Magnolia mayor speaks up about Melton Street traffic concerns

Council members discussed traffic concerns on Melton Street, which intersects with Buddy Riley Boulevard, during a Feb. 11 meeting. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Council members discussed traffic concerns on Melton Street, which intersects with Buddy Riley Boulevard, during a Feb. 11 meeting. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Council members discussed traffic concerns on Melton Street, which intersects with Buddy Riley Boulevard, during a Feb. 11 meeting. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Magnolia Mayor Todd Kana led a discussion on Melton Street traffic concerns during City Council's Feb. 11 meeting, asking council members for suggestions on how to mitigate the traffic backup on Buddy Riley Boulevard during morning and evening peak times.

“There’s been a few people in the community that have come to me about issues regarding Melton [Street]. We’ve worked on Melton 100 times. From both ends of it, it’s been problems," Kana said during the meeting.

Melton Street runs parallel to the Union Pacific tracks from FM 1488 to southeast of Buddy Riley Boulevard in the city of Magnolia.

The Texas Department of Transportation had temporarily closed Melton Street where it intersects with FM 1488, but the north end of the street had reopened as of the Feb. 11 meeting, Kana said.

“At the other end of Melton at Buddy Riley [Boulevard], we still have the issues of the people cutting out, making a right-hand turn into Buddy Riley traffic or somebody letting five or six of them out, and it just backs Buddy Riley up. It’s a bad situation," he said. "You’ve got the railroad track, a stop sign [and] a red light all in a really confined area."


Currently, right turns from Melton Street onto Buddy Riley Boulevard are not permitted during morning and evening peak hours, Kana said, to help with traffic tie-ups. However, Kana said enforcing the policy is difficult for law enforcement.

"Just like speeding, you won’t stop every speeder; you can’t stop every person making a right-hand turn when they’re not supposed to," he said. “I’m still thinking the no right turns eventually solves the problem; it will be an enforcement issue for a while, but at least when an officer sees someone making that right-hand turn they don’t have to second guess whether or not it was in or outside of that [permitted] window.”

Kana said the city previously piloted Melton Street as a one-way road, allowing one-way traffic on Melton between North 6th Street and Buddy Riley, which eliminated right and left turns onto Buddy Riley. Community suggestions have also included installing a barricade to be lowered during peak traffic times to prohibit drivers from turning onto Buddy Riley, Kana said. However, as this would require personnel to lower the barricades, Kana said he was uncertain how successful barricades would be in alleviating traffic problems.

Kana and police Chief Kyle Montgomery said during the meeting they agree there is no perfect solution to eliminating traffic concerns on Melton Street.

"I’d just like council to think about what they think some other options might be to solve this situation," Kana said.

Council members shared few thoughts on the traffic situation during the meeting, but Kana said he would like to come up with a proposal that could help out with traffic on Melton.

“We don’t have to solve the problem tonight; it’s just a discussion item," he said.
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By Anna Lotz

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.


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