• December 20, 2014

$2.6M Amy Lane project outlined by Heights council

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 4:30 am

Amy Lane is more than a year from a getting a $2.6 million street makeover that may add sidewalks along the roadway and an improved intersection at Beeline Lane.

Harker Heights is in the design and engineer phase of renovating the 1-mile roadway that runs from Indian Oaks Drive — an entrance to Market Heights — to Veterans Memorial Boulevard.

On Tuesday, the Harker Heights City Council discussed the project and what amenities the reconstructed street should have.

Owner of Pouncing Paws, Erin McCraken, whose business is on Amy Lane, welcomes the project. McCraken said the street gets a lot of vehicle, foot and bicycle traffic with two nearby schools, a city park and lower-income housing in the area.

“I travel up and down it every day, several times a day,” McCraken said. “There is a lot of uneven spots. It is jolting on your car and body.”

The council decided not to include a proposed bicycle lane, street side parking, and an overall increased roadway width in the project’s scope.

“I don’t see much reason why they need parking,” Councilman Pat Christ said. “We (should) close (parking) off now, so there are no bad habits formed.”

Not many homes front Amy Lane, he said. Most residents have access on connecting streets.

Most drivers don’t park on the roadways anyway, McCraken said about the possible parking lanes being removed. All the businesses and apartments that face Amy Lane have parking lots.

Councilman Sam Murphey questioned the need for a bike lane since cyclists don’t often travel the roadway.

Most bicycle traffic along Amy Lane is children heading to and from school, said Mark Hyde, public works director.

A bike lane could facilitate access to Market Heights, but no other existing roadways in the area have connecting bicycle lanes, Christ said.

A possible 8-foot-wide sidewalk, instead two 5-foot-wide sidewalks, also was proposed to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians, but it also was rejected.

“I think bicyclists should ride in the streets and cars should look out,” Murphy said. “That is the way I grew up.”

Based on her observations, sidewalks on both sides of the street may be a better option than a bike lane on one side, McCraken said.

“They are walking up and down both sides of the street all day,” she said. “Heights Printer is a football field (length) down the street, and I walk down there to pick up my printing. I would feel much safer with sidewalks.”

The council told City Engineer Otto Wiederhold of Walker Partners to design a 29-foot-wide roadway that would increase to 36 feet near Beeline Lane for dedicated turn lanes. The proposed project also included an underground storm-drain system and curbs and gutters.

Hyde said engineering for the project could take four to five months and selecting a contractor to renovate the road could take two months. “Sometime after that construction would begin,” he said.

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