Brazos Valley 2020: Where we're going, we'll still need roads

Published: Jul. 5, 2019 at 8:47 AM CDT
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It may not surprise you that Bryan/College Station is the most congested city in Texas that isn’t on an interstate.

Dan Rudge is the executive director of the B/CS Metropolitan Planning Organization. Pointing to a map showing the change in traffic over the past 10 years, he singled out one location.

"Just on State Highway 6 right there, just south of 2818 we have a count of 93,000," Rudge said.

Recalling my 5:00 p.m. southbound driving woes, I immediately picture the congestion from the mall to Rock Prairie Road. If your afternoon commute takes you that way, you know exactly how that feels.

The experts share the pain with us. Like many of today's problems, its something they say they're working on.

"What we call I-214, which would be a continuous loop that would run all the way around B/CS into Robertson County and back up," Rudge said as he showed another chart, including an ambitious design for our very own interstate.

Another includes adding lanes or making more unorthodox intersections, like the diverging diamond you see at Raymond Stotzer and FM 2818.

"Campus has 65,000 students, and that's larger than downtown San Antonio, so every day of the week College Station has the fourth-largest downtown in the state of Texas," said Troy Rother, a traffic engineer with the City of College Station.

You'll find some of the more creative designs around campus and the four intersections surrounding it. That is,


we want to pay for it and deal with the headaches of new construction. Rother calls it a necessary evil.

"Those are projects that you need and expect in a growing community," Rother said. "At some point, those interchanges are just needed, if not for the traffic for other safety issues and/or to reduce congestion associated with train traffic."

Rudge says we're going to have to get creative, and we're going to have to speak up for state and federal dollars.

"We're no longer small town Bryan-College Station," said Rudge. "We're actually [designated] midsize urban area. We're going to have to do a better job of informing the public what we are, but also the legislators in Austin."

Wait a minute. It's 2019! Where's my flying car?

Though companies and researchers are lining up to test manned flying vehicles right here in Aggieland, experts say we're at least a decade from this being a reliable, affordable mode of transportation outside of major cities.

For now, whether it's bullet trains, hyperloops, driverless cars, or even FLYING cars in the future... We'll still need roads.