EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) El Paso plans to integrate pedestrian safety infrastructure into the popular Cincinnati entertainment district in West El Paso.
State Highway 20 or Mesa Street divides the area that many people from college students to local residents to party goers walk through every day.
“This was one of several locations that we think needs improvement,” said Jennifer Wright, a spokeswoman for TxDot El Paso.
Wright says TxDot is improving pedestrian infrastructure along Mesa and neighboring streets like Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cliff, and Boston.
Some of the improvements include:
SH 20 from Baltimore to Cincinnati
- Increased median
- Pedestrian railings along the center and curb line to direct traffic to the marked intersections
- Merging of the driveways to improve pedestrian friendliness on the north side
- Street lighting for zebra crossings in Baltimore and Cincinnati
- Realignment of the curb line to shorten the length of the pedestrian crossings along Baltimore
SH 20 near Boston and Cliff
- Pedestrian hybrid beacons with pedestrian protection on the median
“We know people come here to have a good time and we just want them to keep doing it,” Wright said.
Wright said there had been multiple accidents and fatalities in the area, possibly due to high speed and alcohol, but said the improvements should add even more safety.
“Hopefully this will add some attention-grabbing components that will make drivers in the area more aware,” Wright said.
The project is scheduled to start construction in about a month and will cost around $ 800,000.
Austin Allen, the owner of the Palomino Tavern and a member of the Uptown Parking Benefit District, said these improvements were long overdue.
“All vehicle and / or personal accidents that happen in the neighborhood are always like, oh my god, when is someone going to do something about it,” Allen said.
Allen said other infrastructure plans were also in the works to turn old alleys into safer passageways adorned with lights and murals.
“There’s a lot of foot traffic there because people go to Lost and Found and other places along Stanton and the idea is to make it easy on the eyes and do some cool things with it,” Allen said.
The money for the repair of the alleys comes from the parking meters in the area, which is used for security and infrastructure measures in the area.