Safety vs convenience has neighboring communities at odds in northwest Bexar County

Northwest Bexar County residents living in the Davis Ranch community often use Beverly Hills Drive as a shortcut to FM 1560, but that’s no longer allowed.

Helotes city leaders passed an ordinance banning thru traffic on Beverly Hills Drive, and those who violate it could face a $250 fine.

“Traffic in San Antonio is bad enough, and now we’re being limited on the roads that we can use,” said Christina Atwood, a resident in the Davis Ranch community.

Atwood said being unable to take Beverly Hills Drive adds an hour to her commute due to traffic. She doesn’t understand why Helotes city leaders would limit access.

People living on Beverly Hills Drive say their quiet street is a thing of the past, with people using it as a shortcut.

Robert Grigg said his street has more traffic on it than ever before, and it’s too much for their neighborhood.

“Just taking a walk in the neighborhood or walking their dogs or kids riding their bikes, that’s not possible anymore with this amount of traffic. It’s dangerous,” Griggs said.

Griggs and others’ concerns prompted Helotes city officials to act, passing an ordinance prohibiting thru traffic on Beverly Hills Drive.

Mayor Rich Whitehead said it’s about more than just safety.

“The road usually handles 1,000 cars a day. Just in the past few months, that has gone from 1,000 to 1,800 a day. That extra 800 a day — it’s tearing up our roads,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead blames the current traffic issues on a lack of planning with Bexar County officials.

District 2 Bexar County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez said the county couldn’t legally fight the ordinance.

“We’re just going to reach out to the folks there at the city and see if there is some way to work together on minimizing the amount of traffic but not necessarily penalizing folks,” Rodriguez said.

Atwood, who is new to the area, says it’s all a surprise to her and many others in the Davis Ranch community.

“That was actually one of the selling points for those houses. Back there was the quick access to (FM) 1560 and (Loop) 1604. I’m not sure I would have bought here if I would have known that,” Atwood said.

KSAT reached out to developers for the Davis Ranch community. KSAT called after business hours. We have not heard back.

Rodriguez and Whitehead are scheduled to meet Friday to discuss other solutions.

About the Authors:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.