After surveying surrounding business owners, conducting a traffic count, and monitoring traffic complaints and motor vehicle wrecks, the Uvalde Police Department said data did not support the conversion of the two-way traffic flow of the U.S. Post Office square to a one-way street.
The department conducted traffic analysis on South West and West South streets at the request of the Uvalde City Council. Results were presented to council Tuesday at 6 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.
“After carefully taking all of this information into consideration, it is the department’s recommendation to keep the two-way flow of traffic as is,” said UPD Chief Eric Herrera.
Herrera recommended erecting signs prohibiting U-turns and installing a right-turn-only sign at both exits. Herrera said he also recommends a sign to deter blocking the intersection on Main and Getty Street exits.
Uvalde resident Elsa Crawford, who has spoken at multiple council meetings requesting the intersection be converted to a one-way street, voiced her disagreement.
“My issue, again, is about safety. I am there fives days a week, sometimes six, getting my mail or doing other things and it is a difficult situation to back out against opposing vehicles, people crossing the road, people making U-turns,” Crawford said. “…I would like to think that the council have some consideration for the people that utilize the post office and their opinions about issues raised.”
Out of eight surrounding businesses that were surveyed, three proprietors said traffic congestion was an issue on West South and South West streets. Three businesses felt there was no issue and two did not comment.
Two businesses believed traffic congestion was caused by motorists making illegal U-turns, while five businesses did not. One business did not comment.
When asked if the businesses believed a no U-turn sign would help congestion, two answered yes, while one said no. Five did not comment.
Four businesses believed there was adequate parking in the square, while three did not. One did not comment.
Four business felt a lack of parking added to traffic issues, while three did not. One did not comment.
Five business believed the current two-way traffic flow is adequate, while two disagreed. One did not comment.
Four were not in favor of a one-way street coming in from Main Street and exiting on Getty Street, while one was in favor. Three did not comment.
One business was in favor of a one-way coming from Getty Street and exiting onto Main Street, but four were not. Three businesses had no comment.
Three businesses favored stricter traffic enforcement in the area, while three did not. Two had no comment.
Six agreed they wanted two-way traffic flow to remain on West South and South West streets, while one business was opposed. One business did not comment.
Between Jan. 1, 2017, and Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, five motor vehicle wrecks around the square were reported to police. The crashes occurred in January, March, May and April of 2017.
Of the five wrecks, three motorists were struck from behind after the second vehicle allegedly failed to control speed, while two motorists reversed out of a parking space and struck a second vehicle. One motorist, who was turning south from Main Street, struck a vehicle.
With regard to the three motorists struck from behind, Herrera said those accidents did not occur in the square.
“These accidents actually occurred on Main and Getty but they pulled into the square and called dispatchers and that is why it has a post office location,” Herrera said.
There were two information reports related to motor vehicle collisions during the time frame, but because the crashes occurred on private property, information was not available.
Three traffic stops were conducted during the time frame.
According to the police department, heavy flow of traffic was noted beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing through 7 p.m. Peak hours of traffic were 9 a.m. until noon and 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Traffic was monitored Nov. 8-9 and Nov. 14-19, 2017.