EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Businesses in the Five Points area are seeing temporary improvements put in place by the city to address traffic concerns, while also aiming to encourage more pedestrian activity in a safe way.
Currently, there are barriers and barrels that block off the right lane of N. Piedras Street (between E. Yandell Drive and Tularosa Avenue) which slows down traffic and offers more outdoor space.
One new local restaurant in the area was able to open its doors to the community in mid-February and hopes to see more business along with safety measures in the Five Points entertainment district.
“We just wanted to add something different to the area, so our food is totally different than any other concept in the neighborhood,” said Rico Velez, owner/operator of Fowl Mouths EPTX.
Fowl Mouths is a new local grill and bar located in the Five Points area. After opening amid the pandemic, Velez said there were a few challenges prior. “Our biggest obstacle, of course, was just trying to make sure we abide by the mandates and then, of course, getting our permits approved because the city was still operating on their COVID hours as well. So it was kind of hard getting everything functional, but it was a great and smooth process once everything got rolling and wasn’t a big issue.”
Recently, the City of El Paso implemented Traffic Control Plan enhancements, which is part of the “Sun City Safe” program, which aims to provide economic relief to businesses affected by COVID-19 in that area.
It also provides additional outdoor space and on-street parking, while addressing traffic speeds in the area.
“One side is becoming parking, the other side is an extension of the patios for the bars. It does slow down traffic a little bit and the city is going to do it for about a month, then make a determination if something is going to stay permanent,” Velez shared.
He is urging drivers in the area to remain vigilant day and night, but also hopes for more improvements that will enhance safety.
“We definitely need more pedestrian crossing, we need more lights in this particular area, especially in the entertainment district because it is very dark at night,” Velez explained. “There’s a couple of lights that are out. The city did repave the pedestrian crossings but they’re nothing compared to bigger cities.”
The city of El Paso says these enhancements will be in place through May 23, unless extended for another month.
Fowl Mouths EPTX is located at 800 N. Piedras St. The restaurant offers take-out, delivery, and dine-in.