New Culebra Road crosswalk aims to curb pedestrian danger

Z-crossing to be installed by year's end

SAN ANTONIO – Responding to concerns from residents living along Culebra Road, the city of San Antonio and the Texas Department of Transportation are getting ready to start work on several safety improvements.

One of those improvements is a crosswalk that will be installed at Culebra Road and Navidad Street. Pedestrians said it's badly needed.

"It's dangerous crossing the road because there's a lot of accidents," Teresa Castillo said. "People don't stop. They see you crossing and they still keep on going."

Even though there is no crosswalk, Castillo often crosses at the busy intersection to get home. Currently, the closest crossings are half a mile away at Zarzamora or at I-10.

She's had plenty of close calls and has witnessed countless accidents, some that have sent vehicles onto her property.

"Twice now, cars knocking out our gates, and it's a lot of traffic, always," Castillo said.

Residents in the area worked with their neighborhood association to convince the city of San Antonio and TxDOT to make improvements.

"There have been a number of incidents that have occurred in that area over the past few years," said Laura Lopez, a spokeswoman for TxDOT.

To increase safety, TxDOT will build a Z-crossing. Unlike a normal crosswalk, this one is offset and looks like the letter "Z."

"So that way, folks that are crossing the street have to cross on one side and then they have that median to walk on safely and then cross to get to the other side of Navidad," Lopez said.

It's the first time TxDOT has built a Z-crossing in San Antonio. Because it requires a concrete median, it will change traffic patterns, forcing drivers to only make right turns from Navidad onto Culebra.

The crossing will be marked with signs and flashing lights that are controlled by pedestrians.

Castillo hopes it makes her path home safer.

"It sounds great," Castillo said. "Maybe it will stop people from being more desperate where they are going."

The project will cost $110,000 and is set to begin on Monday. It won't take long to complete. TxDOT said it should be wrapped up by the end of the year. 

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