Wednesday, July 28, 2021

City Looks to Increase Capacity at Key Intersections

Demand for roadway travel in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is steadily increasing, as are traffic counts on Southlake roads.

In an effort to increase the capacity of the local system to improve mobility within the city, the Southlake City Council has agreed to funding for an intersection capacity improvement program.

“We’re looking for any and all opportunities to improve traffic conditions around town,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “Upgrading the performance of key intersections should help alleviate congestion and promote the smooth flow of traffic during peak hours.”

The project began with traffic counts and other data collection. Initial analysis is intended to help engineers focus on areas where a deeper dive is warranted. Ultimately a set of recommendations will be put into place for the intersections so that improvements can be implemented.

Public Works Director Rob Cohen explains that the process will include traffic counts, crosswalk reviews, site distance analysis, signal timing and field observation. Computer modeling will be used by engineers to develop performance enhancing recommendations. Ultimately, recommended improvements will become a part of the capital improvement program.

“This project is meant to complement other roadway work going on in the city,” said Cohen. “Low performing intersections can be a real hindrance to motorists trying to get from point to point, and we want to ensure that the capacity of Southlake intersections is maximized.”

Data collection and traffic analysis for the first 17 intersections should be completed by the end of September. Phase 2 of the project, which will include analysis of the remaining intersections and the prioritization of recommendations, will begin in October with the new fiscal year. More than 30 intersections will be reviewed.

Funds have been included in the FY 2017 budget to complete the study, as well as provide for engineering design of improvements and construction of initial improvements.

Intersection improvements could include the following:

  • Intersection traffic signal re-timing;
  • Improved phasing (e.g. lead/lag traffic signal phasing optimization);
  • Re-allocation of existing approach lanes to better serve intersection traffic volumes;
  • Roadway network modifications such as realignments or new connections to relieve traffic;
  • Intersection geometric improvements, such as turn lanes; and/or
  • Pedestrian enhancements.

This project supports the recommendations of the Southlake 2030 Mobility Plan. To track progress on this project, please go to
Cityof Southlake.com/ExpandingMobility.

These are the 32 intersections which will be analyzed in the study. The intent is to help find ways to maximize traffic flow through Southlake's intersections.

These are the 32 intersections which will be analyzed in the study. The intent is to help find ways to maximize traffic flow through Southlake’s intersections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intersections

  1. Dove Road & N. Peytonville Avenue
  2. Dove Road & Shady Oaks Drive
  3. Dove Road & West SH 114 Southbound
  4. Dove Road & West SH 114 Northbound
  5. North Peytonville Avenue & Raven Bend Court
  6. Shady Oaks Drive & West Highland Street
  7. North Carroll & East Highland Street
  8. West Southlake Boulevard & North Pearson Lane
  9. West Southlake Boulevard & Watermere Drive
  10. West Southlake Boulevard & Davis Boulevard
  11. West Southlake Boulevard & Peytonville Avenue
  12. West Southlake Boulevard & Southridge Lakes Parkway
  13. West Southlake Boulevard & Shady Oaks Drive
  14. Southlake Boulevard & White Chapel Boulevard
  15. East Southlake Boulevard & Byron Nelson Parkway
  16. East Southlake Boulevard & Tower Boulevard
  17. East Southlake Boulevard & Carroll Avenue
  18. East Southlake Boulevard & Central Avenue
  19. East Southlake Boulevard & South Village Center Drive
  20. East Southlake Boulevard & South Kimball Avenue
  21. East Southlake Boulevard & Nolen Drive
  22. East Southlake Boulevard & Commerce Street
  23. South Carroll Avenue & Zena Rucker Road
  24. South Kimball Avenue & South Village Center Drive
  25. Davis Boulevard & West Continental Boulevard
  26. West Continental Boulevard & South Peytonville Avenue
  27. South White Chapel Boulevard & West Continental Boulevard
  28. Byron Nelson Parkway & East Continental Boulevard
  29. South Carroll Avenue & East Continental Boulevard
  30. South Kimball Avenue & East Continental Boulevard
  31. State Street & E SH 114 Southbound Frontage Road
  32. North White Chapel Boulevard & Dove Road

City’s 93 Million Dollar Budget Delivers Increased Homeowner Tax Relief

“This exemption means that property tax revenue exceeds the effective tax rate (rate that would produce the same revenue as last year) by only 1%.” – Southlake City Manager, Shana Yelverton.

Budget Fast facts Call out BoxLed by Yelverton, the Southlake City staff is presenting for the Council’s consideration a proposed FY 2017 budget that delivers The Marq Southlake Phase 2, Homeowner Tax Relief, and maintains a steady tax rate.

“The homestead tax exemption will be 16% this year, offering Southlake homeowners more than $98,000 in tax relief on an average valued home in Southlake,” said City Manager Yelverton. “Our strategy of slowly increasing the homestead exemption to the state maximum of 20% is a targeted approach to offering homeowner tax relief, maintaining high service levels and keeping our debt low.”

Parks and Recreation

The Marq Southlake Phase 2 is scheduled to break ground in late fall of 2016. Funded by Community Economic Development Corporation bonds, the $37.4 million-dollar project includes many recreational features, including an aquatic center, fitness area, gymnasium, jog/walk track, indoor playground and an indoor and outdoor turf area.

2017 is also the year that Bicentennial Park Phase 3 improvements will get underway. When this $8.8 million dollar project, funded by the Southlake Parks and Development Corporation is completed, the Southlake Tennis Center will have a new building and enclosed tennis courts. The park will also have a completed trail system, a synthetic turf field at the current in-line hockey court, and other enhanced park amenities.

Safety and Security

“We are excited to announce that we will be making the final debt payment for Departments of Public Safety buildings,” said Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson. “The accelerated amortization schedule for DPS Headquarters and DPS North will allow us to focus the Crime Control and Prevention Districts (CCPD) sales tax allotment (1/8¢) on the School Resource Officers Program and other allowable safety projects.”

Better Mobility

This year’s City’s Capital Improvement Projects include Kirkwood Boulevard Improvements and Urban Enhancement project which will provide for better east-west travel in the City’s northern portion.

Five neighborhoods located throughout the City will see the installation of flashers, pedestrian buttons, and voice activated controls at South Carroll Avenue and Continental Boulevard; North Carroll Avenue and Dove Road; North White Chapel Boulevard and Dove Road; Peytonville Avenue and Dove Road; and Byron Nelson Parkway and Continental Boulevard.

Yelverton noted that the capital projects and several others slated for FY 2017 have been identified in our Southlake 2030 Comprehensive Plan as tier one projects. “We know that these cash-funded projects will help make Southlake more livable community. From the everyday errands around town to taking a walk in their neighborhoods, we are focusing dollars where it counts.”

Reducing Debt & Tax Relief

Along with the final debt payment for the DPS facilities, the FY 2017 City maintains its firm commitment to reducing property tax supported debt. All Capital Improvement Projects slated for the General Fund will be paid for with cash, a proposed $5.25 million dollars.

The Marq Southlake will be funded by bonds which are backed by voter-approved sales tax monies.

Chief Financial Officer Jackson noted, “The City will pay down that debt by using sales tax revenue, a majority of which has come from people who visit our City. With our AAA and AA+ bond ratings, we can put that sales tax revenue to work building the facilities and amenities that Southlake Citizens have told us are a priority.”

In a recent Texas Senate select committee hearing on tax reform and relief, a local lawmaker offered to work with Mayor Laura Hill “to make sure that we don’t disrupt an {city} that’s doing an excellent job.”

“This budget recognizes our commitment to the City’s residents to relieve as much property tax related debt as possible,” said Yelverton. “Since 2009 we have worked with the Council to decrease debt and offer homeowners tax relief. We look forward to doing that again this year.”

For a complete look at the proposed FY 2017 budget please visit CityofSouthlake.com/FY2017.

Tax Relief Proposal Coming As Appraised Property Values Rise

The Tarrant County Appraisal District (TAD) sent notices of appraised values to property owners last week, based on market values as of January 1. Denton County values have been released as well.

Aggregate information is provided to the City by each appraisal district, with Tarrant County’s expected late April. City staff is currently developing a proposal for City Council to increase the homestead exemption, based on the preliminary values.

This is the first step for the City to establish the property tax revenue that will be used to develop the City’s FY 2017 budget.

Southlake’s expected increase is attributable to the increased value of existing residential and commercial property, as well as the value of new construction.

“We’re currently evaluating the information,” said Southlake’s Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson. “It’s too early to finalize our budget approach at this time, but the increase in property values is one of the factors considered when developing plans for property tax relief, and we are confident that economic growth will provide the opportunity for relief in the coming fiscal year.”

Since 2009 the City has implemented five tax relief initiatives (FY ’09, FY ’13, FY ’14, FY ’15 and FY ’16) focused on increasing the homestead exemption for residential property owners as new commercial properties have been developed.

“As Southlake’s commercial sector has grown, we have been able to more adequately balance the tax burden,” Jackson said. “We’ve moved from a 0% residential homestead exemption in 2008 to a 12% exemption adopted for the 2016 budget.”

Last year the City was able to return the increase in property values to homeowners through the adoption of a 12% exemption.

“We continue to build a growing City and have associated financial obligations. And, we’ve tried to limit debt through a pay-as-you go approach with certain infrastructure. But we are committed to balance needs with tax relief measures,” she said.

Staff will take a proposal to increase the homestead exemption to the Council in June.

City staff will work on the budget through the summer, finalizing it once certified values are received from each appraisal district, no later July 25. Public hearings on the budget will occur in late August and early September.