It was another busy day at the beach along the southern shore of Lake Campbell. The area, located in the far northwest corner of the county, is often packed on a hot summer day. It always has been a popular summer spot for those that know about the somewhat hidden gem.
But more homes going up in the area, more visitors to the area, more hot and dry days recently, along with a new campground, convenience store and the new Kattails bar just across the street from the beach, are bringing more people in.
That has longtime locals concerned.
This past week, Andy Muller with the Moody County Highway Department, told Moody County Commissioners that he had recently been contacted by the Lake Campbell Improvement Association. The Association was hoping the county might help set up some sort of speed control in the area of the beach in particular.
Speed bumps are now being considered along with other measures, such as rumble strips or the portable solar speed signs. Muller and the County Commissioners talked during a regularly scheduled open meeting about what made the most sense, what was most feasible economically, what would cause the least amount of disruption to highway workers, especially during the winter months (speed bumps aren’t easy to plow over), and what would still do the job and get the point across without causing too much of a problem for drivers as well.
The area along the beach is a 25 miles per hour zone, but those unfamiliar with the popular spot can come upon it quickly without realizing what’s ahead of them. Just a short distance from the beach is also a very narrow two-lane bridge where people often fish.
“We just worry that something is going to happen. You hate to say ‘wait until it does’ and then do something. We want to be proactive about it,” said Monique Mixell, manager of the new Kattails bar, which is located right across from the beach.
She said that there are a lot of people and pets around during the summer. A dog did get hit and and die a month ago.
“When the beach is absolutely full, people aren’t too horribly bad, you know. But what we’ve seen is during the week, when there are only a few cars out here, people just fly by. They don’t slow down at all. And kids, excited to be here, they’re not always paying attention and sometimes maybe chasing floaties. It’s just a matter of time,” said Mixell, as to why the LCIA is now pushing to work with the county on a speed control measure.