Here are some photos of the house, with the truck still attached. From the looks of things, the driver never hit the brakes. The paper says he was speeding down the wrong side of the street before he hit the house. Based on his address, he was headed for Ranch Road 12, which could have easily meant a fatality, the way he was driving.
I'd be interested to know which intersections and stretches of roads have the most accidents. I know at least a few of us on this board live in the greater Holland/LBJ area, so our experiences are potentially skewed. Is it possible to get a summary of accidents and the area they were in town for the past year? Does this area of town actually have more of the serious traffic problems than others? (my gut says yes, but I am a scientist and I must rely on facts, not truthiness) If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say Sessom from State-Peques to LBJ has the highest number of accidents, although possibly not the most serious. I've been hit there, and I hear tires screeching every day (My building overlooks the State-Peques/Sessom intersection). In the neighborhoods, it wouldn't surprise me if LBJ from Holland to Craddock was up there.
As far as traffic accidents go, there are a couple of issues, but drunk driving seems to me to be the most serious, because it makes the others even more dangerous. (I'm not talking someone at .08, but someone at .15+. Those are the people likely to blow stop signs and end up in houses, trees, and rock walls. How many of these accidents are caused by someone coming from a party, downtown, or worse, Austin? I know that data is hard to get.) I think Semi is right that two DWIs per weekend seems really low. What are the solutions? I think there is a lack of late night transportation alternatives, but that only covers downtown and that shuts down at midnight. There is also an attitude that people need to drive everywhere. I doubt that the thought of walking across campus to the bar even crosses the mind of most people. Part of that is due to the glaring lack of sidewalks and bike lanes in the neighborhoods, part of it is social.
Obviously, the cops need to do a better job of getting the dangerously drunk people off the road (all drunk drivers are dangerous, but the really drunk ones are the ones that scare me). I wonder what the per capita DWI citation rate is in Austin? Hays county shoudn't have a higher number of citations than San Marcos, and the UPD should help out where they have jurisdiction.
Last night, I got an email about this incident and there was a comment in there that really stuck with me and I had never really thought about it before.
Whether it is drunk driving, speeding through neighborhoods, loud outdoor parties with live bands at 4 in the morning, or whatever, there is a small percentage of people in San Marcos who are extremely disruptive.
99.9% of us, students and non-students, are not part of the problem.
So, we have <1% causing significant problems and a police department paid to keep those problems to a minimum. Unfortunately, enforcement has been nearly non-existent.
The chief of police has said on several occasions that there is no real traffic enforcement, because there is not enough manpower. During the Sagewood discussion with City Council, it was revealed that very, very few citations were written over there.
So, what happens?
The neighbors go to City Council and demand that things be cleaned up. The chief comes across as largely disinterested and at a loss for any solution, and the neighbors, most of us with no law enforcement experience, start throwing out ideas, out of desperation. Many ideas are harsh and very broad, but in the eyes of the neighbors, they are the only ideas that *anyone* is coming up with.
City Council then puts it to the chief that he needs to get this under control, and you get a 180 degree turnaround in enforcement, going from non-existent to heavy-handed.
In the end, it gets spun into the non-students persecuting the students and the divide gets bigger and bigger, all because the police were unwilling or unable to manage the problem with the <1%, so that the other 99.9% of us, students and non-students, can live together peacefully.
What's the difference between now and 20 years ago, that makes relations so stressed? I bet this is a big part of it. A reasonable level of enforcement from the beginning could have kept this whole problem from ever happening.
1% of a lot bigger number is a lot more problems, and they seem to be concentrated. 20 years ago Sagewood was the sticks. LBJ hadn't been completed. The intersection of what is now Craddock and RR12 was pretty much the end of town.
So they won't shut down a party in Sagewood with a live band at 4 am but they will on Chestnut at 6:30 pm?
I know of the Sagewood stuff first-hand and I won't debate your Chestnut statement.
Some have said that the police are selectively enforcing, by going after stuff like the Chestnut party. There was a woman at the City Council meeting, who basically lives in my back yard, who said one of her parties was broken up and for the life of me, I can't remember her even having one, so it couldn't have been very loud.
I can't say if they are doing anything like that or what their motivation would be, but it has been mentioned before.
I want to say my neighbor said hers was broken up at 9 or 10. Maybe there is a shift change in there and the officers breaking up early parties are not the same ones refusing to break them up over night.