EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) El Paso plans to incorporate pedestrian-safety infrastructure in the popular Cincinnati entertainment district in West El Paso.
State Highway 20, or Mesa Street, divides the area where many people from college students, to nearby residents, to partygoers, cross through on any given day.
“This was one of several locations that we felt needed that improvement,” Jennifer Wright, a spokesperson for TxDot El Paso said.
Wright said TxDot is improving pedestrian infrastructure along Mesa and neighboring streets including Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cliff and Boston.
Some of the improvements include:
SH 20 from Baltimore to Cincinnati
- Raised median
- Pedestrian railing along median and curb line to direct traffic to signalized intersection crosswalks
- Driveway consolidation to make more pedestrian friendly on northbound side
- In-pavement lighting for crosswalks on Baltimore and Cincinnati
- Curb line realignment to shorten pedestrian crosswalk lengths along Baltimore
SH 20 near Boston and Cliff
- Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons with pedestrian refuge on median
“We know people come down here to have a good time and we just want them to be able to continue to do so,” Wright said.
Wright said the area has seen several crashes and deadly incidents which may have been stemmed from high speed and alcohol, however, said the improvements should still add more safety.
“Hopefully this will add some more attention-getting components that will make drivers more alert in the area,” Wright said.
The project is expected to start construction in about a month and costs around $800,000.
Austin Allen, the owner of Palomino Tavern and member of the Uptown Parking Benefit District said these improvements are long overdue.
“Any vehicular and/or on-human accidents that happen in the neighborhood are always like oh my gosh, when is someone going to do something about this,” Allen said.
Allen said there are also other infrastructure plans in the works to turn old alleyways into safer passageways decorated with lights and murals.
“There’s a lot of foot traffic there because folks go to Lost and Found and other places along Stanton and the idea is to make it easy on the eyes lets make some cool things with it,” Allen said.
The money to fix the alleys will come from the parking meters in the area which is allocated to safety and infrastructure measures in the area.