New median on Copia causes residents frustration, TxDOT says it’s for safety

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) built a median on Copia Street, and some residents aren’t happy with the addition.

According to TxDOT officials, Copia – along with other areas including Dyer Street – were chosen due to the number of accidents that have occurred in the areas and the medians are meant to improve safety.

Resident Marian Chanes lives off of Copia and tells KTSM 9 News that the new median prevents her from turning on her street. Instead, she has to go farther down the street to make a U-turn.

“For me, it’s just been a little difficult because usually when I come from work I come from the Westside and I usually take the exit at Montana and I could just turn here and get home, but now I have to go straight up and then like go around or take a u-turn and then come here,” Chanes said.

She adds that her brother lives on the same street, but on the other side of Copia, saying she used to be able to drive straight across.

“The crosswalk that they put here I think it’s pretty useful but I think they shouldn’t have blocked the way to cross the street and I think it’s pretty hard to see at night so I think it’s going to cause more accidents,” said Chanes.

City Representative for District two Alexsandra Anello says the median has made accessing driveways for some in the area more difficult.

“A lot of people who live in the area specifically people who live off of Copia who are now kind of having a difficult, near impossible time getting into their driveways,” said Annello.

Annello said that she understands the project is to improve safety but thinks TxDOT should have spoken to community members.

“They were looking at data a little further down the street on Wyoming where people were crossing the street where there was no crosswalk so they were being hit by vehicles. And their idea was that this median would give some kind of relief if they were crossing the street illegally they could stop on the median and that’s a help, my concern is they didn’t take any input from the community whatsoever,” said Annello.

TxDOT spokesperson Jennifer Wright says that the median may be less convenient for people in the area, but it is not blocking access.

“We are looking at instances on a case-by-case basis, so if there is an accommodation we can make we will make it. But if it’s just for convenience sake that someone wants a change that’s not necessarily going to make us make a change,” said Wright.

Wright added that the project had a short timeline and that community input was not necessary.

“They did not require public input because were working strictly within our own right own right of way and it’s a safety thing and again the timeline was a little compressed because the money came quickly and we knew what needed to be done in these locations so we apologize that people didn’t get enough warning on it but we’re working to do better,” said Wright.

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