Safety project underway for stretch of Culebra Road

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After more than a year, a safety improvement project has begun on a busy West Side road.

Residents along a stretch of Culebra near Callaghan Road say they’ve witnessed too many accidents involving not only drivers, but pedestrians.

From cars to people getting on buses, people who live on the 5500 block of Culebra say the traffic is non-stop.

“It’s pretty severe out here,” says Corina Kuiroz, a resident.

Right at the intersection near the Monticello Manor Apartments, Kuiroz remembers the day she got into an accident a month ago.

“I almost didn’t come home to my kids. We are in the middle trying to turn this way as you can see that car is coming this way. (It) made our whole car turn a 180,” adds Kuiroz.

In an effort to make the road safer, The Texas Organizing Project has been working with District 7.

“Seeing it actually come to life is a wonderful feeling,” says Laquita Garcia, a member.

On Monday, crews started construction on a crosswalk along with a directional island coming out of this complex.

In total, it ‘s costing t $45,000.

It’s part of the city’s Vision Zero Initiative to reduce pedestrian deaths.

“It was really important we found ways to keep the pedestrians safe as they were crossing to and from school to the bus stop,” says Councilman Cris Medina, District 7.

In the last year, Fox San Antonio has reported on about at least eight accidents involving pedestrians along Culebra.

In August a man died after he was hit by a car. Police say he was not using a crosswalk.

“We’ve had reports of pedestrians having close calls unfortunately reports of pedestrian deaths we want to minimize at the end of the day,”

It’s a Kuiroz, she hopes the coming changes will make a difference.

“This should help us out so much,” adds Kuiroz.

Construction is expected to wrap up in the next three weeks.

The city is looking into adding more crosswalks at other stretches of Culebra.

This story originally appeared 2/8/2017 on FOX 29.

Crosswalk coming to dangerous stretch of Culebra Road after year of pleading, planning

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After more than a year of pleading and planning, the city is adding a crosswalk to a dangerous section of Culebra Road near Callaghan Road. It’s a cause for celebration for the West Side community.

Families who live near there hope the crosswalk will stop pedestrians from getting hit.

People dart across busy Culebra, between the Monticello Manor and Westway Apartments, all day. They take the risk because there’s no crosswalk. But it won’t be that way for long.

“We fought for something and it’s finally getting done,” resident Lenora Badillo-Acevedo said.

For more than a year, Badillo-Acevedo, her community members and the Texas Organizing Project have been asking the city for a crosswalk.

“People getting run over either crossing the street, some people have gotten hit-and-runs. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve seen it,” Badillo-Acevedo said.

In the 14 years Badillo-Acevedo has lived at Westway Apartments, she’s seen dozens of pedestrian accidents, even one that took a woman’s life.

“The driver claimed he didn’t see her, so the light has changed,” she said.

The city brightened streetlights along that stretch of Culebra, and on Monday, crews will start construction on the crosswalk. The project is included in Vision Zero, and will be paid for through City Council District 7’s discretionary fund.

In a community meeting, Bianca Thorpe, with the city’s Transportation and Capital Improvement Department, explained the crossing would include raised concrete borders and reflective signs and markings.

The city will also add what’s called a “directional island” in the driveway of the Westway Apartment complex. That will stop anyone from making left turns in or out of the driveway. Thorpe said this was an idea the community members came up with because all the left turns available at the intersection were making traffic more dangerous.

Even though the change means Badillo-Acevedo will now have to drive around the complex to get in, she said safety is a higher priority.

“I think it’s worth it,” she said.

Starting Monday, there will be crews working on the small stretch of Culebra for three to four weeks. That could be longer depending on weather and when materials get there. Still, the city is asking drivers to slow down, especially while work is going on there.

This story originally appeared 2/8/2017 on KSAT 12.