I’m sure that many of you have seen or heard that the Fiesta on W. Alabama is going to eventually be torn down and replaced with a 300+ unit apartment building.
Part of me is glad to see the aging structure and ugly parking lot go, especially with the nice new HEB across the street recently opening, but part of me is concerned.
My concern? Traffic.
Most of the north/south (Yoakum, Mandell, Dunlavy, Woodhead, Hazard and Shepherd) and east/west (Richmond, W. Alabama, Westheimer, W. Gray, W. Dallas) thoroughfares were all originally two lane residential streets. Over time, these streets have slowly been changing over to mostly commercial properties due to the increased traffic on these streets, and to the fact that most of these streets have seen the original street widened by removing most of the front yards of the properties on both sides of the street. I can personally remember when this was done to Richmond Ave.
W. Alabama currently has a third “chicken” lane down the middle. This lane is for left turns only during most of the day, becoming one way (in bound or out bound) during the morning and evening rush hours. Currently, W. Alabama is increasingly congested and can be down right dangerous to try to back onto from a business parking lot, especially during the rush hour. I know this from personal experience, because my veterinarians office is on W. Alabama. I’m worried about what will happen to the traffic on this street once the large apartment building is added. Hopefully my fears will be unfounded, but only time will tell.