Northwest Parkway opens, linking N. Major and Parkdale Mall area
The commute from North Major Drive to Old Dowlen Road got shorter Monday with the opening of a key stretch of the Northwest Parkway.
The four-lane parkway, under construction since 2017, opened at 10 a.m.
It’s also on the agenda for a Beaumont City Council vote Tuesday.
The council is expected to vote on speed zone boundaries and speed limits ranging from 35 mph to 45 mph for the Northwest Parkway. The council is also expected to vote on a speed limit of 35 mph for a section of Pointe Parkway.
The vote will either update the city’s ordinances that log speed limits or make a change to those already posted.
The speed limits are lower than a section of North Major Drive from Folsom Drive to Delaware Street was prior to an October City Council meeting. The stretch was between 55 mph and 60 mph before the council voted to lower the limit to 50 mph.
The recommendation came with information that the crash rate on Major Drive is three times the state average and the 50 mph was recommended by the Texas Department of Transportation. The department also said multiple residents had requested an evaluation of the area’s speed limit.
It’s unclear if that recommendation played a part in determining the speed limit for the Northwest Parkway.
But the population density in that block and plans for the Northwest Parkway are different.
The block of Major Drive runs next to a development of single-family homes, while development along the Northwest Parkway will likely be commercial and multifamily structures.
City staff said based on development of nearby areas, the land around the parkway could be at least 50 percent developed within the next 10 years.
City planners said in October they expect to have plans for how the area will be zoned in early 2019.