Kendall County continued its attempts at crowd control last week.
Commissioners Court rejected the Kendall Gateway Study proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Kendall County and Boerne city officials had jointly requested the TxDOT study more than two years ago.
A similar outcome happened in 2006 when then-Kendall County Judge Eddie Vogt led a resistance effort against TxDOT.
The current iteration of TxDOT proposals took two years and approximately $1 million of state tax dollars to produce.
If county and city leaders had approved the plan, it would have given them the right to apply for TxDOT road funds which are doled out by a Metropolitan Planning Organization in San Antonio.
It would have likely taken 10 years or more before dirt ever started flying.
The road plan rejection comes on the heels of a similarly villainized CVS Pharmacy proposal at the corner of River Road and Main Street.
CVS withdrew its project after it couldn’t get city variances to build the store size and footprint it believed it needed to succeed in Boerne.
The TxDOT study aimed to relieve congestion and keep 18-wheelers off scenic streets like River and Main.
With the plan’s rejection, TxDOT won’t fund any new roads in Kendall County any time soon. However, it will likely widen Hwy. 46 east of Boerne to add more passing lanes and then a middle turn lane.
At some point soon, Hwy. 46 will be five lanes from New Braunfels to Boerne. Traffic will increasingly flow into Boerne and funnel down ... River and Main.
These scenic creekside and historic district corridors will stay full-fledged state highways.
If a fashionable restaurant goes in at River and Main, its patio view of the Cibolo may be obstructed by tractor trailer rigs.
The City of Boerne has a thoroughfare plan to reroute traffic, but any road on that plan is dependent on developer dollars to install. The city doesn’t often commit funds for new roads.
New roads under the city’s thoroughfare plan will not happen quickly. Some local developers claim the city’s short staff and arcane processes make building here cumbersome.
To its credit, the City of Boerne has recently started a forum to hear feedback from developers and contractors. Implementing suggestions should encourage high quality developers to do repeat business here.
The forum is a start. We need local leaders to promote a vibrant private sector to bring goods and services to our growing population.
It’s not good for land prices, construction costs and regulatory requirements to be so high that only government buildings find their way to fruition.
We need city and county leaders to propose forward-looking plans that will meet our growing infrastructure demands. If the Gateway Study isn’t the right plan for roads, what is?
Hopefully, county commissioners will propose a thoroughfare plan that will work for them and TxDOT. We need TxDOT funds to help solve our mobility problems. Traffic is only going one direction: greater.
Kevin Thompson writes frequently for The Boerne Star. Follow him at www.kwt.info.