The Buellton City Council discussed adding and removing red curbs along portions of McMurray Road Thursday night after residents of Vineyard Village expressed concerns about safety when pulling out of Valley Vineyard Circle.

Residents say visibility is reduced when semi-trucks are parked along McMurray road.

The issue ties into another topic City Council has previously discussed — alternative parking areas for semi-trucks.

City Manager Marc Bierdzinski said he met with the property owner of Motel 6 to discuss a potential parking solution.

The topic was first brought up at the City Council’s Sept. 13 meeting because of the Crossroads hotel development, which would further limit parking in the area.

At that time, developers said they were worried about the noise and aesthetics of the parked semi-trucks.

During Thursday’s meeting, Bierdzinski said the Motel 6 owner was interested in pursuing parking, but needed to know what the city’s commitment was going to be.

“Does the city want to lease the property? Does the city want to buy the property? Is the city going to include the parking lot for the trucks?” Bierdzinski said.

Councilors seemed in favor of the lease option.

Bierdzinski said that if councilors chose to prohibit semi-trucks on McMurray, funding a parking lot would give them a place to go.

Instead of prohibiting semi-trucks, councilors wanted city staff to look into red curbing the areas that posed a visibility problem — a portion of McMurray Road south of the two Valley Vineyard Circle entrances.

Councilor David King said the city should just paint a red curb up to the line of sight, instead of doing the entire 625 feet of space between the two entrances to Valley Vineyard Circle.

To combat the visibility issue in the short-term, city staff set up temporary “no parking” signs south of the north entrance to Valley Vineyard Circle.

Sandy Lincoln, who lives at Vineyard Village, said the no parking signs have helped residents.

“They were fabulous and it was like ‘yes, we’re back into safety again,’ and then when they went away it was back to the danger zone” she said.

Rose Deters, who also lives at the condominium complex, said once a car pulls out far enough to see oncoming traffic the front of it is in the road.

“I understand the parking needed for trucks,” Deters said. “I’m hoping to come up with something that can keep them in the area and make it a safe resolution for everybody.”

Public Works Director Rose Hess said there were issues with trucks running over the “no parking” signs or the signs being moved.

“With regular vehicles we don’t see any issues with tight visibility, with trucks parking there, there is a bit more visibility problem because those have a higher profile so you can’t see past and beyond,” Hess said.

Later, Hess told councilors that the bus stop was going to be relocated once the new hotel comes in, but councilor John Sanchez recommended a different idea.

He suggested moving the existing bus stop to the area where they are talking about putting a red curb.

“Then we’d gain all the red curb where the bus stop was,” Sanchez said.

Mayor Holly Sierra said she was concerned that trucks would park there in the evening when the shuttle wasn’t running.

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Councilor Ed Andrisek said the semi-trucks are an economic engine for the area.

“We have to be more diligent. I believe we have to make a concerted effort to find a suitable truck parking area,” Andrisek said.

But he also said the parking was a safety issue.

“I think the testimony tonight has been evidence. They’re warning us. Somebody’s going to step out on the curb. These are grown adults, we’re not talking about the children with their bicycles thinking ‘oh, this is great, I’m heading over to McDonald’s to get a burger’ and splat. And that’s not good,” Adrisek said.

Councilor Art Mercado said he saw the need for parking, but there was a safety factor.

“That’s what we're here for the city for,” Mercado said.

In a city rendering of the potential parking lot behind Motel 6, there’s an image of four semi-trucks.

King asked if the rendering was to scale, and if they would only be able to fit the amount shown.

Bierdzinski said the city factored in maneuvering space to come up with semi-truck space numbers.

Sierra noted that even if a Motel 6 parking lot were to happen, it would take time.

A majority of the councilors were in favor of removing the existing red curb on the southernmost portion of McMurray Road next to CVS, which would create some additional semi-truck parking.

Sierra said the parking lot at CVS and Albertsons is so wide that if there was a truck parked there drivers would still be able to see oncoming traffic.

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