Councilman Nirenberg plans improvements to accident-prone road on NW Side

Stretch of Woodstone Drive site of 62 crashes in 13 months, one fatality

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio City Councilman Ron Nirenberg is planning to make some changes to a stretch of road in his district that has racked up dozens of accidents in the past year.

Woodstone Drive, which runs between the I-10 frontage road and Vance Jackson Road on the city's Northwest Side, was recently the scene of a fatal accident that claimed the life of a 17-year-old Clark High School student.

Nick Medlock died on Feb. 13 when his car slammed into a tree in the 4900 block of Woodstone.

According to information provided by the San Antonio Police Department, officers have responded to 62 crashes on Woodstone since Jan. 1, 2015.

People who live and work along Woodstone Drive said they've seen too many accidents.

Todd Greget lives in an apartment building that was hit by a truck in January, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the building.

"I've been here about nine to 10 months and I've witnessed probably seven or eight accidents," Greget said. "I've never seen so many accidents in such a short amount of time."

Restaurant owner Mark Calvillo has seen his share of accidents in the 10 years he's been in business along Woodstone, most of which he blames on speed.

"We've seen people roll over, hit the boulders, go through the fences," Calvillo said. "Nobody pays attention to the speed limit on this street. As you're coming down the hill, you pick up more speed coming down the hill and they just need to put something up there at the top of the hill to slow it down."

Nirenberg said his office was first contacted by residents complaining about Woodstone in October. Since then, he's agreed to spend $20,000 on improvements that include pavement striping and more signage.

"Whenever we have a roadway that has issues in that volume, it causes great concern," Nirenberg said. "We have to make sure the infrastructure in place lets people understand what the speed limits are, where there are challenges with curves and things like that. So we've got a role to play."

While several residents suggest adding speed bumps to slow drivers down, Nirenberg said he has no plans to do that.

"The immediate reaction for things like this is to put speed bumps, and we've found in locations like this speed bumps actually have a counter-productive effect," Nirenberg said. "In many locations we put speed bumps, you see people speeding up to them."

Nirenberg said the improvements he's approved should be completed in the next few months, but some residents say even then they won't feel safe letting their kids walk along or play near Woodstone Drive.

"The traffic is just really bad here. I'm concerned about my son's safety," Jennifer Cerda said. "I'm afraid one of the cars will have an accident and come up on the property."

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