Dreaded G-G-G intersection plans no longer include a roundabout

The newly proposed Garland-Grand-Gaston intersection. (Courtesy of TxDOT)
The newly proposed Garland-Grand-Gaston intersection. (Courtesy of TxDOT)

Get used to the phrase “reverse T design” — you’re about to hear it a lot. It’s the preferred choice for how to improve the accident-prone Garland-Grand-Gaston intersection, at least by those who attended meetings last year to consider different options that would improve safety.

The proposed plan makes minimal changes to the existing intersection — all designed to slow down the flow of traffic. Instead of the existing straight shot, which often allows drivers to pick up speed, Garland and Grand, a.k.a. State Highway 78, would be gently arced with new landscaping.

“The geometry will encourage traffic to slow down, which will provide a safer environment compared to current conditions,” says Michelle Raglon, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation(TxDOT), which is overseeing the project since it includes a state roadway.

The Garland-Grand-Gaston intersection as it looks today. (Image via Google Maps)
The Garland-Grand-Gaston intersection as it looks today. (Image via Google Maps)

Added bicycle and pedestrian paths would link into the Santa Fe Trail at a cost of $1 million, providing more seamless conditions for riding or walking in the neighborhood. The landscaping would be greatly enhanced to create a more park-like setting.

“Landscaping is being added to this project at the request of the public. This is not considered an improvement to safety,” Raglon says.

While neighbors largely preferred the “reverse T” design (the proposed roundabout got just one vote and was quickly nixed from consideration), it may do little to improve the flow of traffic for some drivers,. But mornings will be better than evenings. As the chart below shows, in most directions, the intersection will improve from an “D/F” rating to a “C/D,” although the amount of time cars spend going through the area should decrease.

TxDOT's traffic analysis before and after the intersection overhaul.
TxDOT’s traffic analysis before and after the intersection overhaul.

Who will pay for it all is a question that has yet to be fully answered. With the trail connector, the total project cost is $5,250,000. It will be split between the city and TxDOT, but who pays for what, and how much, has not been decided. Councilman Philip Kingston, whose district includes the problematic intersection, previously said the city’s portion of funds would be covered by bond dollars.

Raglon says it’s too soon to know other project details, like when construction might begin, how long it would run and how it might negatively impact traffic. “The project is still in the planning stages; this will be analyzed once design is further along,” she says.

While neighbors prefer this design, two more design alternatives will be presented at the next stakeholders meeting, which has not yet been scheduled. As soon as we hear about it, we’ll post the meeting details.

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  • Cissy Aberg

    I’m with Robert Taylor…on the side of the roundabout if you want to speed things up. But isn’t the purpose of an intersection to increase safety? Which in the case of 1-ton plus vehicles, isn’t it safer to slow them down and give drivers time to look and adjust to traffic? Faster isn’t always better.

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  • EA234

    Why would we listen to experts in other states? TDOT has all the experts it needs.

  • Who attended this meeting? Was anyone actually of the opinion that we needed to *slow down* the traffic at this intersection? The problem is and has always been that it slows down the traffic flow. Traffic circles are safer, faster and can be more visually appealing. https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/benefits.htm

  • Yeah I don’t think they removed them because they were unsafe, as studies show they’re *safer*. They’re safer, faster and can be more visually appealing.

  • Emily Charrier

    I asked about how they’d handle the traffic signal and where permissive turn signals would be (etc.) and the response was “The project is still in the planning stages; this will be analyzed once design is further along.” We’ll definitely follow up.

  • OnTheWhip

    It’s hard to tell from the drawing and they don’t say, but I hope they are converting this to a more typical “T” with stoplights for each street complete with controlled left turn lanes. (You know? Just like about any other busy intersection? Anywhere?) One of the biggest problems has always been the way through traffic – unimpeded by a light – merges with change-of-direction traffic, especially onto Garland and back the other way to Gaston from Grand (where folks coming from Grand ALWAYS blow right through the TWO yield signs onto Gaston, right into the lanes of the cars coming from Garland Road). And at rush hour, getting in out of the nearby parking lots is almost impossible because there’s rarely a gap in the traffic.

  • B Clay

    Cannot imagine how big the roundabout would have to be to accomodate the huge trucks that use hwy 78?
    And they’ve taken out all the old circles in Dallas for safety already!

  • Robert Taylor

    So $5 million for bushes and a slightly better but still only average traffic flow? That’s so Dallas. Roundabout or forget it.

  • kduble

    A roundabout would be safer and smoother flowing 24-hours-a-day.