Navasota Could Be Speeding to a New Ordinance

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When visitors enter the Heritage Meadow Subdivision in Navasota, the posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour greets them.

However, residents who live on Mockingbird Street like Christi Pimentel say drivers are constantly driving over the limit.

"Almost on a daily basis and it's constantly throughout the afternoon when I get home from work and we're outside," Pimentel said. "It's kind of hard to have little ones out here playing."

Fearful for the kids on the street, residents complained to city leaders. Navasota Police Chief Shawn Myatt said the department investigated those complaints.

"We go to the area and basically kind of do a survey and determine what safety concerns we're looking at," Myatt said.

What Chief Myatt noticed was parked cars on the street that hide children riding bikes and skateboarding in front of their houses or at the subdivision's playground.

The primary concern of residents and city officials is the ability of a speeding driver to stop in time to avoid hitting a child.

Possible options for Mockingbird Street is installing speed bumps, increasing police presence, or lowering the speed limit.

Speed bumps were initially looked at first, but the devices raised issues for city officials.

"Placement of the speed bumps, you have maintenance costs, damage to personal vehicles and it would be a reduction in response time for emergency vehicles," Myatt said.

For now, council members and the police chief have decided to increase police presence on Mockingbird Street, pending a decision on a proposed ordinance for the subdivision. On July 9, the city council will be presented with a proposal that could reduce the subdivision's speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour.

As a result, Navasota City Manager Brad Stafford said that one individual ordinance could lead to a citywide ordinance. That would give city officials solutions to consider for future speeding complaints based on set criteria.

"Widths of streets, current speed limit on that street, number of residents or parks in the neighborhood," Stafford said.

He and Chief Myatt say with a city ordinance, the city can speed up their response time to residents' concerns about safety on the streets where they live.

"We can determine at a little quicker what we need to do in an area," Stafford said.