Under the new ordinance, these trucks will no longer be able to use roads like Katy Hockley Road and Avenue D, and will instead be directed to Katy Fort Bend Road as a north and south route option, while Hwy. 90 and I-10 continue to be an east and west route, according to Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris.
The city of Katy has had a designated truck route going through city limits since the 1960s, according to Harris. He said recently—especially over the past five years—heavy truck traffic has increased in residential areas, something this new ordinance aims to reduce.
“Hopefully the impact is that residents will see less heavy trucks in residential areas in the city limits,” Harris said. “The old route calls for trucks to go on Franz Road, which is by Hutsell Elementary and Katy Junior High [School]. We're deleting that route, so we also hope it will be safer for students that are walking to school. They're not going to have large commercial heavy trucks to contend with also on those roadways.”
Ordinance violations will mean penalties of up to $200. Deliveries within the city, including Amazon trucks, will still be able to use the previous routes, according to Harris.
Upon City Council’s July 12 approval and following a notification period, which includes notices to trucking companies and installation of new signage, the ordinance goes into effect and becomes enforceable Oct. 1, according to Assistant City Administrator Anas Garfaoui.
The change also aims to reduce heavy truck accidents, a problem Harris says has been most common at the intersection of Clay Road and Katy Hockley Road.
“Hopefully by changing this truck route we'll eliminate some of those turns, because they will have to continue on Katy Hockley Cut Off [Road] to Katy Fort Bend [Road] so they'll continue on a north or south route,” Harris said. “It’s not going to 100% eliminate those issues but we hope that it will at least be a positive solution.”
Council Member Rory Robertson expressed concern at the July 12 meeting about sending additional traffic toward Katy Hockley Cut Off Road.
“Katy Hockley Cut Off in front of Heritage Park West backs up now pretty bad, and so we’re going to be diverting more traffic to that road and it’s still two lanes, asphalt, which is going to get torn up pretty quick,” Robertson said.
In response, Garfaoui said once their right of way for that road is approved, the city is planning to expand Katy Hockley Cut Off Road to four lanes, as part of a major drainage project.