For the second time in several weeks, Kyle city leaders sought to rectify gridlock caused by high school students parking on streets in nearby neighborhoods.
The Kyle City Council ultimately voted 7-0 to place No Parking signs on Brutus Drive to partially address congestion woes near Lehman High. But city officials are now looking to partner with Hays CISD to find a solution to an ongoing issue.
Kyle City Council member Daphne Tenorio aimed to address parking problems near Lehman High by installing No Parking signs on Brutus Drive in the Steeplechase subdivision and Lake Washington Drive in Southlake Ranch. Both subdivisions are directly across from Lehman High.
Students parking on streets in the subdivision, who then walk to the campus, are a primary cause of the congestion.
According to the Hays CISD officials, there is a sufficient amount of student parking at Lehman High, but some students are not purchasing a required $50 permit.
The idea of installing No Parking signs, however, did not come without dissent. While city leaders agreed on signs on Brutus Druve, they could not reach a consensus on how to resolve parking problems on Lake Washington Drive.
“Students are parking there because they probably don’t have insurance or a vehicle that would pass an inspection,” said Mayor Pro Tem Shane Arabie. “I’m not saying the school board isn’t trying, but they have not found a solution and now a school issue is being brought to the city.”
Arabie said if council is trying to create hate and discontent with no parking signs, they should be on both sides of the street.
Mayor Travis Mitchell wasn’t convinced that the parking signs would solve the issue, citing that the students would find another street to park on, diverting traffic somewhere else. However, Mitchell agreed with Arabie that no parking on Lake Washington should be on both sides of the street.
“This keeps being brought up and this solution is ineffective,” Mitchell said. “The students who have to work after school or don’t have insurance will push them elsewhere.”
Tenorio said she met with City Manager Scott Sellers, Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett and Hays CISD Superintendent Eric Wright on the issue, brainstorming ideas on how the district can solve the problem.
“This is a good opportunity to collaborate with the district,” said councilmember Alex Villalobos. “We continue to be flexible and I understand we have a real issue here, but where is the resolve from the school district? We need to meet in the middle somewhere.”
After much deliberation, the council decided to table the decision on signs on Lake Washington Drive. Tenorio said she will speak to residents to see if they are comfortable with no parking signs on both sides of the street, which would affect the residents as well.
The June 5 decision marks the second chapter in Kyle’s attempt to alleviate parking issues near Hays CISD campuses.
In late May, the Kyle City Council approved No Parking signs on several streets in the Plum Creek subdivision. According to emergency officials, Hays High students were parking in residential streets after the district stopped providing bus transportation for students who live within two miles of the school.
“This solution isn’t going to stop the problem, but it’s a start,” Tenorio said. “We have to show that we’re doing something. These residents are seeing the change that happened for Hays High on Plum Creek and want the same action.”