Residents left with unanswered questions after meeting on improvements to St. Mary's Strip
$7 million set aside for road, sidewalk improvements
SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: A meeting regarding plans to improve the St. Mary's Strip on Oct. 30 left residents with lots of unanswered questions.
City officials presented a design plan for the improvements to North St. Mary's Street to residents who live in the area near the strip.
The $7 million bond project is supposed to address road and sidewalk improvements, but residents at the meeting said they saw something they weren't expecting.
"Their topic was St. Mary's Street, but I thought they were going to address more issues regarding the neighboring streets running into St. Mary's," resident Linda Ramos said. "There's cars facing each other. I've been in that situation. We have to literally reverse for them to come through."
Ramos lives off Woodlawn Avenue and says she finds the intersection at North St. Mary's Street to be very dangerous.
City officials expect construction to start sometime after December 2019.
Property owners and business owners in the Tobin Hill neighborhood are hopeful $7 million set aside for road and sidewalk improvements will help make the North St. Mary's Strip safer.
Blayne Tucker, owner of The Mix, founder of the North St. Mary's Business Owners Association and a board member of the Tobin Hill Community Association, said the community has been working with their City Council district representative for two years to push for the funds and to make the improvements happen.
"There's more activity overall. It's more of a preventative cautionary measure," Tucker said. "Just to increase pedestrian and public safety, we'd rather not react to a crisis but get ahead of it."
The idea is to add crosswalks and streetlights and harmonize traffic for pedestrians, vehicles, buses and bicyclists. With the development going on around the strip, Tucker wants the area to thrive with local and tourist business.
"It will definitely allow more people to come visit and have a safe time," he said.
Tucker said he thinks past problems of crime and issues between businesses and homeowners have been addressed in recent years as the community has been working together.
City officials are expected to present a design plan for the improvements during a meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Hawthorne Academy. City officials expect groundbreaking to start sometime around December 2019.
Tucker and property owners hope the city will also address a divisive issue of limited street parking.
"St. Marys is a commercial corridor. You have a lot of businesses and nightlife, but we are in a neighborhood," he said.
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