Posts tagged “traffic signals

Video: Why are there cameras on traffic signal arms?

In this episode of “Actually…,” City Traffic Engineer Troy Rother says people often often mistake the purpose of the cameras mounted on top of traffic signal mast arms. The cameras simply detect vehicles at the intersection and give them a green light so they don’t have to wait as long.

– Public Communications Office


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 13)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 13. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To hear the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 945 5259 1668.

6:03 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action from its executive session.

6:10 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council discussed these items from the consent agenda, which will be considered in tonight’s regular meeting:

  • George Bush Drive Landscaping: The agreement with TxDOT is for the maintenance of landscaping along George Bush Drive. TXDOT will be installing raised medians from Rosemary Lane to Timber Street. Planter boxes will be installed within the medians along with trees, shrubs, turf plantings, irrigation systems, and other aesthetic elements. The city would maintain landscape elements in the right-of-way.
  • FM2818 Landscaping: The agreement with TxDOT is for the maintenance of landscaping along FM 2818. As part of the FM 2818 widening project, TXDOT will install landscaping improvements from University Drive to Wellborn Road. The improvements will include trees, shrubs, turf plantings, irrigation systems, and other aesthetic elements. The city would maintain landscape elements in the right-of-way.
  • Aggie Football Postgame Traffic Control: The $104,965 contract with Buyers Barricades is for 2020 Texas A&M football postgame traffic control. After each A&M home game, Public Works manages several operations to improve mobility along the roadways. A contractor deploys traffic control devices that close some access points to increase capacities to move football fans safely and efficiently away from Kyle Field. The university reimburses the city for 50% of costs.

6:43 p.m.

Rental Registration

The council heard a presentation about the rental registration program’s history since its adoption in 2009.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:45 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports, Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop. The regular meeting starts after a short break.

6:52 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:56 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

6:57 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda.

  • Amended the dates and times for early voting in the general and special runoff election on Nov. 3 to elect four city council members.
  • An agreement with TxDOT for the maintenance of landscape along George Bush Drive.
  • An agreement with TxDOT for the maintenance of landscape along FM 2818.
  • An interlocal agreement with the College Station ISD for standby ambulance service.
  • Awarded a $139,496 contract to CF McDonald Electric to install previously purchased VFD at Dowling Road Pump Station.
  • The 2020-24 Consolidated Plan.
  • The FY2021 Annual Action Plan and Community Development Budget.
  • A $34,727 advance funding agreement with TXDOT for the city’s contribution for signal improvements at the Wellborn Road-Holleman Drive intersection.
  • A $246,681 advance funding agreement  with TXDOT for the city’s contribution for utility relocations for the Wellborn-Road-Holleman Drive intersection project.
  • A $91,427 advance funding agreement with TXDOT for the city’s contribution for signal improvements at the intersections of Texas Avenue at Walton Drive and University Drive at Nimitz Street.
  • An award not to exceed $750,000 to Southern Electric Corporation of Mississippi for overhead electric distribution construction and maintenance.
  • A $600,000 contract with Electrical Consultants for engineering services.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan for the 2020 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program. College Station has been allocated $13,416.40 for law enforcement programs.
  • A $104,965 contract with Buyers Barricades for 2020 Texas A&M Football postgame traffic control.
  • An annual contract not to exceed $150,000 with Rios Tree Services for tree trimming and removal services.
  • A resolution selecting a depository bank and authorizing the mayor to enter into the contract on the city’s behalf.
  • An annual price agreement not to exceed $189,000 with Techline for air switches.
  • An amendment not to exceed $99,982 to an agreement with Invoke for additional implementation services for Microsoft solutions.

7:01 p.m.

FY21 Budget Public Hearing

The council conducted a public hearing on the city’s proposed FY21 budget, which is scheduled to be adopted on Aug. 27. The budget was presented to the council on July 23, followed by three budget workshops on July 27-29.

No one signed up to speak in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:09 p.m.

FY21 Tax Rate Discussion

The council voted unanimously to keep the FY 21 property tax rate the same as the current rate of $0.534618 per $100 of assessed value. Since the rate does not exceed the no-new-revenue or voter-approval tax rates, a public hearing was not required under state law.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:17 p.m.

Midtown Drive-SH 6 Water Tower

The council voted unanimously to approve a $6.6 million contract with CB&I Storage Tank Solutions for the construction of a 3-million gallon water tower near the intersection of Midtown Drive (formerly Lakeway Drive) and State Highway 6.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:25 p.m.

Fitch Parkway Rehabilitation

The council voted unanimously to approve an $812,000 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for construction services for the rehabilitation of William D. Fitch Parkway from State Highway 30 to Rock Prairie Road. That section of Fitch has started to fail because of increased heavy loads and truck traffic to the Twin Oaks Landfill.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:27 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Aug. 27.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets Thursday by teleconference for its workshop (no sooner than 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

The live audio will be streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 998 0711 3729.

If you want to address the council about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider Tenant-Based Rental Assistance guidelines to assist households unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 disaster declarations. The guidelines would reprogram $475,000 in existing federal grants.
  2. Former Police Station: Another consent item is a three-year, $1.02 million lease of the old police station at 2611 Texas Avenue to International Leadership of Texas.
  3. TxDOT Funding Agreements: The council will consider two advance funding agreements with the Texas Department of Transportation. The city would contribute about $35,000 for signal improvements at the intersection of George Bush and Dexter Drive and $323,345 for signal improvements that are part of the FM 2818 widening project.
  4. Dowling Road Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural, Office, and Light Commercial to General Commercial for about 15 acres at 95 North Dowling Road B, 101 North Dowling Road A & B, 103 North Dowling Road, and 107 North Dowling Road. The change would better fit the Comprehensive Plan’s designation for more intense uses.
  5. Short-Term Rental Ordinance: The council will consider regulating short-term housing rentals such as Airbnbs. The proposed ordinance would place the units into three categories and restricts the zoning district based on owner occupancy. The directive would also provide clarity on bed-and-breakfast facilities and establishes regular inspections.

Related Links:                                                           

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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What’s the deal with the signal timing on University?

By Troy Rother, City Traffic Engineer

Few things are more frustrating than being stuck in seemingly endless traffic.

If you’ve driven down University Drive in Northgate in the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably faced extraordinarily long wait times. A soon as you go through a green light, the next light turns red. At times, it takes 15 or 20 minutes to travel a single mile.

Let me assure you, we share your frustration and apologize deeply for the inconvenience.

Allow me to explain what’s behind all the chaos. It won’t ease your frustration, but at least you’ll know what’s going on.

Our contractor activated the reconstructed Northgate traffic signals on Aug. 22. Regrettably, the signal contractor didn’t have his subcontractors present for the activation as the city had directed. As a result, the detection systems didn’t function properly, which caused the traffic signal to give the maximum green time for all approaches — even if a vehicle wasn’t present on that approach.

Rest assured we’re working diligently with the subcontractors to correct the problem. We’ve developed coordinated timing plans for the corridor and are installing them this week. We’re also working on camera activation, emergency vehicle recognition, and getting the signals to talk to one another.

That said, it’s essential to keep in mind that the focus of the entire project is pedestrian safety in an area bustling with thousands of students. Recent pedestrian accidents in the area – including several tragic fatalities – led the city to work with the university and the Texas Department of Transportation to make necessary changes.

The good news is that we expect to have the final timings installed the week of Sept. 9. The complex project was supposed to be finished months ago, but weather and utility conflicts created numerous delays.

When fully implemented, the signal timings will have an exclusive pedestrian-only phase for walking and cycling traffic to cross University Drive or the minor roadway at the intersection. During this time, all vehicular traffic will be stopped, including right-turning vehicles.

The pedestrian-only phase will undoubtedly create delays for motorists, but benefits include a safer situation for pedestrians and no pedestrian conflicts for vehicles attempting to turn onto University Drive. For example, we observed traffic at the Nagle intersection this week and saw 12 vehicles turning left onto University instead of the usual four because the vehicles didn’t have to wait for pedestrians to cross during motorists’ green light.

Our overriding goal will always be to operate and maintain a safe and efficient transportation system. Unfortunately, the complexities involved sometimes create frustrations and inconveniences for us all. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

 


About the Blogger

Troy Rother has been College Station’s city traffic engineer since 2003. He previously served as an engineer with the Texas Department of Transportation and in the private sector with Wilbur Smith Associates. Troy earned bachelor’s (1997) and master’s (1998) degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Thomas Park Improvements: In the workshop, the council will discuss options for improvements to Thomas Park. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recommends a covered tennis court, a dog park and two covered picnic tables on the park’s north end.
  2. Traffic Signal at Barron-Alexandria: The consent agenda includes a $282,000 contract to install a traffic signal at the Barron Road-Alexandria Avenue intersection.
  3. Water Conservation and Drought Plans: Also on the consent agenda are updates to the city’s drought contingency and water conservation plans.
  4. Bird Pond Road Development: After a pair of public hearings, the commission will consider a request to change the land use and zoning for about 13 acres northeast of the Rock Prairie-Bird Pond intersection. The changes would allow the development of a residential subdivision.
  5. Lick Creek Sewer Line: The council will consider a $10.9 million contract with Thalle Construction for the Lick Creek Trunk Line Project. The sewer line will extend from the Lick Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant through the southern boundary of Pebble Creek Country Club and tie into an existing line north of Fitch Parkway.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (March 28)

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, March 28. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:11 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of the executive session. 

5:23 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for workshop discussion:

  • Funding Agreement With TxDOT: In 2018, the city entered into an advanced funding agreement with TxDOT for the construction of intersection improvements Wellborn Road and Deacon Drive. TxDOT has since updated the required resolution language and is requiring that the city adopt the revised resolution. The agreement covers work needed within state right-of-way as part of the Cain/Deacon railroad crossing switch project.
  • Wellborn Special Utility District Agreement: The widening and realignment of Royder require the relocation of Wellborn SUD waterlines. To reduce costs and make sure the relocations are completed on the road project schedule, the city will complete the relocations. Wellborn SUD will reimburse the city for the portion of waterline within the state’s right-of-way.
  • Police Body Cameras: The five-year obligation of $147,287 adds 17 Axon body cameras and 14 flex cameras to outfit detectives in the Criminal Investigations Division and members of the SWAT team.

5:43 p.m.

Historic Preservation Committee Annual Report

The council reviewed the annual report from the Historic Preservation Committee.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

5:51 p.m.

Secondhand Dealer Ordinance

The council reviewed a proposed ordinance that would strengthen the consistency of recordkeeping among secondhand dealers, which is defined as those who buy used personal property for resale or lend money on the security of personal property. It includes crafted precious metal dealers and pawnbrokers.

Police say the ordinance will increase the likelihood of intercepting stolen property.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:55 p.m.

NCO Recommendations

The council reviewed recommendations related to the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay zoning district and its associated standards and processes. Since last summer, the council has received additional information related to neighborhood conservation ordinances in Bryan, and the Heart of Southside NCO process has ended.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

 

6:57 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:05 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:11 p.m.

Mayor’s Water Conservation Challenge

Mayor Mooney proclaimed the Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation throughout April. The eighth annual National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation is designed to inspire residents to make online pledges to reduce their environmental impact and to reap the savings on their water, sanitation, and electricity bills.

7:15 p.m.

National Public Health Week

Mayor Mooney proclaimed next week as National Public Health Week, which has been promoted since 1995 by the American Public Health Association to educate the public, policymakers and public health professionals about issues important to improving public health.

7:24 p.m.

CSFD Class 1 ISO Designation

Representatives from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) and the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office officially presented the College Station Fire Department with its Class 1 ISO rating. Most U.S. property insurers use ISO’s Public Protection Classification program to calculate premiums, which are generally lower in communities with a high rating.

Fewer than one percent of the 47,500 fire protection areas in the United States have a Class 1 ISO rating.

Related Blog: CSFD joins elite company with Class 1 ISO rating

7:30 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized 2nd Lt. Johnny K. Craver as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 37-year-old McKinney native died on Oct. 13, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq.

7:31 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Established a 35 mph speed limit on new sections of Lakeway Drive and Pebble Creek Parkway.
  • Added a school zone along Graham Road, Longmire Drive, and Birmingham Road near International Leadership Texas.
  • Repealed an old resolution and adopted a new one regarding an advanced funding agreement with the state for intersection improvements at Wellborn Road and Deacon Drive that are part of the Cain/Deacon railroad crossing switch project.
  • An inter-local agreement with the Wellborn Special Utility District for its cost participation in the city’s Royder Road Phase II Widening Project.
  • A $340,000 contract with Bayer Construction for a traffic signal at the intersection of Texas Avenue and Brothers Boulevard.
  • A third change order increasing the master services and purchasing agreement with Axon Enterprise from $1.17 million to $1.3 million for the purchase, support, warranty, and video data storage of police body cameras and in-car video systems.
  • An amendment permitting the two appointed citizen members of the Audit Committee to vote on matters before the committee.
  • Terminated restrictions under a 1984 general warranty deed on a small tract of land formerly owned by the city in the Chimney Hill Retail Plaza on University Drive.

7:46 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Zoning Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to amend the zoning for Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill on Harvey Road to reduce the landscape buffer and allow additional parking between the restaurant and Harvey Hillsides Creek.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

8:01 p.m.

BioCorridor Zoning Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the zoning for the Research Valley BioCorridor Development Project, which covers about 147 acres between State Highway 47, Raymond Stotzer Parkway, Turkey Creek Parkway, and the city limit. The changes would provide process and design flexibility.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:15 p.m.

Blocks and Streets UDO Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a Unified Development Ordinance amendment to allow more preliminary plans to be approved at the staff level, saving applicants weeks of waiting for a Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:36 p.m.

FY19 Bond Authorization

The council voted unanimously to approve the issuance of up to $82 million in FY19 certificates of obligation to fund street, public facilities, electric, water, and wastewater projects, and pay debt issuance costs.

Certificates of obligation are based on the city’s full faith and credit and are paid primarily through the debt service portion of the property tax rate and another funding stream such as utility revenues. The city’s financial advisor recommended the city issue COs for utility projects instead of utility revenue bonds. The utility systems will cover their associated portion of debt service through utility revenues.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:50 p.m.

Francis Drive Emergency Contract

The council voted unanimously to approve a $334,000 emergency construction contract with Larry Young Paving to complete the rehabilitation of Francis Drive from Shady Drive to Glenhaven Drive. The previous contract was terminated, and the emergency contract is necessary to protect public health and safety.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:53 p.m.

General Parkway Extension Change Order

The council voted unanimously to approve a $63,467.50 change order to the contract with Palasota Contracting for the General Parkway Extension North Project, which includes the extension of General Parkway to Cain Road.

At the start of the excavation and embankment operation, the contractor found soft soil and the removal of two inches of soil per specification direction did not remedy the situation. The change order is for the removal of up to three inches of soil with additional stabilization and imported fill to remedy the poor conditions.

The extension of General Parkway will allow for improved transportation flow after the closing of the railroad crossing at Cain Road and Wellborn Road.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:58 p.m.

City Manager Bryan Woods introduced Barbara Moore and Brian Piscacek as assistants to the city manager. Moore moves over after about 12 years as neighborhood services coordinator, while Piscacek served almost seven years as a community development analyst.

9:01 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, April 11.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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