Many of you have noticed the No Parking signage that has gone up along FM 311 approaching the Guadalupe River. I want to provide some background and facts surrounding this action.
To begin with, FM 311 is a Texas State Highway which falls under the governance of TxDOT. The area between the road edge and the adjacent property lines is the Right of Way (ROW). State law does not permit, nor has it ever permitted, parking along a State Highway ROW. The signage was placed to clearly communicate that parking is not allowed, and while the signage stops roughly a half mile from the River, it should be noted that parking is not permitted along FM 311 in its entirety.
The decision to enforce No Parking came from a growing concern over the increased risk of injury or death due to the large numbers of people parking along the roadway, walking in the roadway and crossing the roadway. These crowds have grown over the past few years as more people have learned about the River access. The action was the result of a joint effort which included TxDOT, the Comal County Sheriff’s Dept., the Comal County Precint 4 Constable, the Comal County Precinct 4 Commissioner, Texas Parks and Wildlife, W.O.R.D., property owners and the City of Spring Branch.
It’s worth mentioning that in addition to the Public Safety hazard, these crowds trespassed on to private property, caused damage to private property and left behind their trash, beverage containers and even human waste. Law enforcement has responded to countless calls for trespassing as well as drunk and disorderly conduct.
The River is a natural resource, meant to be enjoyed by everyone, but not abused by anyone. The FM 311 bridge continues to be a Texas Parks and Wildlife “Texas Canoe Trail” access point and is still open to the Public. Visitors will need to make arrangements to be dropped off and picked up.
James Mayer, Mayor