Royal Lane is royal pain as drivers dodge LBJ mess

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 28 at 10:32 PM

DALLAS — Residents who live along Royal Lane in North Dallas said they have seen an explosion in traffic on this main east-west artery and its side streets in the last year.

"The speeding on Royal Lane is atrocious," said Robert Hurst. "There are nights when we're asleep in our house and I'll hear semi tractor-trailer traffic coming down the street.

"Well, it's gotta be because of what's going on with LBJ," said Trip Leon, who also lives nearby.

Neighbors suspect drivers are dodging construction on LBJ Freeway and cutting through their neighborhood, which runs parallel to the freeway and a couple of miles south.

Construction managers said they're noticing fewer cars and trucks on LBJ while the work is under way.

A spokeswoman for the LBJ Express project said there is about 10 percent less traffic on the freeway, which is equivalent to around 27,000 fewer cars and trucks every day.

Many of those drivers are believed to now be taking alternate routes like Royal Lane.

The surface of Royal Lane between the Dallas North Tollway and N North Central Expressway appears to be suffering. The number of potholes have tripled.

The city reported that it filled five voids on Royal before construction started on the freeway in January 2011. But in the last six months, Dallas has repaired 15 potholes along the same stretch.

Residents say many drivers are even venturing off Royal Lane and onto its side streets, like Quincy Lane and Jamestown Road.

"I'm really frustrated and I'm mad that nobody will listen," said resident Betsy Powell.

The city told residents that it is reluctant to close some side streets because it worries that could delay first responders to emergencies.

Dallas police have written some tickets along Royal Lane, and even posted portable speeding signs that show drivers how fast they're going. But the department said speeding is worse in other areas.

City Council member Ann Margolin, who represents a large portion of the area seeing an increase in traffic, said constituents have not yet alerted her to the problem.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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