Questions or suggestions about safety policy? Contact us.
SRNA is focused on the following issues related to safety and security in our area:
- Improving safety on our roadways
- Fire evacuation awareness and planning
- Supporting Firewise to encourage wild fire preparedness
- Promoting adequate emergency services
Recent Updates: See RM620 Safety Meeting Minutes / Actions from March 20, 2018.
SRNA Traffic Safety
Traffic safety is vital for our area – with high speed roadways, congestion and drivers of all ages, keeping traffic safe is paramount. SRNA is working with TX-DOT, Travis County and the City of Austin to help plan for traffic improvements to increase safety in our area. Read more on our ‘Traffic Issues’ page. Recent progress includes updates to Steiner Ranch Blvd and RM620 that are now planned to improve safety of turns with a traffic signal. Re-paving of RM620 was scheduled by TXDOT for for mid-2018 to improve grip and shed water during heavy rain using a special road material. Also TXDOT is exploring safety improvements along RM620 including the addition of barriers to separate directions of traffic better (both visually and using hard barriers) – the plan is expected to time out around end of 2018 with implementation after. Also longer term plans are in place to make all of RM 620 a divided highway with a boulevard to provide increased safety and reduce the hazard of head on collisions – this will require a real investment and cooperation from the City of Austin and Travis County, and others.
Steiner Ranch Fire Evacuation Planning
UPDATE July 2018:
Steiner Ranch Area Evacuation Open House w/ Travis County
@ Canyon Ridge Middle School, 12601 Country Trails Ln.
August 9, 6pm-8pm
The open house is your chance to learn about options being proposed and provide input – so please plan to attend and spread the word to interested friends and neighbors. Project web page: https://www.traviscountytx.gov/steiner
A working group met on July 17th, 2018 to provide some immediate feedback and alternatives for evacuation to Travis County regarding Steiner Ranch area evacuation. This is part of a process to develop an alternative evacuation option for Steiner Ranch area after the fires of over 6 years ago.A solution area was identified back in 2014 to provide evacuation off of Flat Top Ranch Rd. and also provide access for residents on the Low Water Crossing Rd. side of the neighborhood (Montview Acres, Hidden Valley, etc.). This solution was funded in 2017 and has been under-going a contractor led process to re-fine the project details – determine an ultimate alignment for the route and also support best practice documentation and education for the public (which SRNA has felt is sorely needed).
Get Notified in An Emergency
Travis County is also asking everyone to sign up for emergency alerts. These would be the best way to keep you notified in the event of an emergency such as a wildfire in our area @ “WarnCentralTexas.org“: Click on “Get Alerts” and sign up on your cell phone or computer.
The evacuation route between Steiner Ranch off of Flat Top Ranch Rd and the Montview Acres community has been funded! The county has hired a consultant to complete the design and study all facets before construction. The basic idea includes an emergency-only connector (no normal traffic), and improvements to the low water crossing. These improvements will provide emergency access as well as egress options in the event that Quinlan Park-Rd & Steiner Ranch Blvd. intersection or Low Water Crossing Road become impassable.
Additional update: Travis County has retained a consultant to study the evacuation route to confirm the best option prior to construction. This is expected to wrap up on the coming months.
See overview of evacuation routes and shelter in place locations here: http://steinerranchna.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/FINAL-Steiner-Ranch-WFP-Traffic-Control-Scenarios.pdf
After the wildfires of 2011, Steiner Ranch area residents have been acutely aware of the risks of living in a wildland-urban interface. The threat of a future fire still looms, although unlikely, and requires careful preparation. Evacuation was of particular concern based on the experience in September 2011.
SRNA has met with members of EDS #6, including fire prevention Chief John Durham, along with representatives form various agencies who are working an an overarching fire prevention and preparedness plan. One of the key considerations we have identified is the need for improved communication in the event of a future fire. ESD #6 has responded to this request and is planning to share future fire information as best as possible. This will be done via social media and via a new smartphone application being developed.
You can like LTFR here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-Travis-Fire-Rescue/259912459119
Another consideration that has been discussed is the idea of a staged evacuation. This means that in the event of a fire, the area may be evacuated based on neighborhood or section. There is no way to predict exactly what the circumstances of a fire will be, so these decisions will be made at the time of an event. The key will be to stay tuned to social media for updates on evacuation staging – and of course, if you are threatened directly by fire – please evacuate your family immediately.
An ongoing concern has been in the routes available for evacuation. Due to natural constraints, these options are limited for Steiner Ranch. There is still an ongoing task-force at the county level looking at assessing wildfire risks across the county. The county has examined all options available for improving evacuation routes. One specific option that have been discussed as an additional emergency outlet ONLY during emergency is via Flat Top Ranch Road then via Montview Acres to Low Water Crossing Road. This option provides an important alternate access for emergencies that block either the Steiner Ranch Blvd. / Quinlan Park Rd intersection or Low Water Crossing Road. This option would also provide additional options for emergency commanders to manage traffic flow in the event of an emergency.
In the unlikely event that fire blocks a major evacuation route, such as Quinlan Park Rd south of University Club Drive., the fire plan includes safe “harbor in place” evacuation points within the community. This includes residents living at Longhorn Village retirement community.
Other conceptual options that have been explored.
*A route through to River Place – this would traverse fire prone wildland and so is not thought of as a viable option
*The addition of a float out bridge to connect the Steiner peninsula with Murfin Rd. across Lake Austin
*Walkable bridge across Lake Austin to Commons Ford Park / Dell property
*Toll bridge or full time bridge across Lake Austin – estimated at $30 million
Make Your Neighborhood Firewise
Within the Steiner Ranch development, Nathasha Collmann has worked with volunteers along side the Steiner Ranch HOA to promote fire prevention in the HOA common-lands and neighborhood by neighborhood within the community.
You are encouraged to learn more about being a firewise community by taking the time to study the “Ready-Set-Go” information as well as to prepare your home surroundings to be more fire resilient. You can start by making sure you have an ignition free zone around your home:
* Ready, Set, Go link
* Firewise Communities Link
If your street or neighborhood backs up to a greenbelt, then you should consider planning a “fuel reduction day” where you and your neighbors band together to mitigate fuel risks in the greenbelt. Assistance is required from the HOA, for those in Steiner, in planning this activity to ensure you are in compliance with all requirements. Assistance may also be available from ESD #6 which has added fuel reduction crews to its rosters to help in these type of activities. Please contact Nathasha Collmann, or the HOA office for assistance in planning a fuel-reduction day.
If you back up to a preserve note that Travis County is planning its own fuel mitigation efforts for those tracts.
If you don’t live in Steiner Ranch HOA you are still encouraged to participate in all the preparedness steps. You can contact Nathasha, or SRNA to receive assistance and get pointed in the right direction.
Emergency Service Support Levels
Emergency response times of or utmost importance in the event of an accident, heart attack, or fire. Read about risks to emergency response times more on our ‘Emergency Services Issues’ page.