Abilene council moves ahead with plans to halt roadside sales in heavy traffic areas

Abilene City Council considers banning street venders

ABILENE, Texas - The Abilene City Council is moving forward with plans to shut down roadside sales in busy Abilene intersections.

The measure passed the first reading Thursday morning and will go to a public hearing on Nov. 21.

The City Council and Abilene Police Department want to put an end to roadside sales in what they call "high-traffic, high-accident" intersections, including Southwest and Clack, as well as Barrow and S. 14th. 

Chief of Police Stan Standridge said it's all about public safety. 

"We believe we can increase public safety by restricting the people in the roadways to less dangerous intersections," Standridge said.

"We had a newspaper vendor ran over at the intersection of 14th and Sayles," he said. "She suffered incapacitating injuries when two cars collided in the intersection of South 14th and Sayles and one of them, the momentum, took it right over her."

This ordinance would affect the Abilene Fire Fighters Association annual Fill-the-Boot fundraisers for muscular dystrophy.

They released this statement in response to the city's plans:

"The Abilene Firefighters Association does not oppose the ordinance that is being considered if it is in the best interest of our community...if this ordinance is passed and put into effect, we will still continue to support the MDA."

Here are the facts for you on how many accidents occur in these intersections: 

In the last two years, there were 149 collisions at S. 14th and Winters, 160 at Southwest and Winters, 170 collisions at Buffalo Gap and Winters and 93 collisions at I-20 and Hwy 351.

According to Standridge, Abilene sees an average of 3,400 collisions every year.

This new ordinance will affect Sunday newspaper sales.

Dave Hedge, publisher of the Abilene Reporter News, released this statement:

"The Reporter-News is in full support of the ordinance that is being proposed. If passed, this ordinance will change approximately one-third of the roadside locations where our readers purchase their Sunday newspaper. Though it will require our regular buyers to re-route their driving patterns to new locations, the change is made with the safety of the public, and our newspaper vendors in mind.

Chief Stan Standridge and his team have been very thoughtful and diligent in their approach to this issue. They have accumulated years of data outlining the most dangerous intersections in our community. This data was very helpful to us as we work to keep our vendors safe.

We are in the process of finding locations for Sunday sales that are both safe and convenient. We'll share these locations with the public as they are firmed up."

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