Traffic Jam
Munson Avenue barricade offends local
residents, insults traffic committee

The years have been kind to College Station. The growth of Texas A&M University and its student body has allowed the town to grow into the respectable city it is today.

The College Station city council, however, by voting to close Munsen Avenue has decided a small group of vocal citizens is more important than the resident students.

For years, the A&M student population has attracted large businesses, filled local rental property and paid about as much in city sales tax as in student fees. Now those Aggies are dubbed "second-class citizens" by some members of the city's traffic committee and are ignored by the College Station city council.

Acting against the requests of students and the recommendation of the city's traffic committee, the city council voted Thursday to permanently close Munsen Avenue.

After examining the issue, 60 percent of the traffic committee voted to remove the speed humps and barricades that had been placed on the street and open it to traffic. The city council, however, disregarded the committee's recommendation.

The committee members invested countless hours of research looking into the Munsen Avenue situation. That effort evidently pales in comparison to the shouts of the small band of outspoken Munsen Avenue residents who petitioned the council to limit the amount of traffic on their street. If the council had no intention of following the traffic committee's analysis, they should never have wasted the committee's time. Instead, the council ignored the committee's suggestion and guaranteed no resolution to the city's traffic problems.

No one denies the need for another north-south passage in College Station. Texas Avenue is congested and Wellborn Road is too far to the west for most drivers. Munsen, however, is considered unacceptable by the council because it lies in a residential area. Unfortunately, there is no other alternative. The city's layout and zoning prevents any other non-residential north-south road from solving the traffic problems.

The city council acts as though they only represent a small subgroup of the city. The city is comprised of more than just the residents of Munsen Avenue. The council members seek to reap the benefits of the University and its student body with none of the costs. A&M students not only contribute to the city of College Station, the city, in fact, grew up around the University. Students pay taxes, support businesses and vote in College Station. The council members could at least pretend to respect them.