To improve traffic through Manor, TxDOT proposes realigning FM 973

Manor downtown - Farm to Market 973 and Loop 212. (KXAN Photo)
Manor downtown - Farm to Market 973 and Loop 212. (KXAN Photo)

MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — The Little Red Food Cart sits in the middle of Manor at Parsons and Lexington Streets.

When you’re operating a food joint, it’s all about the location, and for owner Earl Welch, he’s seen more traffic than ever. “In the four years I’ve been here, I’d say the last year and a half it’s really increased,” says Welch.

The Texas Department of Transportation is proposing realigning Farm to Market 973, which would move the road away from downtown Manor.

Lil Red Food Cart at the corner of Lexington and Parsons Street in downtown Manor. (KXAN Photo)
Lil Red Food Cart at the corner of Lexington and Parsons Street in downtown Manor. (KXAN Photo)

Welch says he and many of his neighbors think this would be an improvement for the area.  “A big cut through like that would reduce the traffic in downtown Manor in the early mornings and in the evening when everyone is headed home.”

Right now, if you take FM 973 north from State Highway 130, it turns into Lexington Street as you move into the city. You then have to cut over on Old Highway 20 to continue on FM 973.

Diann Hodges with TxDOT says realigning FM 973 will help with any future traffic problems. “FM 973 between US 290 and SH 130 has really become very congested. We’ve seen a lot of population growth in that area which has contributed to the number of traffic vehicles we have traveling through that area.” The proposal includes widening the road from two lanes to four, separated by a grassy median with turn lanes and paths and sidewalks for pedestrians and cyclists.

Welch believes expanding the road would certainly help accommodate more drivers but doesn’t solve every problem. “This is what I noticed, you make a road better, people go faster. Quite often. Now it’s wider, bigger, better, now we can go even faster.” He feels more officers stationed along the road could help slow down impatient drivers.

TxDOT is hosting an open house to discuss the possible changes on FM 973 on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at Manor Middle School, 12900 Gregg Manor Rd.

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