D5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales pushes for further improvements on Culebra Road

The councilwoman believes the road has become a “death trap”

SAN ANTONIO – Crossing Culebra Road near I-10 has become a dangerous gamble for Jose Olivera and his wife. The couple crosses the road to get the bus stop, but Olivera said it’s not always worth the risk.

“I just turn back. I just turn around,” he said.

According to San Antonio police, a man and woman were killed crossing Culebra near Northwest 19th Street Wednesday night.

SAPD said one of the victims had used a walking stick, but the pair was not in the crosswalk when they were stuck.

Olivera grew up in the area, and she said she believes it’s only getting worse.

“I’m not surprised because it happens now so often,” Olivera said.

District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said the distance between crosswalks is often too far and unrealistic for pedestrians.

She said drivers usually don’t slow down, which has caused Culebra Road to become dangerous.

“Pedestrians aren’t given the respect they deserve when we build streets like this one,” she said.

The councilwoman has been the lead advocate for Vision Zero since 2015. The initiative was aimed to reduce the number of deaths on San Antonio roads.

However, deaths have not slowed down. Gonzales believes Vision Zero should be a priority for the city and its residents so more lives can be saved.

“That’s one of the cultural shifts that has to happen,” said Gonzales.

Cuelbra has seen some improvements like concrete islands and additional lighting. However, Gonzales wants more investment into public transportation, like sidewalks and bike lanes.

City Council has approved more than $6 million for sidewalk and mobility improvements across the city. Gonzales said that it’s not clear where those improvements will take place.

However, she is hopeful Culebra will be a priority.

RELATED: Two pedestrians hit, killed while crossing West Side street, San Antonio police say

About the Authors:

Steven Cavazos is a traffic anchor and general assignments reporter in the weekday mornings at KSAT 12.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.