The Flower Mound Town Council on Monday voted to make Morriss Road a little safer and to make it a little more difficult for it to become a six-lane road.
The council amended the thoroughfare master plan to change Morriss' designation from a major arterial, which calls for six lanes, to an urban minor arterial divided roadway, which calls for four lanes.
For years neighbors who live along Morriss have opposed plans to add two lanes to the road, spawning the Stop Morriss 6 movement back in 2009. They said a six-lane road would bring in faster traffic and more vehicles.
Monday, several residents urged the council to approve the road designation change. Should the item be brought up again, it would now require a super-majority vote by the council to change the designation again.
“This makes it more difficult in the future to change it to something the community may not desire,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jason Webb.
The council also approved a list of options to be included in the Morriss Road Improvement Project. These items are designed to address safety and traffic flow, which residents have also voiced concern about.
There were more than 20 options presented, but the council selected five of them to move forward with immediately.
Among those is allowing a dual left-turn lane from Garden Road to Morriss and prohibiting right turns on red from northbound Morriss to Garden.
This would allow more cars to come out of Forestwood Middle School, thus freeing up the congestion on Morriss.
Another option the council selected is adding a three-way stop at Garden and Firewheel Drive to allow the additional drivers that are heading north a better route to get back to Morriss.
The list includes extending a third lane of Morriss north past FM 3040 to Lake Bluff Drive to eliminate bottleneck issues at the intersection.
The town will also extend the southbound Morriss left turn lane at Forest Vista.
“That's always backed up,” said Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Claudio Forest. “Especially at certain times of the day.”
The town will also add warning signs at curve locations, likely six of them, along Morriss.
Council members considered other options but put those on hold for future discussion. Those include adding a right turn lane on Morriss from Fuqua Drive to Forestwood to help relieve backup on Morriss during drop-off and pick-up at the school. Officials said it would also help with visibility issues for motorists pulling onto Morriss from Fuqua. Council members said they want to see how the other improvements work first.
They considered restriping crosswalks along Morriss but opted to wait and see if that should be done as a larger project.
Council members declined to pursue other options, such as widening the lanes on Morriss from 11 feet to 12 feet. Webb said doing so would increase the speed on the road, which would negate the recent speed limit decrease to 35 mph.
They also rejected an idea to extend school zones.
The improvements will be part of the base project that includes panel replacement and ADA improvements from FM 3040 to Firewheel, as well as water line replacement from Forest Vista to Garden.
The base project is projected to cost $8.2 million. The enhancements voted on Monday are expected to add $568,400 to that.