Residents voice frustration at lack of pedestrian crossing along portion of Culebra

City working on a solution, funding still needed

SAN ANTONIO – West Side residents along a stretch of Culebra Road said they are tired of dodging traffic to cross the road.

Julie Ann Valdez takes the bus most places, like the grocery store, to the doctor's office and to do errands.

"The bus is fine. I couldn't ask for it to get any closer," she said from her apartment complex across the street from the stop.

The problem is even that close can be too far when someone needs to cross five lanes of traffic in a wheelchair.

"I have to play chicken every time I cross the street," she said.

Valdez was one of several residents and community organizers to meet on Friday with representatives from VIA and the city's Transportation and Capital Improvements Department in the 5500 block of Culebra Road. Frustrated with trying to dodge traffic on what they said is a dangerous stretch of road, residents want some solutions to make the area safer.

The Westway Apartments and Monticello Manor are on either side of the street, along with the bus stops. However, there's no way to cross safely without going to crosswalks that are about a quarter mile in either direction.

T.C.I. Senior Engineer Bianca Thorpe said the department had a meeting with the residents and District 7 Councilman Cris Medina's office in April, but they wanted to see the site themselves.

Now that they have, "it's a pedestrian crossing is what we're going to do our assessment, our measurements and see where the best placement, and then our plan is to come back to the community," Thorpe said.

Thorpe said T.C.I. is hoping to present its plan in about a month.

But if a solution is found, funding will need to be found, too.

"We're going to really lean on staff to come up with some plans for us to look at so that we can maybe look at the budget for funding, maybe look at a bond project in the next few months or so," Medina said.

In the meantime, residents will cross where they can.

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