On Feb. 1, the speed limit on Texas 71, from Bee Cave’s western city limits to the Pedernales River was lowered from 60 to 55 mph. The Texas Department of Transportation measure was the culmination of a lot of behind-the-scenes negotiations from a group of residents who drive the western Travis County corridor daily.
Safer71 was created by Sweetwater resident Greg Short following the Oct. 28 death of his neighbor, Dr. Michael Babineaux, on Texas 71 near his home. Since then, Short said members have worked to implement safety improvements on the road, in light of both current conditions and anticipated growth of “6,000 to 10,000 new households in the area by 2030.”
The outpouring of support for the grass roots organization caught the attention of local and state officials, bringing to the forefront the safety of that section of Texas 71, which is patrolled by the cities of Lakeway and Bee Cave, as well as the Travis County constable’s office.