The City of San Marcos plans five-year sidewalk maintenance program

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The City of San Marcos plans five-year sidewalk maintenance program

Early plans mapping out the next five years of the Sidewalk Maintenance and Gap Infill Program

Early plans mapping out the next five years of the Sidewalk Maintenance and Gap Infill Program

Photo courtesy of The City of San Marcos

Early plans mapping out the next five years of the Sidewalk Maintenance and Gap Infill Program

Photo courtesy of The City of San Marcos

Photo courtesy of The City of San Marcos

Early plans mapping out the next five years of the Sidewalk Maintenance and Gap Infill Program

Daniel Weeks, News Reporter

The San Marcos Public Services Department hosted an open house event to inform the community about the upcoming Sidewalk Maintenance and Gap Infill Program.

The public was invited to the San Marcos Activity Center July 29 for the open house. Graphics were set up around the room displaying the upcoming maintenance plan.

The plan is conducive to the next five years, costing $150,000 annually. All of San Marcos would be open to new maintenance with the exception of the campus and surrounding streets.

According to the program’s purpose statement, the goal of the Sidewalk Maintenance and Gap Infill is, “To enhance connectivity, promote walkability, improve accessibility, and increase safety throughout the city.”

Shawn Wolfshohl, streets manager for the public services department, said the organization’s main focus is safety for pedestrians, an example being Craddock Avenue implementing an extended sidewalk for students attempting to reach the nearby bus stop. This route previously required people to walk along the side of the high-traffic Old Ranch Road.

However, the plan does have some legal and natural limitations.

Tom Taggart, public services executive director, detailed potential roadblocks that prevent action from the city’s transportation department.

“There is no way to acquire right-of-way into front yards,” Taggart said. “We have to work with the right-of-way that exists and the location of some oak trees and the span of their root zones.”

San Marcos locals filled the open house with their voices and thoughts, as they appeared ready to express concerns over safety in their neighborhoods. Several individuals were upset to the point of voices being raised and forced interjections.

Explanations of policy from Sabas Avila, assistant director at the department of public services, were often met with equal retorts.

Maxfield Baker, San Marcos resident since 2007, went to the meeting out of curiosity and concern for the upcoming program. He frequently walks throughout the city and observes flaws in the footpath construction near his home.

“Most of the time I’m walking through Cheatham and Guadalupe and seeing that’s the main route where people are walking into town, especially folks walking from the east side of town, they’re left kind of walking into traffic,” Baker said. “You can see where we need sidewalks because the grass is worn away.”

Maintenance will begin on Alamo Street near West Sessom Drive late 2019 and is expected to conclude with construction in downtown San Marcos by 2024. Additional information can be found on the City of San Marcos Public Services-Transportation Department website or by phone at 512.393.8036

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