Go to the following websites and read all about this situation, then spread the word. Knowledge is power.
Map of Wrecks along Spicewood's stretch of Hwy 71 - Shows that stretch of 71 with markers along it that, when you click on them, give a popup with info on what happened and links to news articles. This is an ongoing project, with more added as we find them.
In the media:
Do a search for “Spicewood” on news media sites (links below) to find stories about new growth, public meetings/concerns, and tragic traffic accidents. If the website doesn't have a search feature, use any websearch site and search using the url and the word "Spicewood". Example: enter "KEYEtv.com Spicewood" in Google.com's search bar. Some stories already printed:
- Dec. 8, 2016 Community Impact article by Leslee Bassman (another is in the works for the special January print edition)
- Nov. 29, 2016: KEYE report on deaths of Cynthia and Santiago Vega by Melanie Torre
- Dec. 3, 2015: Ginger Johnson killed in wreck at 11000 West Hwy 71
More resources to learn about this issue:
- TXDOT Online Crash Query Tool - Searchable by all sorts of parameters. To see the Spicewood Stretch of 71 from Bee Creek Road to 281, enter these coordinates:
Hwy 281, Hwy 71 intersection: Latitude: 30.509, Longitude -98.295
Bee Creek Road - Hwy 71 intersection: Latitude: 30.331, Longitude -98.024
Then enter other parameters you want (year, type of vehicle, fatalities, incapacitating injury, etc.) and it will deliver a map with each incident marked with different colors to differentiate between injury, non-injury, fatality, etc. If you click on each mark, it will give a popup - click on the incident number and you will see complete details of the wreck, and more.
- TXDOT Austin District project page - lists current projects in the planning stages and construction stages - searchable by county (The Austin District covers Travis, Burnet, and Blanco.)
- TXDOT Road Design Manual - to learn how and why they do things to roads, and to find solutions to our problems so when you call them and talk to them, you can use clearer terms
- TXDOT's #EndTheStreakTX Campaign
Circulate the petition in your neighborhood, workplace, watering hole, anywhere people who live along 71 between Bee Creek Road and Hwy 281 gather. Just print, fill with signatures, and mail to the address on the bottom of the petition page. Link to petition.
STORIES OF EXPERIENCES:
Have you lost a loved one or been involved in a wreck yourself on that stretch of Hwy 71 between Bee Creek Road and Hwy 281? A near-miss? Just want to tell of what it’s like to white-knuckle-it to turn left at Quail Creek every day? Write up your story and send it to us. Provide as many details as possible - dates, times, exact location, road conditions, people involved ... anything you remember - and PHOTOS if you have them (nothing says, “Oh, my GOD” like a photo). We’d love to have a stack of stories under the petition when we deliver it because if we have to see-experience-live with this, TXDoT should at least have to see it, too. Send to LindaWall@gmail.com or mail to: Save Our Spicewood, c/o Board Member Linda Wall, PO Box 135, Spicewood, TX 78669.
There are no plans to make any of these stories public. If we ever do find a need, we will contact you for permission first and if we don’t get it, we won’t publicize it. Period. If you know you would never want anyone to see your story ever, just let Linda know and she WILL stringently protect your privacy. For now, the only people to see them will be the people working on that part of the petition project and the TXDoT officials themselves.
CALL THE MEDIA:
News orgs love a good story, so let’s give them ours. Call these people to tell them what it’s like for you to drive 71, what has happened to you, or who you’ and ask them to do a story on it. The more attention this gets, the more TXDoT will pay attention, too.
~ Reporters working on this: who have expressed an interest in helping us and want to talk to those of you who have lost loved ones in wrecks or who have been in one yourself:
KEYE’s Melanie Torre
Leslee Bassman - Editor of the Lake Travis/Westlake edition of Community Impact
~The rest of the local media:
KXAN Report It form and News Tip Line: 512-703-5255.
KXAN Facebook page
KVUE Defenders investigative reporting page (with form to ask for an investigation)
KVUE Report a Problem form (for road problems and traffic hazards)
KVUE Facebook page
KEYE Contact Us page and News Tipline 512-835-0335
KEYE Facebook page (CBS Austin)
FOX7 Contact Us page - try the Main Line, News Tip Line, and Community Affairs Line.
FOX7 Facebook page
Austin American Statesman Staff List - Try the News Tip number and email, first one listed. Also, notice who writes local stories you see, find them on the list, and call/email them.
Austin American Statesman Letters to the Editor online form
AAS Facebook page
River Cities Tribune Contact Us online form and News Tip Line: 830-693-7152
Daily Trib Facebook page
Highlander Contact Us page - Try Glynnis Crawford Smith
Highlander Facebook page
Community Impact online feedback form - Select “Lake Travis”
Community Impact Lake Travis Facebook page
For who to call and their phone numbers, go here:
TXDoT Austin District Website’s Contact Page.
TXDOT administration's organizational structure
Specific people to call:
South Travis Area Engineer (for the Travis County stretch) Victor Vargas: 512-282-2113
Burnet Area Engineer (for the Burnet County stretch) Kathy Kratz 512-756-2316
Austin District Engineer Terry McCoy: 512-832-7000
Public Information Officer Kelli Reyna: 512-832-7000
Construction Division Director Tracy Cain: 512-416-2559
TXDOT Design Division Director Rene Garcia: 512-416-2197
Chief Engineer Bill Hale: 512-305-9505
Director of Communications and Customer Service Bob Kaufman: 512-305-9503
TXDOT Deputy Executive Director Marc Williams: 512-463-0151
TXDOT's Traffic Operations Division (click link for extensive list of contact numbers)
Ask them for whatever you are concerned about: to stop aggressive drivers, stop distracted drivers, for more enforcement of the “Left Lane for Passing Only” law, etc. Contact page here. If you’re not sure which of those numbers to call, try this one: Customer Service (512) 424-2000.
CALL COUNTY SHERIFFS’ OFFICES:
Call your county & state representatives
For a full list of county, state, and even federal officials, go HERE.