City works to protect pedestrians on Fredericksburg Road

New crossing signal hoped to prevent deaths

SAN ANTONIO - The death of a 73-year-old man who was illegally crossing Fredericksburg Road earlier this week has led city officials to consider making changes.

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The man was the fourth person to get hit and killed crossing that road this year.

District Seven City Councilman Cris Medina said now the city and the Texas Department of Transportation are working to install a high-intensity activated crosswalk.

"We had several fatalities here on Fredericksburg Road, two in this particular location," said Medina. "That spurred us to want to be proactive, providing a safe place for pedestrians."

The first of its kind, state of the art crosswalk would be installed in a way where the pedestrian would press a button, which would activate flashing yellow and red lights to warn drivers when someone is crossing the road.

"The seniors at this complex will now be able to cross in front of where they live to catch the bus and walk along Fredericksburg Road," said Medina.

Lee McHugh, who lives at an apartment complex in the 2800 block of Fredericksburg Road, said she is glad the city is doing something about it.

"We're very happy," McHugh said. "We're just elated."

McHugh, who is also a senior, said she has actually had to run across Fredericksburg to avoid getting hit by a car.

And McHugh is not alone.

Many of her fellow apartment residents cross the street to catch the bus, many of them seniors and some, even on motorized wheel chairs.

"We go down there to catch the bus and it takes us downtown," she said. "When we come back we have to cross the street, Fredericksburg super highway, that's what they (drivers) think it is."

"I think it's the best thing that could happen for our elderly," said Nancy Benavides, who also lives at the apartment complex with McHugh. "This is the only way they have to get around and I think it's wonderful idea that they've done this."

Medina said the new crosswalk is expected to be installed by December.

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