Sunday, December 9, 2012

City to Improve Pedestrian/Bicycle Access Around UTEP, Convention Center

The City of El Paso will submit four different applications to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) for the 2012 Texas Transportation Enhancement Program Call for Projects, each improving walkability and bicycling standards along city streets. Three projects focus on access points to the University of Texas at El Paso, and one targets Santa Fe Street from I-10 to the Convention Center.

University Avenue Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project - This project will affect access along three blocks of University Avenue from Stanton Street to the Hilton Garden Inn. It includes the installation of a landscaped median dividing vehicular traffic into one lane in each direction, considered traffic-calming. Over 500 feet of a bicycle lane will also be added. Also included will be 16 street trees per block, 16 pedestrian lighting units per block, and four benches per block. Crosswalks will consist of stamped concrete, and sidewalks will be six feet wide.

Hawthorne Street Pedestrian and Bicycle Project - This project includes two blocks of Hawthorne Street between Rim Road and Crosby Avenue. Two bicycle lanes are included, one in each direction along this stretch. Also included will be 16 street trees per block, 16 street lamps per block, and two benches per block. Parking will be limited to the eastern side of Hawthorne Street. A large textured and stained concrete medallion will occupy the intersection of Hawthorne and Rim. 

Lawton Drive Pedestrian Improvement Project - This project affects 875 feet of Lawton Drive near the UTEP campus, between Schuster and Prospect Avenues. It includes 20 street trees, 42 street lamps, and treated concrete crosswalks. Marked street parking spaces will line both sides of the roadway.

Santa Fe Street Pedestrian Improvement Project - The project supports "the development of a pedestrian-oriented corridor along Santa Fe extending from San Antonio Ave. to Missouri Ave," about four blocks in length. It includes 63 street trees, 27 street lamps, and treated concrete crosswalks. A tapered median will also be constructed on Santa Fe Street beginning just north of San Antonio Avenue. The right of way along the upcoming baseball stadium is not part of this project.

If approved by TXDOT, the State will reimburse the City the state portion of the cost. The City would complete the projects within four years of approval. The projects around UTEP would mirror the University's plans to improve walkability around campus. 

TXDOT Transportation Enhancement Program website: