SAN ANTONIO –
After more than a year of pleading and planning, the city is adding a crosswalk to a dangerous section of Culebra Road near Callaghan Road. It's a cause for celebration for the West Side community.
Families who live near there hope the crosswalk will stop pedestrians from getting hit.
People dart across busy Culebra, between the Monticello Manor and Westway Apartments, all day. They take the risk because there's no crosswalk. But it won't be that way for long.
"We fought for something and it's finally getting done," resident Lenora Badillo-Acevedo said.
For more than a year, Badillo-Acevedo, her community members and the Texas Organizing Project have been asking the city for a crosswalk.
"People getting run over either crossing the street, some people have gotten hit-and-runs. I've been through a lot. I've seen it," Badillo-Acevedo said.
In the 14 years Badillo-Acevedo has lived at Westway Apartments, she's seen dozens of pedestrian accidents, even one that took a woman's life.
"The driver claimed he didn't see her, so the light has changed," she said.
The city brightened streetlights along that stretch of Culebra, and on Monday, crews will start construction on the crosswalk. The project is included in Vision Zero, and will be paid for through City Council District 7's discretionary fund.
In a community meeting, Bianca Thorpe, with the city's Transportation and Capital Improvement Department, explained the crossing would include raised concrete borders and reflective signs and markings.
The city will also add what's called a "directional island" in the driveway of the Westway Apartment complex. That will stop anyone from making left turns in or out of the driveway. Thorpe said this was an idea the community members came up with because all the left turns available at the intersection were making traffic more dangerous.
Even though the change means Badillo-Acevedo will now have to drive around the complex to get in, she said safety is a higher priority.
"I think it's worth it," she said.
Starting Monday, there will be crews working on the small stretch of Culebra for three to four weeks. That could be longer depending on weather and when materials get there. Still, the city is asking drivers to slow down, especially while work is going on there.