By BRIAN SMITH
A request to remove no parking signs along 120 feet of Texas Drive near Austin Elementary was tabled by Transportation Advisory Board members at Thursday’s meeting.
Director of Public Works Manny Palacios said Weatherford police officers had made the request because of backed up traffic along the street during afternoon pickups at the school. Palacios said people leaving their cars to go get children on the south side of the school along Red Oak Lane causes a backup to both Washington Drive and Texas Drives.
Patrol officers said in a report the back up forces drivers from both directions to block traffic which prevents southbound Texas Drive traffic from continuing southbound.
People heading south on Texas Drive are having a hard time getting through because of not knowing if someone is going to pull out at some point, Palacios said. The city is planning on tearing out a median this summer which should allow for one right hand turn lane, one lane for traffic heading straight and a left hand turn lane.
Board members questioned removing the no parking signs, saying they were not sure it would be a good plan. Board chairman Norman Hythecker suggested making the change to the road and seeing what happens before making a decision on sign removal.
“If we remove the signs, we could be causing more problems than we solve,” Hythecker said.
In other news:
• Discussion of the intersection of Texas Drive and East Park Avenue was held. In a letter to the city, Traffic Engineer Nicole Jackson said the city is in violation of a Federal Highway Administration manual on uniform traffic control devices. The manual states “stop and yield signs shall not be installed on different approaches to the same unsignalized intersection if those approaches conflict with or oppose each other.”
The intersection is stop controlled for both eastbound traffic on Park and northbound traffic on Texas but a yield sign is posted for traffic wanting to head south on Texas. Palacios said the intersection was modified in 2009 because of the high number of accidents there. Since the present modification went into effect, Palacios said there have been two accidents.
The board decided to leave things as they are.
• Palacios also gave an update on street projects. Of the 20 street projects planned during the fiscal year, four have been completed, including a stretch of Ball Street. Palacios said the cold winter has prevented work from getting done but with warmer temperatures in the forecast, work will continue.
One of the major projects going on now includes rehab and curb and gutter work on Live Oak Street.