Transportation Master Plan Update to be Presented at Code Rodeo Open House Oct. 27

Read the SMGA talking points regarding the Transportation Master Plan in the Code Rodeo article

From the City of San Marcos
Contact: Trey Hatt, Communications Specialist, 512.393.8242

As part of the Code Rodeo come-and-go Open House, the City of San Marcos Engineering Department will present an update on the Transportation Master Plan Monday, Oct. 27 from 5-7 p.m. at Code Rodeo Headquarters, 317 North LBJ Drive. Staff will be on hand to speak with residents about their views and concerns on traffic and mobility in San Marcos and to give an update on the progress of the new Transportation Master Plan.

City engineers and planners received feedback from the public on their transportation priorities at the Rhythm of the Street event in July and welcome more input at the Open House.

Progress on the plan so far includes future travel forecasts, the incorporation of bike and transit routes in proposed improvements, and the creation of new cross sections that implement the City’s Complete Streets policy.

The update to the Transportation Master Plan is being completed in conjunction with the rewrite of the City’s Land Development Code, Code SMTX, to align it with Vision San Marcos, the City’s comprehensive master plan adopted by the City Council in April 2013.

Engineering will have another open house in the Spring of 2015 to obtain input on the capital improvements projects developed to meet future transportation needs.

All interested citizens are encouraged to attend, provide feedback and learn about the next steps in the process.

For more information on the project, please call the City of San Marcos Engineering Department at 512.393.8130.

Greenways Need Your Voice at the San Marcos Code Rodeo

The City of San Marcos Development Services Department is inviting residents to participate in the Code Rodeo from October 23- October 29. This is the next phase of the San Marcos land development code rewrite project, and it's your chance to help draft the details of the future code. Residents are invited to stop by any time during the day to provide input as details of the plans and code evolve. It is important to keep the natural infrastructure in mind during this rewrite, and we need you to share your voice in this support.


1. The city transportation master plan should include:
  • Identified trail corridors for future trail / greenway development
  • Cross sections for a hierarchy of trail corridors that will accommodate long term expansion of the city
2. The city should adopt a greenways master plan that includes the following:
  • Prioritized connections between various land uses current and potential, e.g. schools, businesses, neighborhoods, university, churches, community centers, cultural hubs, and identified intensity nodes.
  • Changes in land use should require dedication and or accommodation of specified greenway corridors and trails
    • Connect with the Violet Crown Trail via the Blanco River corridor
    • Extend the San Marcos River park and greenway corridor to the confluence with the Blanco River
    • Purgatory Creek corridor from the ETJ to the San Marcos River
    • Willow Springs Creek from Paso Robles to the San Marcos River
    • Sink Creek and its tributaries to Spring Lake
    • Cottonwood Creek from Paso Robles to the southern ETJ
    • Other corridors as depicted in the Preferred Scenario Map that achieve continuous greenways from the Sink Creek Corridor to Purgatory Creek and the San Marcos River.
3. Priority should be placed on establishing standards for public improvements to dedicated parkland, e.g. neighborhood access, drinking fountains, adequate parking, restroom facilities.

4. Buffers between commercial, multifamily, and residential should be utilized for greenway connectivity where possible and not maintained as isolated parcels.

5. Statements of intent for subdivision ordinances should clearly state the desire for natural areas, trail corridors


Meetings take place in the code rodeo headquarters next door to the Show Place Theater in downtown San Marcos on North LBJ. You are welcome to attend any and all of these events.

Thurs, Oct 23
6 to 9pm Public Kick-Off event @ Activity Center

Fri, Oct 24
11 to Noon Technical Mtg – Environmental Issues

Mon, Oct 27
5 to 7pm Public Open House@ LBJ location

Tues, Oct 28
10 to 11:30 am Technical Mtg – Parks & Public Facilities
3:00 to 4:30 Technical Mtg – Transportation

Wed, Oct 29
6 to 8:30 pm Public Wrap-up/Work-in-Progress Presentation @ Activity Center

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at We look forward to seeing you there!

Save the Date: November 7

Join SMGA for FREE moonlit fun:
  • Guided hikes
  • Kids crafts
  • S’mores
  • Storytelling
Music by
HalleyAnna Finlay

Please bring a flashlight or headlamp.

For more info:

SMGA Survey: Getting Some Answers

There's another survey going round, and it's meant to answer some questions.  Who's using the natural areas? What are they doing? What do they think about the benefits of having multiple greenspaces to use and enjoy?
Thomas White (r.) obtains survey answers from two trail users.

The survey was designed by Thomas White, an Applied Sociology Intern attending Texas State University in San Marcos.  The 10-question survey attempts to learn more about who is using the trails and how often they visit.

This first weekend Thomas worked at Ringtail Ridge and Purgatory Creek -- Hunter Road trailhead meeting park visitors.

One, somewhat surprising fact is that a lot of people from neighboring cities are using the trails because they don't have such a benefit.  They are also dining and shopping here while in town.  The survey is open into November.  It is also available on-line at 

Sunday Crew Tackles Prickly Pear

The Sunday afternoon volunteer crew began removing prickly pear cactus in Ringtail Ridge on October 19.  A handful of Master Naturalists began working on the excessive amount of cactus in the 40+ acre natural area off Old Ranch Road 12.

Led by Donna Browning, Marilyn Brister, Tom Watson, Jim Baggett, and Dianna Tupa began moving wheelbarrows full of cactus pads to a concrete slab.  Prickly pear cactus is a Texas native that is very hardy and thriving at the former slaughterhouse for the former Hughson Meat Company.
Proper clothes and tools are important in removing cactus. -LJ
Groups of volunteers work Sundays for a couple hours removing bastard cabbage, ligustrum,  johnson grass, and other non-native plants in an attempt to restore the habitat to a more natural setting. In addition to removing the invasives the disturbed soil is seeded with either wildflowers or native grasses provided by the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance.

Ringtail Ridge is one of the city-owned natural areas that sits on the Edwards Aquifer and promote retention of the all-important rain water through karst features. A series of greenways are envisioned to provide recreation, transportation and water retention benefits.

Volunteers are welcome to participate and can sign-up at and mention Sunday work crew to be included in the eMail notification.  -- LJ

Congratulations & Thank You Lindsey

The Blanco Shoals greenspace now has a very welcoming entry kiosk to invite hikers into the park. The kiosk was designed and built by Lindsey Diann Burton, daughter of Scott and Gwen Burton, as her Girl Scout Gold Award project. Lindsey partnered with the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and the city of San Marcos to make this park more appealing and noticeable to the public. The kiosk contains a bulletin board which will contain information about the park and a map of the trails. Lindsey is a graduate of San Marcos high school and a member of Girl Scout troop 881. She is grateful for the encouragement of her Girl Scout leaders, Janice McMain and Gwen Burton. Her project advisor was Maggie Hutchins of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance. She is grateful for the assistance of expert carpenter Armando Contreras, and the many friends and family who helped make this vision a reality.

View her presentation

Fall Bird Migration Begins with Cooler Temperatures

  October's monthly birding hike started slowly as the sun was just beginning to warm the air over the San Marcos Nature Center on Riverside Drive.  The grounds feature a diverse mix of trees; pecan, sycamore, green ash, Mexican redbud, anacua, and more found along the San Marcos River. The trees provide refuge and safety but also provide food in the form of nuts, berries and insects. A recent cold front pushed South and brought migrating birds into view.
Bird viewing  group --  (photo Lance Jones)
  Stephen's birding group grew in size with several first-time birders until it reached 23 eager birders ranging in age from elementary school-age to senior level.  Fortunately, he was assisted by several expert birders; Ben, Jonny, and Colton, who shared their knowledge and experience with everyone.
  The group had not ventured far when flocks started coming in waves.  Some of the migrating American robins stopped in the numerous trees overhead for closer viewing in the scope and many pairs of binoculars. Continuing without stopping were Scissor-tailed Flycatchers; their distinctive long tails making identification easy. The early light enhanced the colors of the robins' and flycatchers' sides, breasts and belly feathers.
Meadowlark -- Colton Robbins
   The grounds of Crook and neighboring Ramon Lucio Parks are home to numerous year-round species busy with daily life. In addition to the mockingbirds, wrens, cardinals and White-winged doves we watched a Northern Flicker and Ladder-backed Woodpecker work the trees for insects.  A Black-chinned hummingbird worked the sages giving more than ample time to view the bobbing tail that aided in the identification.
  The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance sponsors the monthly hikes that are held on the first Saturday of each month.  We are expertly led by Stephen Ramirez who provides the scope and leadership for the hikes.  Contact him at to be included in the eMail notification.  The bird listing is provided by Colton Robbins and is posted to eBird.  --LJ

Birds we viewed

Black Vulture
Red-shouldered Hawk
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon
Inca Dove
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Crested Caracara
Eastern Phoebe
Couch's Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Blue Jay
swallow sp.
Carolina Chickadee
Black-crested Titmouse
Carolina Wren
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Nashville Warbler
Clay-colored Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Western/Eastern Meadowlark

5 Great-tailed Grackle