Overgrown weeds creating driving dangers in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Overgrown weeds creating driving dangers in Lubbock

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

It's a problem all over the city, to the point where some say it's become a safety hazard.

Some Lubbock drivers contacted KCBD, saying tall weeds are creating a danger at some intersections.

"If we've got trees, or tall weeds, or anything like that growing up at an intersection that inhibits a driver's view of oncoming traffic, we want to notify the property owner and get them to take care of that as quickly as we can," said Stuart Walker, Code Administration Director with the city.

Walker says weeds have been a rising problem in town because of the recent rain.

"With the rain over the previous month, six weeks, we're seeing a lot of growth all across the city.  So we are currently working on a load of about 500 complaints that are ready to be worked right now."

He says since July 1, their office has received nearly 6,000 complaints about weeds.

One area near 17th Street and Peoria Avenue was so overgrown with weeds, drivers had to pull out into the middle of the intersection to see oncoming traffic.

Walker says any uncultivated vegetation taller than eight inches is a violation of city ordinance.

"Ultimately we want the property owner to take the responsibility first. But if it's a property owner that we can't get a hold of or we don't have any contact with, then I'll send a contractor out and we'll take care of the immediate threat," Walker said 

The city hired a lawn crew to mow the weeds near 17th Street and Peoria Avenue after KCBD brought the problem to their attention.

Weeds have also created a driving hazard near the Marsha Sharp Freeway heading south onto the access road toward I-27.

But Walker says roadways like the freeway, the interstate, and the loop are the state's responsibility and city code enforcers can't do anything about that.

"The city of Lubbock doesn't have any regulatory authority over TXDoT. TXDoT is a branch of the state. The state has sovereignty over the municipality," he said.

Walker says the city is overwhelmed right now because they are short five inspectors. He says he hopes to make the hires within the next two weeks.  

KCBD has filed an open records request with the Texas Department of Transportation, but the spokesperson for TXDoT said she could not answer any questions until it was completed.

Walker encourages citizens to call 775-2290 if they see overgrown weeds in town.

Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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