The up coming Marsha Sharp Freeway has posed a sound concern for one Lubbock neighborhood. On Tuesday residents of the area came together in big numbers in front of the Citizens Traffic Commission and their voices were clearly heard.
In the area of Toledo and Brownfield Highway, where the Marsha Sharp Freeway will soon be, a sound barrier wall will be constructed along the stretch of highway. The wall will be 11 to 17 feet tall, but for residents of the area the problem is right now the plan includes a 60 foot break in the wall at Toledo Avenue. The majority of the residents say that will defeat the purpose of the sound barrier. Their mission is for the City to close off Toledo Ave, making the end a cul-de-sac, and on Tuesday they got one step closer.
Residents of the Coronado Area Neighborhood Association (CANA) showed up in big numbers to present their concerns to the Citizens Traffic Commission. They've spent the last year meeting with organizations across town and experts to determine options that would preserve their neighborhood.
"The number one problem we have is sound abatement. Number two, we have a lot of thru traffic on this street, people that don't live on this street, speeding traffic that is dangerous to pedestrians. Number three, we have a potential loss of property values here, because the city is proposing an entrance here that is unsightly, dangerous, it harms our green space and it's going to hurt us as a neighborhood," said Don Berry, one of the residents.
Berry is one of about a dozen residents that spoke at the meeting, he says they have a general concern about their quality of life. Acoustic expert Jack Randorf studied the situation and says the break at Toledo would result in a noise problem. "The simple solution to that is to close Toledo and continue the sound barrier so it was a solid impervious wall that would provide the noise block necessary to the community," says Randorf.
CANA President Kevin Elmore says the traffic on Toledo and Brownfield Highway is already heavy, and TXDOT study's show with the freeway it will only get worse. "The traffic volume here is going to increase phenomenally, actually five to six times in some cases over what it is now and so sound is a huge problem."
Their facts and presentation worked, the CTC passed their request to close Toledo avenue, with the exception that a plan is made for emergency vehicle access. Representatives from the fire department and police department do not support the closure of Toledo, but they did agree an emergency route could be worked out.
Now the issue goes to the City Council, and they'll have to hold a public hearing before making a final decision.