The residents of Pecan Acres have had difficulty making a left turn to drive north on Long Prairie [FM 2499], since before it was widened to become the major urban traffic collector it is today.
The Flower Mound Town Council unanimously voted on Dec. 7 to remedy that long-time safety hazard. A new connection for the neighborhood will be added at Mulberry St.
The council action came following a petition by residents and a follow-up survey with four options: connect the roundabout at Mulberry St. only; connect the roundabout at Pinon only; connect both roundabouts; or no new connection—the current situation.
Several concerns were brought up as part of the survey, including: the safety of the Pecan Drive/Long Prairie Road intersection; a request for a traffic signal at Pecan Drive and Long Prairie Road; the narrowness of the streets, especially Mulberry Street and Pinon Street, as well as the intersections of those streets and Pecan Drive; and, children walking along Pinon to go to Flower Mound Elementary School.
Following its review, TxDOT said a light at the Pecan and FM 2499 intersection is too close to the one at West Windsor and the road is too narrow.
Town Traffic Engineer Matt Hotelling said that southbound motorists on FM 2499 will most likely still use the Pecan St. entrance to the neighborhood. He added that the traffic west of Mulberry will remain the same, but that the new connection will mean Mulberry will have to be widened to accommodate the extra traffic.
Back in the spring of 2008, the Transportation Commission began work on the Master Transportation Plan update.
In January of 2009, the Master Transportation Plan including the Thoroughfare Plan was updated and included West Windsor as an Urban Collector.
In November 2010, traffic-calming measures were planned along West Windsor as part of the upcoming project. Those measures included the roundabouts at Mulberry and Pinon in Pecan Acres.
However, the connections from the neighborhood to West Windsor were changed from public access to emergency access locations that could be accessed by Emergency Services, if– for some reason– Pecan Drive was blocked and they needed to enter/exit the subdivision. This is how the project was ultimately designed and constructed.
Following the completion of that project, traffic volume on Long Prairie exploded. Some of the increase can be explained by the town’s population growth, but the completion of extending FM 2499 north of FM 407 as a southbound access for communities north of Lake Lewisville, as well as drivers using FM 2499 to bypass the construction on I-35E has led to an unexpected increase in traffic.