Citing the inconvenience of using Lamar and Anderson, Council Member (CM) Greg Casar and a handful of his constituents have begun applying pressure at City Hall to restore Morrow as a cut through to Burnet and Anderson. These few folks wants to prioritize CONVENIENCE over SAFETY.
While convenience is nice it should never be enabled at the cost of safety and it is important to consider the danger that will ensue if Morrow is again to be an unimpeded east/west route. Diverting traffic from Anderson Lane onto Morrow, a residential street, is not a reasonable solution. Morrow has four schools (Crestview United Methodist Preschool, Paragon Primary, St. Louis Preschool, and St. Louis Primary); four churches (Crestview United Methodist, Crestview Baptist, Korean Presbyterian, and St. Louis Catholic); and four baseball fields (NAO)--facilities to which many young children walk/bike every day.
Moreover, there are at least 60 young children who live on Morrow and its side streets, not to mention many middle school and high school aged kids as well. Many of these children also bike/walk/skateboard to local schools along Morrow. This beautiful and narrow street cannot accommodate more cars and keep cyclists and pedestrians safe. Morrow and its side streets are not designed for increased traffic loads, and the abundance of residences, schools, churches, and parkland illustrate that. Sadly, again this point was recently driven home by the tragic death of a five-year-old boy who was hit by a car at the intersection of Gault and Anderson. By opening Morrow and diverting traffic from Anderson onto a residential street, accidents like the aforementioned are all too likely. No traffic calming measures can fully mitigate against the dangers of increased traffic.
The removal of the pork chop is not just a danger to families on Morrow or in Crestview. It will also affect families in Highland. Increased traffic along streets like Guadalupe St. in the Highland neighborhood from cut through traffic from Airport Blvd. will have safety consequences, particularly for the children travelling on that street to and from T. A. Brown Elementary School. Google Maps and the Waze Route finding app, will exacerbate the traffic issue when they begin directing traffic down these back streets as a means to escape gridlock along the main thoroughfares.
Current traffic analyses indicate that Morrow Street is currently at the upper level of its city recommended capacity of 1800 cars a day; with the removal of the pork chop, traffic is predicted to increase by 60+%. Considering that there have been multiple wrecks and even a fatality on Morrow and Gault/Anderson in the not-so-distant past, this increase is an unacceptable safety risk for the neighborhood. The last thing we want are more injuries to children.
Convenience should never trump the safety of our citizens.