Rep. Jared Patterson Amends House Bill 1 for Highway 380 Safety ImprovementsApril 9, 2019
On Wednesday, March 27, Rep. Jared Patterson successfully introduced an amendment to the state’s General Appropriations Act, House Bill 1, dedicating $15 million to safety and mobility improvements on U.S. Highway 380, FM 2931, and FM 1385 in Denton County.
This amendment addresses concerns by residents that use the 380 corridor on a daily basis. The 5.6 mile stretch of 380 in Little Elm alone, has been responsible for 29% of accidents in the city. In fact, in 2018 there were 228 accidents along that strip, which averages to about 3 accidents every 5 days. Furthermore, the rapid population growth along the 380 corridor has caused so much stress on the roadway, that according to TxDOT, U.S. 380 is graded an “F” level of service on an engineering scale. The congestion continues to impact peoples lives’, communities, and other residential streets near the highway, with the lack of safety measures along the roadway resulting in 4 deaths just in the past year.
Representative Patterson’s commitment to improving the situation on 380 came from close consultation with the Make 380 Safe Committee, a grassroots organization which recently spearheaded a successful petition drive garnering over 8,000 signatures. The group has brainstormed productive and realistic steps to improve the highway before a widening project is scheduled to begin construction in 2021.
Laying out his amendment before the floor, Rep. Patterson echoed the concerns of Make 380 Safe, reminding his colleagues that those living alone the corridor, “do not have access to street lights. They are forced to pull into oncoming traffic where drivers could potentially reach speeds of 60-70 mph at night, and then wait in what they call “suicide lanes” to merge into traffic. Highway 380 is home to multiple schools and early learning centers where children and young teens are forced to cross 4-lanes of heavy traffic with only a cross light as a safety measure.”
Though the House adopted the amendment in Article XI of the budget, it will require further action by conference committee legislators to keep the amendment going forward.
After the budget debate, Rep. Patterson followed up by hosting the first ‘380 Task Force’ meeting at Copeland Government Center in Crossroads, on Friday, March 29th. Attendees included County Commissioner Hugh Coleman, the Little Elm Police Department, TXDOT representatives., and area residents.