COPPERAS COVE — The City Council agreed Tuesday night that the city will not be seeing a motorcycle version of “share the road” signs on its streets.
While there was no action taken on posting “watch for motorcyclists” sign, four of seven council members told city staff to stop pursuing the signs’ placement on the roadway.
Mayor Pro Tem Frank Seffrood was the final decider, with Councilmen Jim Schmitz and Mark Peterson and Councilwoman Cheryl Meredith also not in favor of pursuing the signage.
“I don’t think we should move forward,” Seffrood said, agreeing with several council members that budget constraints hinder the city from performing an engineering study for the signs.
Prior to his final decision on the issue, Seffrood said the city and the Do You See Me Now Motorcycle Safety and Awareness group should meet and determine what “needs to be done” before moving forward with placing the signs.
The motorcycle awareness group, which was founded in Copperas Cove, has addressed the council for eight months trying to pay for the installation of the signs.
It has coordinated several issues about the possible signs through emails with the City Manager Andrea Gardner and through addressing the council with proposed spots, but a sit-down has not occurred.
Gardner and City Attorney Habib Erkan Jr. said current hurdles include a contract for maintenance of the signs and the possible engineering.
Gardner said previous traffic studies on a citywide scale were about $75,000.
Robert Henry, a spokesman for the motorcycle group, said maintenance and construction costs were not a problem with the group.
“We are willing to write a check for all 16 signs right now,” Henry said, noting they had already selected proposed locations. “All we are trying to do is save lives.”
Without the study, the city couldn’t be certain how effective those signs would be, Erkan said. Large traffic studies are not typically required for all city signs, but there is generally some guidance from the state through the Municipal Transportation Device Manual. Since the signs are a new concept, there is no guidance.
“We are trying to be pioneers here,” Henry said. “We don’t know if they will save lives, but we are willing to try.”
After seeing the issue shut down by the city, Henry, who was present with about 30 other motorcyclists, said he would continue fighting to raise awareness by trying to get signs posted on roadways.
“I feel like they wasted eight months of our time just to tell us no,” Henry said. “When we started this process, they all seemed on board.”