On Oct. 15, the Town of Prosper held a special town meeting to discuss and act upon a resolution strongly opposing Red Alignment Option B as a bypass option for U.S. Highway 380 within the corporate limits of the Town of Prosper and declaring the Town Council’s opposition to any alignment of U.S. Highway 380 in the Town that is not consistent with the current alignment of said highway.
In June 2017, TxDOT started a feasibility study to analyze the best route for the proposed US 380 bypass. The process began in June 2017. TxDOT said they are on schedule and expect to recommend the improvements by spring of 2019.
TxDOT had publicly held meetings to obtain the residents’ opinions about the proposed bypass on Oct. 4, 9 and 11.
Hulon T. Webb, Jr., P.E., the Executive Director of Development and Community Services said in the spring of 2018, the Town Council docked a resolution that, “Supported 380 as a limited access road with the understanding it would remain on its current alignment and any bypass would be east of Custer Road.”
TxDOT collected comments to gain a perspective on the citizen’s wishes. They received over 4,000 comments. Webb said eighty-four percent of the surveys listed concerns about traffic, congestion, accidents, future developments and lack of other routes.
The original proposal put the alignment to US 380 East of Custer Road. However, the newly proposed option puts the bypass coming in West of Custer Road. The new proposal will affect 41 residences, 214 future developments, and 219 environmental, and parkland impacts. That is in great contrast to the original proposal only impacting 18 residences, 33 future developments and 94 parkland impacts.
The meeting opened for residents to voice their concerns, and resident Cathy Sia took the podium first. Sia said she used to believe that TxDOT was not a politically fueled company, however recent events have made her think otherwise.
“I am currently questioning if TxDOT’s decisions are political,” Sia said. “They have already renamed the current 380 to Business 380, and the new alignment is already decided upon.”
Sia said TxDOT is approaching this project completely wrong, thus making their analysis data incorrect. “All cost analysis should be done in 2028 prices since this project has a 10-year window.”
She ended her speech by stating the Town of Prosper is more advanced than what TxDOT expects. “No well-planned city puts a us highway through low to medium density housing,” she concluded to a round of applause by the citizens.
The issue is not just the new proposed alignment, but also the time frame they are given to respond, and the callous way TxDOT seems to not care about Prosper and her inhabitants. Resident Ben Pruitt this new option is a proverbial slap in the face to residents.
“The Town of Prosper was not a part of the decision-making process. The citizens were denied due process and our voices were ignored,” he said.
Ron Justice lives a mere three houses down from First Street, which puts him extremely close to the proposed bypass. He said it takes more than just engineers to come up with a comprehensive plan that helps the majority. He also said he believed the proposal was a bit biased.
“Judge Keith Self requested for them to look at Prosper for the bypass, and he lives in Tucker Hill.”
Nicholas Armand said 22 days to digest the new proposal and respond is just not enough time. “TxDOT does not have our best interest at heart,” Armand said.
“They did not give the Town of Prosper the same amount of time as the other cities to make a decision - 22 days is not enough time.”
Dean Malice said he was texting back and forth with Steven Andres of TxDOT and brought up the fact that the town only had 22 days to process and decide.
“Steven’s response was they gave us ample time in the planning process to voice our opinions.”
Mayor Ray Smith told the congregation that he has no plans of backing down.
“I have no intent of dealing with TxDOT if they’re going to have to try and keep option B.” The crown erupted with applause to the Mayor’s comment.
Sia said she “supports the mayor and refuses to allow hidden players to neuter us and have their way with us.” The resolution passed unanimously.