Residents along Lancelot Circle and a portion of Langford Street will see some changes after the College Station City Council voted to remove parking from one side of each street.
On Lancelot Circle, parking will be eliminated from the east side of the road extending around the cul-de-sac and also on the northwest side extending 40 feet from the corner of Lancelot and Langford.
On Langford, parking will be eliminated on the east side of the street beginning at King Arthur Circle and extending around the cul-de-sac.
The reason for the changes, Troy Rother, city traffic engineer, said, was due to safety concerns that emergency vehicles and other large service vehicles could not travel down the 27-foot-wide streets safely with cars parked on both sides.
“Typically, when there is an abundance of on-street parking on 27-foot-wide streets, the fire department will recommend that we remove parking from one side,” he said. The College Station Fire Department and city staff were both involved with the study to determine if changes were needed.
Cul-de-sacs also were included, Rother said, because they were designed to allow ladder trucks to make a 360-degree turn, and cars along the street constricts that radius.
City Council member Jerome Rektorik noted that even if the fire trucks can make it down the street with cars on both sides of the road, if they cannot open their doors, it still causes a safety hazard.
College Station Mayor Karl Mooney reminded the council and audience Thursday of an incident in Dove Crossing about four years ago when a fire broke out in a garage and fire trucks were unable to get to the house.
“[Firefighters] had to literally, physically run with hoses down the street because the trucks couldn’t get anywhere near the house, and the house burned to the ground,” Mooney said. “Fortunately, there were no injuries; nobody got hurt.”
Though King Arthur Circle was originally included, Rother said, opposition from residents during public meetings led the city to omit it from the proposal.
Rather, the only changes to King Arthur Circle will be to restrict parking at all times along a 40-foot space on the northwest side of the road extending from the corner of King Arthur and Langford.
The reason the city agreed to exclude King Arthur from its proposal, he said, is because staff did not see the same parking issues as they saw on Lancelot and Langford during their studies.
However, he continued, “if and when there’s an issue on King Arthur, we’ll have to come back to the City Council for removal of that whenever it’s an issue with being able to get emergency vehicles down the streets.”
The omission of King Arthur led some residents and landlords to believe the changes were not due to safety concerns, but targeted toward rental property owners.
“Somebody has to own these houses, and someone has to live in them,” Donald Deere said while addressing the council.
Before Thursday’s decision, the city had two public meetings during which a total of 19 people attended. The city also received two phone calls and eight emails about the proposed changes.
Postcard notifications were sent to each affected resident and property owner in advance, College Station Communications Manager Colin Killian said, and residents affected by the changes will be notified via letter.
According to the ordinance, the changes will become effective 10 days after the passage, which occurred on July 11.
Rother noted the city has marked the locations where no parking poles and signs will be installed so utility companies can inspect the areas to ensure the sign installation does not hit any utility lines.
During Thursday’s meeting, the council also approved reducing the speed limit on Graham Road between Texas 6 and Wellborn Road to 40 mph, decreasing it from the 45 mph currently posted.
The council approved both items unanimously.