San Marcos cracking down on parking near river

City looks to add tow-away zones along portions of Cheatham Street. (KXAN Photo)
City looks to add tow-away zones along portions of Cheatham Street. (KXAN Photo)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – When the city of San Marcos announced the implementation of new park rules, they were met with some negative feedback about the changes. At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, members approved an ordinance that will designate tow-away zones along Cheatham Street.

City leaders say they have experienced continuous on-street parking issues throughout the summer on Cheatham Street between Riverside Drive and CM Allen Parkway.

“With spring here and summer around the corner, Rio Vista Falls becomes a very popular tourist attraction and Cheatham Street becomes a very busy roadway. As a result of that activity, we see a lot of people parking in the travel lanes and we also see people running across the street mid-block,” said San Marcos Assistant Director of Public Services Sabas Avila. “To avoid potential vehicle and pedestrian conflicts we may have, we are looking at this ordinance.”

As it is now, there are 13 designated parking spots along Cheatham Street and an area to load and unload. Avila says those parking spots will not be impacted by the ordinance.

The tow-away zones will be placed on the north side of Cheatham Street from Riverside Drive to Reynolds Street and on the South Side of Cheatham Street from Riverside Drive to CM Allen Parkway.

However, with fewer places to park near the river, some residents say it is going to push added traffic into the neighborhoods.

“People put out cones, some put up signs but people don’t really read those, some even write in chalk ‘do not park here,’” said Nikkye Vargas who lives just two blocks away from the San Marcos River. “When you live this close to the river, it’s just something that you deal with.”

Vargas says she understands the city’s safety concerns and agrees that something has to be changed, she just hopes that the ordinance won’t create any added problems on her street.

“The point I think of taking away parking is that it re-navigates the flow of people so that they won’t be having to look around this area to park. If they do though, it’s not really too big of an issue as long as they don’t park in front of my mailbox,” said Vargas.

“We are doing this for safety, we are trying to get rid of illegal parking in the travel lanes,” said Avila. The city wants to have the tow-away zones in place by Memorial Day weekend.

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