• November 21, 2014

Cove council says no to motorcycle road signs

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Posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 10:45 am, Wed Jun 5, 2013.

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.”

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2 comments:

  • Fran posted at 12:06 pm on Fri, Jan 31, 2014.

    Fran Posts: 54

    I agree with Katzenkind. Its a big stretch for the Copperas Cove council to resign this important issue with the excuse that they do not have the money. There is so much highway construction ongoing in Cove, that the expansion of highway to 5 lanes will provide more reason for people to drive faster. Anyone who has lived around here for a while, has seen traffic become more congested and the drivers drive faster and cutoff others during lane changes. Now, it may be just "old school" here. Some people are still living in the past or grew up during the black and white movies that depicted these "heathens" who ride motorcycles as hell raisers. Well, as a motorcyclist myself, I would ask Frank Seffrod to take a poll from members of the Church that he attends to see how many parishioners own and ride motorcycles. I think that he and Jim Schmitz may be shocked.... those signs are needed to lift up awareness and protect hopefully innocent riders. It is a shame that on each end of the main road in Copperas Cove, that an off duty police officer riding his motorcycle was killed by a hit and run by the Walmart on 190 and a female member of the Patriot Guard riding her motorcycle died at the other end of 190 by Dairy Queen.
    I do not like to call out members of Cove Council by name when this issue could have been addressed and corrected easily a long time ago, but traffic speeding and reckless driving in Cove is not unique here being a military town, but if the police are reluctant to enforce traffic laws someone has to step up to the plate.
    Thank you.

     
  • Katzenkind posted at 6:54 pm on Wed, May 8, 2013.

    Katzenkind Posts: 1

    I am very shocked to see this outcome. As a wife of a motorcyclist who gets run off the road almost daily by distracted drivers , I was hoping to see some change. Car drivers don't see motorcycles.I know I didn't until my husband started riding.it comes down to AWARENESS. As I understand, this is what this organization is trying to achieve with signs. The City Council disappoints me.They should be excited about the idea to keep citizens alive.

     

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