While the vote for the alcohol ban has yet to be determined, students and residents need to understand the good it will do for San Marcos.
On March 20 the San Marcos City Council passed the first of two readings on the potential ban that would prohibit the consumption and display of alcohol in city parks. The second reading was planned for Tuesday night, but was postponed due to a councilmember’s family emergency.
The potential ban is a controversial but should be implemented. A ban on alcohol will not only provide a safe environment for families, but for river creatures as well. The proposed ban would control litter issues and provide a cleaner environment. Although the ban may discourage people who enjoy drinking from relaxing in the city park, I believe it will do more good than harm.
According to a March 22 University Star article, San Marcos resident Chad Williams said the litter issue centered on alcohol should be considered, but responsible people should not suffer for someone else’s trash. The proposed ban does not prohibit all cans and bottles, but a majority of litter issues are alcohol-based. Therefore, the ban could potentially help provide San Marcos with cleaner picnic areas as well as a cleaner river. For San Marcos residents and frequent river visitors, the status of the river should be important. Non-reusable containers, regardless of the substance contained therein, should be properly disposed of. Cleaner river areas create a better environment for sunbathing, picnics, swimming and other outdoor activities. Residents should not have to worry about stepping on a broken Shiner bottle or a Bud Light can.
If city council revisits the ban and the ordinance does not pass, perhaps extreme measures should be taken. San Marcos could follow the New Braunfels ordinance of eliminating all non- reusable containers in city parks. It is more extreme than the proposed alcohol ban, but it has the same effects. Both bans have the potential to decrease the amount of waste near the San Marcos River and city parks. The upside to this extreme ban is that alcohol will not be prohibited. Alcohol can fit inside reusable containers just as easily as water. By using reusable containers, litter would no longer be an issue and residents would still be allowed their various alcoholic beverages.
City council has yet to make an ultimate decision, but whether the ban is enforced or not it is still vital for all San Marcos residents to take care of their own rivers and city parks. The San Marcos River will only stay beautiful if litter issues are contained and residents are responsible for their waste. A stricter ban to help decrease the amount of trash near the river and parks is crucial for a greener San Marcos.