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City corner: Construction on Sam Houston begins in October

May 16, 2010 at 12:16 a.m.

By O.C. Garza

Q: When will Sam Houston Drive be rebuilt?

A: Expect the dust to be flying on the Sam Houston Drive Project this October. The engineering phase of this massive project has taken almost three years to complete. More than 50 parcels of land were acquired to modernize this thoroughfare in what will be one of the largest street projects in Victoria's history. The project will completely rebuild Sam Houston Drive from Laurent Street to the Houston Highway. All underground utilities and traffic lights will be replaced and the street will be paved in concrete. The estimated cost is $22.5 million. Bids for the project should go out in July, with work beginning in October. Actual construction will take about three years, until October 2013.

Q: Is there a map of the Tonkawa Hiking Trails in Riverside Park?

A: Yes. In cooperation with Keep Victoria Beautiful and the Nature Advisory Group, Tonkawa Trail maps are available at no charge. Three Tonkawa Trails are part of the Riverside Park Trail System. Maps, species lists of butterflies, damselflies, trees, shrubs, birds and other flora/fauna have been compiled by local naturalists and are available to the public at the nature information deck on the backside of the historic Hiller house at 3003 N. Vine St. Beyond the Hiller house is the beautiful Athey Nature Area, a 10-acre natural area under the conservatorship of Keep Victoria Beautiful and part of the City of Victoria's park system. The Hiller house is the office for the Keep Victoria Beautiful and is located at the intersection of Vine Street, Roseland and Independence Drive.

Q: How far away from a fire hydrant must drivers park their cars?

A: The results of blocking a fire hydrant during a major fire can be very tragic, so stay well clear of fire hydrants when you park your car. Fire Chief Vance Riley said the Texas Transportation Code requires all drivers to park at least 15 feet away from a fire hydrant. This gives fire trucks 15 feet on both sides of the fire hydrant for handling and connecting their hoses.

Q: Are dog owners responsible for their pets if they attack passersby?

A: Yes. Sec. 4-40 of the city code makes it unlawful for an owner of an animal to fail to exercise control over such animal, to prevent it from threatening, chasing or attacking passing persons, vehicles or other animals. It is also unlawful for an owner of a dog to fail to keep such animal under restraint.

State law also makes dog owners responsible for their animals in an unprovoked attack. House Bill 1355, also known as Lillian's Law, requires all dog owners to properly secure their dogs on their property. The law provides that a dog owner can be held criminally responsible if the dog causes serious bodily injury or death at a location other than the owner's property in an unprovoked attack during which the owner by criminal negligence failed to secure the dog.

Q: Does the city have a leash law?

A: Yes. Section 4-40 of the city code states that the owner of a dog must keep it under restraint. This section of the city code also requires pet owners to prevent pets from threatening, chasing or attacking passing persons, vehicles or other animals. The law also states that the owner of an animal must prevent it from damaging private or public property; prevent it from barking, whining or howling in such a manner, with such intensity, or with such continued duration, so as to annoy, distress or disturb the quiet comfort of nearby persons.

Send your questions and comments for any city department or activity to City of Victoria, Public Information Office, P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902, or pio@victoriatx.org.

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