Council raises roadblock on Nash Road closure

San Benito High School students cross Nash Road in 2012.

The Hollister council Tuesday rejected an idea to close part of Nash Road near the high school during the day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Council members voted 3-2 against the idea, which involves the county and high school district as well. Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and Councilman Karson Klauer were in the minority on the decision, which drew neighbors who would be affected by the proposal. Council members Victor Gomez, Mickie Luna and Ray Friend were in the majority that opposed the idea.
The idea would have closed the road between West Street and Monterey Street until a bypass could be built. As part of the agreement, the high school district would transfer nearby property to the county for its regional park idea. The county board earlier in the same day approved the idea for the joint partnership project.
Council members, though, heard from neighbors during the public comment period who were concerned about traffic moving onto their nearby residential streets.
Diane Castaneda is a Suiter Street resident who claimed there were a lot of “illegal happenings” already in the area due to the high school such as inflamed cars, gang activity and drug use. She said closing the street would cause even more problems with additional traffic on the residential roads.
“I’m very concerned about this,” she said, as others in the audience applauded.
Friend was in the majority opposition. He said the main disruption would be on the neighbors. He said if 500 kids are waiting, there probably won’t be an accident, unless some “random kid” runs across the street.
“That’s where your accidents occur,” he said.
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