driving tips:
- Pay attention
- Buckle seat belts
- Put cell phones away
- Never drink and drive
- Obey all traffic laws
- Drive to conditions
The agency is also pushing a campaign dubbed #EndTheStreakTX and pointed out that for the past 16 years there’s been a death on Texas roads every day. TxDOT said drivers have the power to change that by making sure they’re safe on the roads.