The City of Alpine held its regular city council meeting on Oct. 15 and vehicle traffic and speed limits were the main topics discussed.

The council discussed a proposed ordinance establishing a 15 mph speed limit in the school zone adjacent to the Alpine High School along State Highways 118 and 223, down from 35 mph. No residents were present to give input, but Interim Police Chief Darrell Losoya addressed the council. Council, Ward 5, Rick Stephens asked Losoya if there had been any accidents at that location, and Losoya said he found two accidents this year, but not related to the school zone. However, Losoya said the crash report information was obtained through the Texas Department of Transportation, and he was unable to obtain all the crash report data. He still felt that a school zone on Hwy. 223, or Loop Road, and Fightin’ Buck Avenue was needed for the safety of the students and staff.

“I don’t see a lot of accidents happen there, but everybody is driving aggressively and defensively, and there is a strong possibility of there being a major accident there,” said Losoya. He said it was considered “dangerous” for a driver exiting the high school parking lot.

The council then voted all in favor of the proposed ordinance.

In other business, City Manager Erik Zimmer discussed with the council and City Attorney Rod Ponton the transportation studies underway at the state and local levels that could potentially impact the city. Zimmer’s main issue was the movement of large-scale traffic, specifically semi-trucks, passing through Alpine, and how it would impact the city long-term.

Mayor Andy Ramos added, “Our tourists come down here to see a quaint West Texas town, and once you see all these trucks here, you will stop seeing that part of the city.”

Stephens said the Texas Pacifico Rail System would also be significantly increasing the number of cars as they cross the border into Alpine, and cited the importance of a train quiet zone.

“We, as a community, need to put together a transportation vision plan to ensure that the safety, the culture, and quietness of Alpine remain, while at the same time supporting business and transportation,” said Stephens.

However, Council Ramon Olivas said people needed to be educated to accept change and the economic opportunities gained from international trade with Mexico.

Finally, Zimmer said he and Ponton would meet next week with the Alpine Country Board of Directors to address long term plans on the country club’s lease. 

The next regularly scheduled city council meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the council chambers.

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