Friday, January 29, 2010

Just doing my Civic duty

There is a certain roadway that we travel with some frequency
here in our fair town, called Texan Trail. We normally access
this by exiting the 114 Freeway heading east, and we then arrive
at the intersection of Texan Trail and the off-ramp.
Texan Trail runs north-south, and our normal route is to take a
left turn at TT to go northbound.

There is (was) a slightly confusing problem, however.
Texan Trail is two lanes going north, and two lanes going south,
with a very large dividing island between them.

When you get off the freeway and are sitting at the intersection
waiting to turn left, it is very difficult to see the northbound
lanes on the other side of the island, and since the two
SOUTH-bound lanes are so very wide, there is an easy tendency
to 'undercut' the turn, and head left into the on-coming traffic.

I know it was a big problem, because whenever I had to take this
route...even knowing about it...I still had an inclination to want
to do this. Even with my bride warning me every time..."Don't
forget you have to go all the way across beyond the island!"

On more than one occasion, I saw cars that actually DID undercut
the turn and head into on-coming traffic. Luckily there were no
bad consequences that I ever witnessed.

See the aerial shot below:

Per the aerial shot diagram:
1. Very wide island
2. Inclination to cut short the left turn
3. This is the correct path you should take

4. So last year (January 5, 2009) I sent the city an email advising
them to look at the problem:

Concerning the Texan Trail offramp from Eastbound 114...

When you get to Texan Trail off the freeway to make a
turn, (to go Northbound on Texan Trail) there
is a problem seeing
across the street. Due to the extreme
width of Texan Trail, and
the middle street bed being
raised, you can't easily see the street
beyond the island.
As a result, there is a tendency to cut short the left turn
nearly turn into the Southbound lanes instead of going
all the way
across and turn into the correct Northbound lane.

I thought it was just me, until the other afternoon
the car in front
of me actually DID turn into oncoming traffic, with
fortunately no
bad result. Perhaps some arrows or lines could be
painted on the
intersection? Thanks!
A concerned resident,
Joe Capuano

Hey, I actually got an email back from them!:

Joe, Your suggestion has merit. This is a state intersection.
We will work with the State on getting a tracking pavement
put in across the intersection to properly guide the
motorists into
the correct lane.

Ramana Chinnakotla

Assistant Director of Public Works
Transportation & Utilities
City of Grapevine

And much to my appreciation, when traveling on our beloved
highway a few weeks later, this is what I found:

So, if you ever happen to find yourself in Grapevine, Texas,
you might want to take a look at the Eastbound Highway 114
service road and Texan Trail. I feel proud that I had a hand in
creating the yellow dashes that will help you to arrive at your
destination safely.

Peace be with you.


  1. Wow~ how encourging that you not only got a relpy, but action! That was a dangerous spot and I am glad you were able to get something done about it! Kudos to you!

  2. They actually answered back?!? Look at you! This is so cool! I hope they'll really do something.

    I can't believe how dangerous the road sounds, though!

  3. Oh, yeah, sarah...if you look at the bottom picture, those yellow dashes are the ones they painted on the street per my request. And it is sooo much easier to drive across now.