One thought on “Frio Street Improvements Break Ground Amid Concern

  1. Potentially, this project will address some longstanding ADA pedestrian access and AAMPO ‘pedestrian safety’ issues along Frio Street north of Buena Vista to Centro Plaza related to narrow/subnormal sidewalk widths and poor crossing conditions (some of the intersections, particularly at Houston Street, could be timed as all-direction scrambles) — and it’s a shame the work wasn’t completed when Centro Plaza was opened to the public in 2015(!) when there was development interest in the Scobey buildings on Medina north of Houston.

    The delay in public works on Frio Street is astounding considering that planning for this $5m project (a high priority project according to Federal ADA requirements, noting the pedestrian paths along Frio lead to a major transit center and a public university and other areas of ‘public accommodation’) commenced in 2010?

    It’s also disappointing that the current project doesn’t envision the pedestrian work needed on a few blocks further north on Frio to at least Martin as well as on Martin to help link UTSA and Centro Plaza with downtown San Pedro Creek wor. Or explore a few blocks of Frio south of Buena Vista and possibilities to connect with new revitalization work on South Laredo Street (People Fund & Maestro Center) as far west as Trinity — where there are severe ADA pedestrian access barriers, including in terms of links with the Apache Creek trail system and Martinez Park further south.

    Pedestrian crossings are needed on Frio at Travis as well as Salinas to help restore the urban grid and serve Centro Plaza users boarding buses on Travis, as well as to support improvement along Medina; crossings also are needed at Perez, Haven for Hope Way/ SAISD, Leal, Arbor and Rivas on Frio north of Centro Plaza, including to support safe access to existing paths, apartment complexes and VIA bus stops as well as eventual Martinez Creek trail work (due by 2019). Bike lanes and possibly on-street parking slots are needed on Martin east of Medina to support access to and from downtown and San Pedro Creek as well as to address sections of Martin that are too wide (voided out with paint) and might encourage speeding. Crossings are also needed on Frio at Vera Cruz, Colima, El Paso and San Fernando to restore the urban grid, support revitalization and existing residents and improve access to Zima Real bus lines as well as new Bexar County offices.

    In addition, BCycle stations are needed at Centro Plaza (as long planned) and Buena Vista and Leona (as removed; there’s still a slab in place). Other stations are needed at Martin & Camaron to support San Pedro Creek access as well as at Cafe College (El Paso near San Saba) and the Bexar County offices on Pecos south of Vera Cruz to connect the network; BCycle is also needed on the Apache Creek trail system, and a pedestrian access point to the trail is needed on San Marcos south of Tampico. A pedestrian crossing of Buena Vista is needed at Leona to further improve pedestrian conditions near UTSA and in this ‘Westside gateway’ area.

    The tardy Frio Street work should be re-considered as part of a pedestrian mobility plan for the overall Zona Cultural (phases II & I) as well as a larger UTSA / Westside gateway area that could be framed as Laredo & Trinity north to Frio & Cypress, connecting two of the City’s 2017 Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) fund REnewSA ‘target areas’ of Ave. Guadalupe and Five Points with San Pedro Creek work as well as Apache Creek work. The $5m should be at least tripled, including possibly with existing CDBG funds, to support pedestrian improvement work from South Laredo Street as far west as at least Trinity to Cypress at Camaron – a distance of only 2 or so miles.

    An abandoned rail bridge lane spanning the distance from Ellerman to Tampico (crossing Apache Creek) currently provides opportunity to link revitalization efforts on South Laredo Street (People Fund and the Maestro Center) with this Westside gateway and the Westside Creek trail system. The delay in 2012 bond spending provides Council the opportunity to assess current conditions to create a better inner Westside (and therefore ‘downtown’) pedestrian mobility plan involving improvements on greater Frio Street connecting key recent public investments – including Centro Plaza, Bexar County offices on Pecos, Cafe College, Apache Creek and San Pedro Creek north of downtown. The key to serving existing residents as well as encouraging investment in long vacant sites in this part of downtown is to re-connect and improve the urban grid for pedestrians (at minor cost) – including with crossings closer to every 200 feet (and never more than 400 feet).

    The same urban design crossing standards could be applied to Cesar Chavez east of Alamo Street and Alamo Street south of Commerce to help form a much-needed Hemisfair pedestrian mobility plan (and to address severe and longstanding ADA pedestrian access issues on Cesar Chavez east of Indianola) as well as to improve Broadway north of the I-35 for pedestrians.

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