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SAFETY CONCERNS ON MARKET STREET

By Michael W. Palmer

On August 21, The P&Z Commission approved the request for installation of eight; “No Parking,” and one No U-Turn sign and “No Standing Signs” which will be permanent placement signs on Market Street, Carnegie Street, and Gentry Street.

The meaning of “Stand” or “standing” means to halt an occupied or unoccupied vehicle, other than temporarily while receiving or discharging passengers.

“Carnegie Street can hold six lanes of traffic comfortably,” said Matthew Johnson – Traffic Engineer for the City of Baytown. He also said, “The identified safety concern was that drivers were queuing up in the eastbound lanes of Market Street starting from the high school parking lot driveway. This situation is an unsafe condition due to the queue terminating near the end of a blind curve on a bridge. I am pleased that the plan is moving forward.”

Police Chief Dougherty said, “I am in favor of anything that the city may implement that will improve our quality of life and make our streets safer for our motoring and pedestrian public.”

GCCISD has previously cited concerns in 2013 regarding vehicle safety since drivers were parking in one of the northbound lanes of traffic to drop off and pick-up students. An official of GCCISD released a statement; “According to Dr. Farnsworth, this has been a safety issue for parents who have been blocking traffic on city streets. If approved, parents will still be able to use Carnegie Street by the fieldhouse to pick up and drop off students, but they won’t be able to park there. They will still be able to drive up to the front of the school to pick up and drop off.”

The need for the additional restrictions on parking and standing within the zone stems from an unsafe situation that coincides with functions at Lee High School. Drivers routinely stand and park their vehicles along the roadway, blocking traffic and creating a visual obstruction to through traffic, between the Lee High School parking lot driveway and City of Baytown Public Works. The zone includes both sides of Market Street in order to keep pedestrians from indiscriminately crossing Market Street to board a parked or standing vehicle.

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