Historic Scenic Loop Road drawing more congestion, drivers as development explodes near Grey Forest

Scenic Loop Road has existed since 1920s as corridor between Hill Country and Bandera Road

BEXAR COUNTY – Scenic Loop Road is a stretch of roadway in Northwest Bexar County with a deep history and importance for residents and drivers in and around Grey Forest.

Amanda Rico is one of those drivers who uses Scenic Loop to travel between Interstate 10 near Leon Springs and Bandera Road.

“It can be challenging, especially because there’s a variation in speeds. You’ll go from 40 miles per hour and then you drastically drop to 20,” Rico said.

Bexar County manages Scenic Loop Road outside Grey Forest. The sheriff’s office told KSAT that since January 2021, they’ve given 149 tickets for traffic violations and responded to 24 crashes.

In Grey Forest, where the speed limit is 20 mph, officers are usually seen waiting along the road.

“It feels like there is, like there’s someone here every single day, at least from my perspective,” Rico said.

Scenic Loop Road outside Grey Forest area. (Copyright 2024 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

There are about 120 homes with driveways or front yards right off Scenic Loop.

“The hills are different. The curves are different too versus in the city where you kind of have very straight roads,” Rico said. “These are a little bit more winding, so you have blind spots.”

Along with those winding curves comes more traffic, speeding drivers and other concerns for residents in the area.

“You’re kind of putting a lot of people in danger, whether it’s someone taking their trash out or kids that still reside in this neighborhood,” Rico said. “There are also several bikers, deer, even turkeys, so you need to be very cautious.”

The location, landscape and wildlife are what draws newcomers to the area. But with growth comes new issues, including a long line of construction crews waiting outside neighborhoods every morning to start their work.

“They line up on Scenic Loop, so you’re competing with them, your regular traffic, as well as school traffic and buses,” Rico said.

Scenic Loop Road dates back to the 1920s and has been used for decades as a corridor from the Hill Country to Bandera Road and Loop 1604.

There have been attempts to widen the two-lane road in the past. However, Bexar County officials told KSAT there are currently no plans to expand the road despite the growth. Construction is planned in the future for the intersection of Scenic Loop at Boerne Stage Road.

With the constant development surrounding Scenic Loop, navigating the area is tricky.

“A few weekends ago, we were in literally in this area of Babcock at Scenic Loop, stuck for almost an hour and a half,” Rico said.

And balancing the progression and preservation is tough. We asked Rico what she would like to see done by developers and stakeholders along the route as more development makes its way to the area.

“It’s really just infrastructure and awareness, and regulating speed. But it takes away from the naturalness of this area,” Rico said. “It doesn’t feel like it’s country anymore now. Feels like it’s part of the city.”

Scenic Loop Road in Northwest Bexar County. (Copyright 2024 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

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About the Authors

RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

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