Greenville homeowners say new I-30 exit more dangerous

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

GREENVILLE - An entire neighborhood is afraid of what's waiting at the end of their driveways. Eighteen-wheelers are speeding by homes, one of which functions as a daycare.

But it hasn't always been this way.

"You know, I'm actually a little bit nervous having my back to the traffic right now," said Sean Dawson, a Greenville homeowner as he spoke to us.

If Dawson seems a little anxious around trucks, there's good reason. In 2005, the driver of an 18-wheeler fell asleep, and veered off Interstate-30, right into Dawson's house.

“Once he saw the house, he cranked the wheel really hard and flipped his truck over,” Dawson said. “It slid sideways, and it took the front part of the house off there, the gable and the patio there."

Dawson said that same road is even more dangerous now, since the Texas Department of Transportation moved the exit closer to his neighborhood two months ago.

Now, truck after truck exit the interstate onto the service road right next to their homes and driveways.

"They feel like they've made it safer for me and the residents," Dawson said. "And I beg to differ."

Jesse and Pam Brooks operate a day care center out of their house in Greenville. They're concerned about parents who pick up and drop off kids from their driveway, which leads right into the service road.

"When I back out of my driveway, I'm looking into a curve," Jesse Brooks said. "And I never know if they're going to be running 40 or 70 miles per hour."

TxDOT officials told us they moved the exit to help traffic move faster and safer into town, and they don’t plan to change it back.

After meeting with homeowners and city leaders Thursday, there is a bit of a compromise. TxDOT said it will put up more speed limit signs to slow everyone down.

Sean Dawson's attention is focused on history repeating itself, only this time, he fears it could be deadly.

"It's just really kind of one of those cases of big government saying, 'Hey, we're the State of the Texas, we're going to do what they want,'" Dawson said.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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