David Brodsky owns an RV park along US 181 in Kenedy and shares traffic safety and parking hazard concerns with certain other business owners who have businesses along the highway as well.
Brodsky says his concern is with the 18-wheeler trucks that park along US 181 in the city, and how that can pose a safety issue for his customers and the general public.
Brodsky cites three main dangers he feels need to be addressed and that people should be very aware of.
The first is in regards to proper and safe visibility for motorists trying to come onto the highway. Brodsky and others are concerned that the parked trucks block a clear line of sight for drivers trying to get on to US 181 traffic.
“It affects my business because when the trucks park out there, my customers have to pull all the way out in order to see around them to get on the highway,” said Brodsky. “I’ve seen several of my customers nearly get hit. They’ve had to slam their brakes on at the last second. It is a hazard my customers have had to deal with. I’ve had a lot of other businesses tell me the same thing.”
The second issue relates to the first in that the speed of traffic on the highway coming through Kenedy is too high, according to Brodsky. Many feel that the 50 mph speed of traffic in the city limits, combined with the poor visibility that the parked trucks cause for vehicles trying to get on the highway, is another danger.
“The speed limit coming through the city is so fast,” said Brodsky, “that when people pull out of Dairy Queen or Pizza Hut or any of those businesses, the risk of them getting hit is pretty good because traffic is coming too fast. They need to be slowed down.
“If you try to pull out of a local business you have to creep out to see around the truck to get out, only to see another big truck coming at you at 50 mph. It is dangerous. It’s going to possibly get someone killed.”
Brodsky is of the opinion that an official reduced rate of speed on the highway might really help to make the highway more safe and less nerve-wracking to turn on to.
“My suggestion would be to lower the speed limit from Flax Plant Road to the north side of the city limits to 35 mph,” he said. “In the city limits it should be 35 mph for everybody, I think. You go through many other small towns and they are 35 mph. You come through Kenedy and it’s 50 mph coming right through town. You have 18-wheelers whizzing by at 50 mph.”
The third issue is that the trucks are parking all along the emergency lane itself.
“18-wheelers flying through the Kenedy city limits at 50 mph on 181 is ludicrous,” Brodsky explained. “Especially when big trucks are parked in the emergency lanes, sometimes even double parked. Also, the danger is that when they park on the highway like that, there is no emergency lane for people to pull off to if they needed to in case of an emergency.”
Brodsky and his family have lived in Karnes County for 14 years and have seen the vast changes and transformations the Eagle Ford Shale has brought to Karnes County in general, and to Kenedy in particular.
“When we moved here to Karnes County, it turned out to be the best move of our lives,” he said. “The people here are very close knit. And we wanted our kids to grow up where people have good values. So we bought our small farm and began our new life here.
“Back then the area was very impoverished, but we were determined to make it work. Since living here we have made a lot of friends, most of which were hard working farmers and good family oriented people trying to make it through. It was a blessing from God when the oil boom hit here. A lot of hard working folks got a big break financially, which was well-deserved.”
Brodsky firmly believes that citizens, business owners, law enforcement, and city leadership all must work together to effectively face the rapid changes and expansions that Kenedy is constantly facing in current and modern times.
“But along with the oil boom came other problems - housing shortages, roads getting torn up, a lot of fatal accidents. This boom is great for the area, but some common sense issues need to be addressed, such as traffic problems.”