Last month, the new Valley Ridge extension opened, allowing truck traffic to get from the east side of Old Town to I-35E without having to travel down Mill Street. City Engineer David Salmon told the City Council at the Nov. 20 meeting that traffic on Mill Street has seen a decrease.
The Council voted unanimously to ban truck traffic for the one block of College Street between Mill and Kealy, since that traffic now has a route that doesn’t require the use of that street.
Since the intersection of College Street at Mill Street was redone in 2016, motorists have been inconvenienced with a reduced number of lanes on Mill Street. Southbound Mill has only one lane where there were four before. The configuration was due to the need for big trucks to turn wide from westbound College onto Mill Street and from southbound Mill to eastbound college.
Now that the ordinance has passed, Salmon said the changes could happen quickly. The city will install signs and mark the pavement to add back a southbound lane. Truck traffic is already banned on College Street between Mill and I-35E.
Another ordinance passed is also in response to the changes made for the Valley Ridge Extension. The section of North Cowan Street. that previously cut through beneath the KCS railroad bridge to connect to Mill Street was cut off and turned into a cul-de-sac. That change was made so that the DCTA railroad crossing could move to Valley Ridge. The council passed an ordinance to ban parking in that cul-de-sac so that buses and trucks can use it to turn around.
Both changes had previously been approved by a unanimous vote of the Transportation Board at the Oct. 17 meeting.