FAQ New Roads

New Roads Frequently Asked Questions
Posted on 12/13/2022

City Manager Clint Garza has been meeting with residents at various neighborhood Q&A sessions through the month of December and will continue in the first two weeks of January. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions he has been getting about the proposed new roads the City Council will consider approving to add to the thoroughfare plan.

1. What will the City Council be voting on in January regarding the proposed new roads?

City Council will decide whether to include the roads in the City’s thoroughfare plan, which is a blueprint of current and proposed future roads for the City of Bee Cave.

They will not be voting on whether to fund these roads, when to build the roads, or whether to proceed with construction.

Thoroughfare Plan: a long-range planning tool that looks ahead to identify locations and types of roadways needed to meet growth projections in the future.

2. Why is this so important that you’re coming to our neighborhoods for feedback?

During the open house we held on November 16th, we had turnout from predominantly one neighborhood in Bee Cave, to which the proposed roads would be closest. The City Manager wanted feedback from a greater cross-section of the City and to give more residents a chance to weigh in on something we know is important to them – traffic and roads. In order to solicit that feedback in time for the presentation on the traffic study, we decided to go directly to residents, show them the maps, explain the roads and answer their questions.

Discussions for this study began 18 months ago. When the results came in, the City scheduled an open house at City Hall with the engineers and consultants to answer questions from residents. Residents who attended the open house had a chance to fill out feedback forms in person.

3. If Council approves adding these roads to the thoroughfare plan, does that mean they will be built immediately?

Council would still need to vote in the future on funding the roads since neither is currently included in our current Capital Improvements Plan. We wouldn’t have a timeline until we got farther into schematic design, but the earliest would still be a few years out.

4. How would the roads be funded?

That’s a decision Council would still have to make. Traditionally, the City of Bee Cave has funded major infrastructure projects, like roads, through sales tax revenue since we are predominantly a sales tax funded city.

The costs for the roads are currently unknown during this phase of planning. Much of the road will be built by developers as they develop their property. If the thoroughfare plan is approved, then eventually all these segments of road will connect. The city’s portion is a result of timing of construction improvements and private development contributions. We require development to “pay for itself” through cost sharing at the time they seek approvals from the city. Impacts to the system by private development are determined by analysis and payable through cost sharing agreements.  

5. What will the benefit be to drivers? Is the time savings significant?

The engineering firm that ran the study concluded that, for example, drivers traveling west to east in Bee Cave during peak traffic hours would save about 11 minutes getting from Vail Divide Drive to the Shops at the Galleria and parents dropping off their kids and picking them up from Bee Cave Elementary School would save several minutes as well, since the realignment of Hamilton Pool Road would separate school traffic from through traffic.

Another major benefit would be giving another access road to drivers when there is an accident on SH 71, which can back up traffic for an hour or more. Having a road that doesn’t involve major intersections, where these accidents often happen, allows for traffic to continue to flow and gives emergency vehicles a much-needed alternative route.

 6. Why can’t we just expand SH 71 for better traffic flow?

Expanding 71 puts us at the mercy of the state for traffic alleviation –which includes competition for limited funds that can be diverted elsewhere at any time—and would take a significantly longer time to come to fruition than building our own local roads.

Solving our traffic problem will take a multi-faceted approach and while we are continuing to work with the state to get our highways improved, local roads can be built sooner to improve traffic flow.

Even if 71 is expanded, we still need another access point to get across town in the event of an accident at an intersection that would halt traffic. Widening the state road would undeniably add capacity to the regional system. But, most roads, including 71, get bogged down at intersections, not the points in between– so simply adding lanes doesn’t really get at the core issue. And a single intersection can only be “improved” so much. That’s why having multiple ways to get around is so critical–so that no one intersection becomes the single point of failure (like 71/HPR/Bee Cave Parkway is and has been). Some combination of local and state efforts will be required for the entire transportation system to function as efficiently as possible.

 7. Are there drawbacks to these roads?

The road will not go through any neighborhoods, but it will go near two neighborhoods – The Homestead and Bee Cave West, which total about 210 homes. Some residents in those neighborhoods are concerned the roads will delay their ability to get in and out of their neighborhoods.

We asked the engineers to specifically look at the expected delays for residents coming out of The Homestead and they estimated a delay of about 10 seconds during rush hour. The road would not run through their neighborhood and would be at least 700 feet from the nearest house.

New roadways often connect existing public roadways where connectivity didn’t exist before. Intersections that didn’t previously exist could be built in the future and may be seen as a negative impact to some individuals.

8. Will the road cut through the Brown Property, the land slated for a nature center?

 While the road would run on the property, it would be along the property line, not through it. It will not disrupt plans for a nature center.

 We understand the importance good stewardship and as a result, all planning efforts on the property have been and will be consistent with a vision of protecting the property and restoring it to a natural state. These efforts have included partnerships with trained biologists tasked with ensuring ALL planning and development will follow our vision. Part of the value of the property lies within the educational benefits in the future. While we feel the acquisition of the property protects it from traditional development, we have a real opportunity to showcase sound land management techniques, multi-phase restoration, and natural beauty inside a growing area by providing a public space accessible by all. The current entrance to the property is located within a floodplain and area of concentrated drainage adjacent to a residential subdivision, currently served by a single point of access. While not ideal, we feel providing access to the property on the north side accomplishes a goal of providing a space for all to enjoy, the location of access and future improvements can be planned to minimize impacts on the neighboring subdivision and more sensitive areas of the property.

9. I attended the Open House and provided input. Will my feedback be included in the report given to Council?

Absolutely. We are collecting feedback through one of three ways: 

  1. A feedback form you can fill out online.
  2. A feedback form you could have filled out at the Open House.
  3. Emails sent to the engineering firm listed on our website

We ask each person give feedback only once.

10. How can I find out more information?

You’re in the right place! The results of the study are included on a dedicated website page, as well as a video with City Manager Clint Garza and a video highlighting the results of the study.

If you have additional questions, please email: [email protected] We thank you for your interest and participation in the City of Bee Cave! We value all of our residents and shoppers who support our City and its vitally important to us to hear from you!