South Tyler businesses hopeful for traffic improvements after study

South Tyler businesses hopeful for traffic improvements after study

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - This week, city council approved $621,740 for a 12-month long traffic study in the city of Tyler.

“I would say that I have no illusion that this is going to be an inexpensive project" said Mayor Martin Heines. “We consistently have seen this is the number one issue to the citizens of this community. Any time we do any sort of question and answer in the community, it’s always about traffic.”

During its presentation to city council, Kimley-Horn — the company completing the study — presented some current traffic statistics about the city.

“They’re obviously concerned with the mobility for the City of Tyler," said Kent Kacir, the vice-president of Kimley-Horn. "They wanted to make sure the end result was something achievable.”

This data showed on a typical weekday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., cars travelling south on Broadway, past Loop 323, can expect to go anywhere between 15-20 mph.

“If people live in central Tyler or even further, it takes too long for them to come here and go out of there way,” said Sierra Reichert, a supervisor at Piada, a restaurant at Cumberland Park. “It affects a lot of the businesses in Cumberland because we’re the furthest south.”

Another Cumberland business, Hand and Stone Massage and Spa, said that traffic affects their customers more than anything else.

“The biggest effect would be that customers are late,” said Rebekah Griffin, a spa associate. “If they have an appointment at 6, they will leave when they think it’s a good time and they end up being 15-30 minutes late because they underestimated how bad the traffic is. Whenever a customer is late, their number one excuse would be that they left late and they underestimated the time it took to travel down Broadway.”

Data presented by Kimley-Horn to Tyler City Council.
Data presented by Kimley-Horn to Tyler City Council. (Source: City of Tyler)

The data in Kimley-Horn’s presentation also highlighted the increase in two-way traffic on Broadway around 12:30, or lunchtime.

“I think we could be busier during lunch if people had the chance to come down here on their lunch break, but they don’t," said Reichert. “It would take as long to get here as they have for their lunch break.”

Employees of the South Tyler businesses seemed hopeful that the study would help their businesses and their personal travel times.

“I think it’s a great way to use our resources to something that’s going to be more productive,” said Reichert. “Traffic is something that affects our daily lives. How much time do we spend in traffic? I think its great Tyler has decided has decided to put our resources and taxpayer dollars towards something that’s going to affect everybody.”

In the meantime, they take precautions when telling their customers when to leave.

“We’ve started telling people, if they’ve never been to our location, we let them know, ‘if you’re going to come here it takes a really long time on Broadway’,” said Griffin. “We give them a heads up that they should leave 15 minutes earlier than they think they should leave.”

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