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TxDOT lowering the speed limit for part of U.S. 290

TxDOT is dropping the speed limit on U.S. 290 between Nutty Brown Road and Rob Shelton Boulevard from 65 to 60 miles-per-hour after hundreds of people signed an online petition following numerous fatal crashes on that stretch of road.

HAYS COUNTY, Texas -- Speed limits are changing on parts of U.S. Highway 290 in Hays County, lowering the limit from 65 to 60 miles per hour.

Crews with the Texas Department of Transportation began installing new signs Tuesday morning.
Texas Department of Transportation crews replaced the new speed limit signs along the nearly seven-mile stretch of 290 from Nutty Brown Road to Rob Shelton Boulevard.

It's so bad out here because there's no medians, said Angela Buckner, a Wimberley resident. People cross over and cause accidents, so I think it's a good idea.

There have been a number of fatal crashes along that portion of the highway, including one head-on collision in September last year that killed four people. The very next month an Austin police officer died when his car hydroplaned on the slick road and he crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting a pickup truck.

People are going to drive 70 on it anyway, said Dominic Shaw, a Dripping Springs resident. Hopefully lowering it will make people a little bit more aware of the dangers.

Those who live in the area launched an online petition following the fatal collisions, asking TxDOT to lower the speed limit. In the petition the group cites TxDOT data that shows there were 170 crashes along that portion of Highway 290 since 2012.

Nearly 700 people signed the petition. The next month TxDOT approved the lower speed limit, which takes effect immediately.

I think they should lower it more, said Edward Cruz, a Dripping Springs resident. Perhaps to 55 because you have so many intersections going in from here to Oak Hill.

Not everyone was in favor of the lower speed limit. Some saw it as an invitation to more accidents.

No, I ain't for lowering it, said Jerry Randall, a Dripping Springs resident. You've got to run 60 to stay on it. You've got to do 65 to stay on the road.

Even some who are in favor of the lowered speed limits said other safety measures may be more effective when it comes to curbing high-speed crashes on 290.

With the amount of traffic out here, I don't think it really matters how much they lower it, said Buckner. I think they need to have more radar out there and see if that's really going to make a difference.

Residents said increasing traffic is just the result of the continued growth in Central Texas. Some said traffic lights may be the only truly effective way to slow down drivers in the area.