SAN ANTONIO – More than seven years after TxDOT said they would give the city of San Antonio control of a 2.2-mile stretch of Broadway Avenue, the state is set to cancel the transfer.
City officials have been caught off guard by the move, which could bring their plans for redesigning the corridor to a halt after years of effort and millions of dollars.
The city had plans of narrowing the three current lanes of traffic to two on the stretch of Broadway from I-35 to Burr Rd. They would add bigger sidewalks and a protected bike line. TxDOT officials argue the plans would create more traffic congestion, which is why they want to cancel the transfer.
Those who live and work in the area said they favor the city’s plan.
“Go through with the plans that are going to be beneficial to the commoners,” said Liam Dean, who works on Broadway.
“Coming into work each day, there’s no parking. You have to pay for parking nearby. It would be much easier if we were able to cycle in,” Said Sheila Mojica, who also works on Broadway.
Business owners had more of a mixed reaction. Some said they would prefer more traffic lanes if possible, but certainly not less.
“There’s no question that more people are coming to my restaurant by driving than biking. There is a lot of traffic there. Again, I don’t think it’s a good idea to restrict the traffic,” said Millard Stetler, co-owner of Good Time Charlie’s.
Just up the road at Cheesy Janes, owner Tirso Sigg agreed that more construction in the area would be bad for business. Although, Sigg believes the city’s project would be worth it.
“Benefits of having more traffic, walking, and biking, and things like that, it gives me a different opportunity which I could target different, target market,” Sigg said.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg called the whole situation “mind-boggling.” He said they have been discussing and collaborating with TxDOT since 2014 to transfer the section of Broadway, adding if TxDOT rescinds the orders, all of the work done would be lost.
“Why have we been collaborating for the last six years and spending money and time on this project, and all of the sudden they want to totally reverse it,” Mayor Nirenberg said.
The Texas Transportation Commission will vote Thursday at 10 a.m. on if the transfer will be finalized or canceled.