Bicyclist express frustration over Transmountain lane closure

El Paso News

El Paso, TX (KTSM) — El Paso group Velo Paso expressed their frustration with the Texas Department of Transportation Monday, as it continued to remind bicyclists in El Paso to avoid Transmountain Road, during its project to rehabilitate the roadway.

According to TXDOT El Paso, the project will have six phases, which will take 2 months each. It includes miles of pavement rehabilitation and nearly 10 miles of cable barrier and guardrail.

Velo Paso, a local bicycle-pedestrian coalition, expressed, the construction is not the problem, but that TXDOT does not provide a safe and alternative route for cyclists like it is required to by state and city law.

“It’s state law and its city code, both of which say bikes are vehicles and from that, they should take that they should be treated as vehicles,” said Velo Policy Director, Scott White.

White told KTSM, cyclist are not taken seriously by the City or TXDOT.

“Every mode of transportation needs to be considered as important in the process of planning for temporary traffic controls, what you’re supposed to do, is you’re supposed to provide a safe alternate route,” White expressed.

KTSM reached out to TXDOT for a comment on the concerns.

“We understand their concern and as with all construction projects, safety is a top priority… We cannot safely afford bicyclists travel within the active construction zone,” Laura Macias-Cervantes with TXDOT.

Cervantes added, roads will be safer after the project.

“Once complete, the bicyclists will be on rehabilitated pavement with upgraded guardrail and new striping,” Cervantes said.

According to TXDOT, the project on Transmountain is expected to finish by the Fall of 2021.

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