By Lacey Lively, Marketing Manager
As a former Texas A&M student and now a permanent resident, I love the hustle and bustle that fall brings. Autumn also means football and pumpkin spice latte season. Whoop!
Watching the students move in and gear up for classes brings back fond memories, and it’s also a perfect opportunity to offer some friendly advice for our new residents.
A common misconception about College Station is that it’s just a college town filled with students. While Texas A&M is the heart and soul of College Station, our community is filled with more than 122,000 residents of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds.
College Station has been nationally recognized as one of the best college towns, the best places to raise a family, start a career, and to retire. As a student living in a neighborhood, you might have a retired couple on one side, a young professional on the other, or a family with little ones. That’s why it’s so important to be a good neighbor so you can avoid citations and enjoy your college years to the fullest.
1. Say howdy
Don’t be shy! Meet your neighbors and exchange contact information so they can call you in case of emergencies or other issues. It’s also a good idea to let them know about any big gatherings you’re planning and ask them to contact you if there are any noise or parking problems. Wouldn’t you rather hear from your neighbor than a police officer?
2. Turn it down a notch
It’s unlawful for anyone to willfully make or allow continued loud noise – including barking dogs – especially from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. As a general rule, if you can hear the noise at the end of your property line, it’s too loud. If you are bothered by noise and can’t resolve the issue on your own, report it to the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600.
3. Tend to your pets
When not on their owner’s property, dogs must be on a leash, and owners must clean up after them. College Station also has four, off-leash dog parks. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are required to be licensed, tagged, and vaccinated in Brazos County. Even if your pet is licensed elsewhere, you’ll still need to tag them here. You can purchase registration tags through your veterinarian or the Aggieland Humane Society. Learn more at cstx.gov/animalcontrol or call 979-775-5755.
4. Talk trash (and recycling)
The process of moving in and out can result in a mountain of unwanted items and trash. Consider donating lightly used furniture, clothing, and other household items to local organizations instead of placing them at the curb for solid waste collection.
Some things to remember:
- Trash containers must be placed at the curb in front of your residence before 8 a.m. on your designated collection day.
- Don’t place your container closer than four feet from fixed objects, mailboxes, cars, or trees.
- Garbage should be bagged, tied, and securely stored in your container with the lid closed at all times.
- Don’t pile bags or trash on top of or around your container, or the sanitation truck’s automated arm won’t be able to empty it.
- Items too large to fit in your container should be placed neatly on the curb for bulk collection.
- Brush should be cut into 8-foot lengths or shorter and put in a separate pile.
- You must remove your garbage and recycling containers from the curb within 12 hours of collection.
If you have a blue, single-stream recycling container, it’s collected by Brazos Valley Recycling. We encourage you to review the list of acceptable items printed on top of each container. Place only clean items in your recycling container, and anything not on the list should be put in the garbage. Shredded paper is the only recyclable that should be placed in a clear plastic bag. Bagging other items isn’t necessary and could cause significant and costly damage to the sorting equipment.
5. Know where to park
If you park where you’re not supposed to, you can be stuck with a costly citation. Avoid that headache by remembering our 10 most common parking violations:
- Parking within 30 feet of a traffic control device such as a stop sign, yield sign or flashing light.
- Parking facing traffic – your car must always be parked in the direction of traffic flow.
- Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
- Parking within 20 feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
- Parking in a handicap space without a handicap placard.
- Parking on a yard – if more than half of the vehicle is parked in the grass, it’s a violation.
- Parking at expired meters.
- Overstaying allotted periods in time-limited parking.
- Parking in loading zones.
- Blocking driveways so residents can’t get in or out.
6. Know the code
Many people don’t think about city codes until it’s too late. These are our most common code violations, which can also result in hefty fines:
- Open Storage: Don’t store anything in your yard or patio that’s not intended for outdoor use, like a couch.
- Yard Maintenance: Weeds and grass shouldn’t be higher than 12 inches.
- Flyers/Signs: Nothing should be placed on utility poles, street signs, or in the public right-of-way.
- Selling Parking Spaces: It’s illegal to operate a business in a residential neighborhood in College Station. Selling parking spaces on your property is a business.
You can review a complete list of code violations at cstx.gov/codeenforcement.
7. Get out and vote
Since you are affected by these codes and ordinances, it might be a good idea to participate in your local government by voting. To register to vote in Brazos County, go to brazosvotes.org.
The next city election is Nov. 5.
8. Take advantage of job opportunities
The City of College Station has part-time and seasonal jobs available throughout the year. Go to cstx.gov to see the latest listings and to apply.
Good luck this year!
Note to Permanent Residents: You can help College Station keep its reputation as one of the nation’s friendliest cities by helping your new neighbors out through understanding, education, and kindness. My office, Public Communications, has welcome bags available for free that includes information from this blog and more. For more information, email me at email@example.com.
Lacey Lively serves as the chief information officer for the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Board. She has been with the City of College Station’s Public Communications Office since 2011. Lacey previously worked as an internet marketing consultant for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and as a web designer. A native of Beaumont, Lacey earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism and communications from Texas A&M in 2009.
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By Aubrey Nettles, Special Projects Coordinator
If you spend much time in College Station these days – especially near the Texas A&M campus – you’ve probably seen a bunch of yellow bikes.
Last spring, Texas A&M partnered with Ofo Bike Share Systems to offer the yellow bikes as an alternative mode of travel on and around campus. Naturally, it didn’t take long for users to venture beyond campus to city streets and neighborhoods.
As the popularity of the dockless bike share program grew, it became clear users needed appropriate guidance on responsible off-campus bike use. Riders are supposed the park the bikes in racks within a geo-fenced area, which includes the campus and a small radius beyond campus.
Unfortunately, the bikes have turned up in a multitude of unintended locations such as grassy areas, sidewalks, roadways – even treetops. Many of the complaints focus on the aesthetic impact of yellow bikes left around town, but they’ve also caused safety concerns.
College Station’s ordinance requires that the program operators must remove bikes reported to be parked incorrectly or left outside the geo-fenced area within two hours from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. or within 12 hours at other times. If they don’t, the company is charged a $125 relocation fee or issued a citation. City code enforcement officers will help enforce the ordinance.
Users can also lose their bike privileges for misuse.
Where to park your yellow bike
Users must park dockless bikes in an upright position in the geo-fence zone that encompasses the area in and around campus.
Dockless Bike Geo-Fence
The bikes should never be parked where they can create a hazard or otherwise impede vehicles or pedestrians.
How to report misplaced bikes
- Report the issue using the subject line “Dockless Bike Share” on the city’s SeeClickFix code enforcement app. Make sure the location is as accurate as possible.
- Call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363. They will send a message to Ofo and the area’s code enforcement officer.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find additional reporting information affixed to the bikes.
As always, bicyclists are encouraged to wear a helmet, obey traffic laws, and yield to pedestrians.
Enjoy your ride!
Aubrey Nettles is in her fourth year as special projects coordinator in the City Manager’s Office. She previously served as executive assistant to the Fort Bend County Commission and was a management analyst for Harris County. A native of Smithville, Aubrey earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Houston in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M in 2010.
Photo Credit: OFO Uh-ohs of College Station Facebook Page
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The impressive list of national accolades for College Station continues to grow.
Texas A&M today announced that Simple Dollar, an online publication that offers financial guidance, has named College Station as the sixth most affordable college town in the nation.
“It’s such a privilege to be home to a world-class university,” College Station Mayor Nancy Berry said. “Our low tax rate makes College Station highly attractive, but it’s really more than that. People are moving here for our public schools, healthcare, green spaces, new industry and, increasingly, to retire in the same place where they spent the best years of their lives — at Texas A&M.”
This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.
NEW MASONIC LODGE HALL DEDICATED (Nov. 21, 1952)
The photos on the right were taken a few months ago, when I noticed the Masonic cornerstone of the building on North Texas Avenue at 18th Street. The cornerstone is carved “Laid October 20, 1952,” but apparently things didn’t go on schedule and the ceremony was delayed one month.
The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.
PAUL BRYANT IS BORN IN ARKANSAS (Sept. 11, 1913)
I’m not sure if this is something to celebrate in College Station — especially this week — but former Texas A&M and Alabama head football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant would be 100 years old on Wednesday. Fittingly, the Aggies play top-ranked Alabama on Saturday at Kyle Field. The Crimson Tide’s only other visit to College Station was on Dec. 1, 1988, but it was a non-conference game that had been postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Gilbert.