Over the past year numerous accidents had taken place on 71W in West Austin, just minutes from my home. The media has reported how this stretch of road was clearly overburdened and unsafe since the many accidents and deaths. Everyone agreed 71W was a major problem, except the greedy.
In August of 2007, I wrote a blog article about how Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty (above) irresponsibly voted to approve the development of 1,500 homes on 71W - even though the road clearly couldn't handle traffic it already had:
This vote proves that Commish Gerald Daugherty cares more about his contributors profits, than the safety of our families.Commissioner Ron Davis used common sense and voted 'No'. According to the 8/22/07 Statesman article Davis stated:
"the county should turn down the subdivision because it presents a general threat to the safety and welfare of people living in southwestern Travis County."Sadly, just last week another major tragedy took place.
3 teens were killed, 5 other injured - from the Statesman (2/17/08):
Austin High School student Audrey Ducote and Marble Falls High School student Randall H. Hibler, both 16, were killed in the wreck. Lauren Hoffman, 17, of Waco was also killed. Saturday's rainy weather was a factor in the collision, which occurred at 1:08 p.m. on Texas 71 at Bee Creek Road, Texas Department of Public Safety officials said.and from the same article:
Over the past year, residents and elected officials have raised concerns about safety along the stretch of Texas 71 where Saturday's wreck occurred. There have been multiple fatal wrecks on the portion of the highway that winds from the Village of Bee Cave to the western edge of Travis County.Like all special interest politicians, Daugherty ignores the public and listens to his greedy developers/real estate fat cats pals - they could care less about our families. They only care for the almighty dollar.
After these deaths, and political pressure TxDOT says they will add rumble striping.
Commissioner Gerald Daugherty also pushed for and voted for tolling Austin roads we've already paid for in 2005 and 2007, even though an overwhelming majority of citizens said "No".