With its right turns, red lights and limited crossovers, the Highway 281 Superstreet is often cussed and discussed in San Antonio.
That is the section of the highway between Marshall Road and Encino Rio that has been reconfigured to increase traffic flow.
That project by the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority works on the assumption that northbound and southbound traffic will flow better if the main lanes are not stopped as much.
Driver Brenda Mills has seen a difference since the Superstreet was implemented.
"I think it's a little bit better,” Mills said. “(But) not a whole lot."
Driver Joseph De Los Santos, however, is confused by the Superstreet.
"Who designed this like this?” De Los Santos asked. “This is crazy."
The RMA said the Superstreet is now saving drivers five minutes on their morning commute and seven minutes in the evening.
But driver Win Neuman said there have been problems.
"My neighbor across the street was killed in an automobile accident, as a matter of fact, right over here," Neuman said.
The San Antonio Police Department reported that in a six-month period before the Superstreet was constructed, there were more accidents on Highway 281 at the intersections with Stone Oak Parkway and Encino Rio than there were in a six-month period after the Superstreet had been implemented. There were fewer accidents at Evans Road when comparing those same periods.
The Texas Department of Transportation also compiles accident statistics.
TxDOT reported that on the stretch of Highway 281 from Marshall Road south to Sonterra Boulevard, there were more accidents after the Superstreet when comparing six-month time periods.
However, a study found that more people are using Highway 281 now.
The theory is that since traffic is flowing better, those drivers abandoned their alternate routes in favor of the freeway. Another improvement coming to the area is the Highway 281/Loop 1604 interchange project. It is now 70 percent complete and is scheduled to be completed next summer.
Here are some links to get construction updates:
Here are the actual accident numbers as provided by TXDOT:
The number of crashes between Marshall Road and Sonterra Boulevard on U.S. 281 between Jan. 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009: 99.
The number of crashes between Marshall Road and Sonterra Boulevard on U.S. 281 between Jan. 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012: 106.
SAPD compared different periods of time:
2010 (Jan 1 – Jun 30)
- Stone Oak Pkwy = 27
- TPC Pkwy = 7
- Evans Rd = 39
- Encino Rio = 36
2011 (Jun 1 – Dec 31)
- Stone Oak Pkwy = 35
- TPC Pkwy = 12
- Evans Rd = 31
- Encino Rio = 51