TxDOT provides funding for Barrio Neighborhood streetscape project

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials from the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) presented a check Friday to the City of Amarillo and the Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee for more than $1.7 million to go towards a streetscape project in the Barrio Neighborhood.

This is a part of more than $55 million which have been given by the Texas Transportation Commission given for 41 projects across the state. These projects will build sidewalks, shared-use paths, bike lanes, pedestrian bridges, and other safety features for people who walk and ride bicycles for transportation.

According to a news release from the department, the funding comes from the Transportation Alternatives program as well as the Safe Routes to Schools program. All the projects which were awarded came after a call for projects from cities and counties across the state which have a population under 200,000.

“We’re seeing a disturbing trend as more and more pedestrians and cyclists are dying on Texas roadways and it’s been increasing for the past five years,” Laura Ryan. the Texas Transportation Commissioner, said in the release. “This funding will help improve safety for our more vulnerable users throughout the state – and go a long way in helping us achieve our goal of ending the streak of daily deaths.”

The Barrio Neighborhood SE 10th Ave. Streetscape Improvement Project will construct 1.1 miles of five-foot-wide sidewalks, ADA ramps, and crosswalks on both sides of Southeast 10th Avenue in the Barrio neighborhood, the release states. The project includes additional safety improvements including lane narrowing for traffic calming, driveway improvements, corridor access management, and enhanced bus stops.

Emily Koller, assistant director of planning with the City of Amarillo said the goal is with projects like the Barrio Neighborhood SE 10th Ave. Streetscape Improvement is to help with reinvestment in older neighborhoods in the city.

“So, something like this has the ability to serve as a catalyst for that, so this is an enormous investment in this neighborhood that has the potential to jump-start a lot of other projects,” said Koller.

Koller added they want the Barrio Neighborhood to be a destination location where people in Amarillo and tourists can go and walk around.

“It should be a walkable, mainstreet type feel, but right now it is very car-oriented,” said Koller.

Sonja Gross, public information officer for TxDOT Amarillo District says TxDOT wants to do their part to help #endthestreak on Texas highways, and that includes grants like this and education.

“We will continue to do our part in designing and constructing roads that are better designed with bicyclists and pedestrians in mind and we will continue to educate the public on being responsible drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians. Whatever it takes. We are going to do our part and we ask the public to do their part,” said Gross.

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