EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Alameda Avenue, a 13 miles long street that begins near downtown El Paso and merges into Mission Trail, is still home to countless local businesses operating from both fixed locations as well as from mobile kitchens.
The famous street is also where El Pasoans and visitors alike can see a reflection of the culture, language, art and life in this frontier town. And some are now thinking about what the next decade could look like for the state road, as the city of El Paso will host a town hall where residents will be asked to “reimagine” the corridor.
Roberto “Bobby” Bustamante, who has worked for the county in road and bridge construction for more than 30 years, agrees that Alameda needs improvements.
Bustamante, who has lived at his home on Romeria Drive near Alameda for more than 40 years, said the street could use improvements to empower businesses and take better measures to improve traffic flow. In and out of the shops would also make the areas more welcoming for guests, he added.
He said the state road has changed over the past few decades and improvements need to be made to modernize it.
“Alameda is no longer where you go 30 miles an hour,” he said. âEveryone wants to hit everyone. It’s more like a motorway and we are in an urban area that has grown immensely. ”
The city is looking for input for the âOnward Alamedaâ project. It is a comprehensive corridor study and master plan that will help develop long-term visions for the future of the road and how it might change in the near future. It is planned to move from the city center to Socorro.
âTo develop a new successful plan and vision that meets the needs of the community requires the participation and ideas of as many members of the community as possible. So we ask everyone to join us so that your voice will be heard, âsaid City Engineer Sam Rodriguez. “The Alameda Corridor has historically been one of the integral corridors for the mobility and expansion of the El Paso community.”
Much has changed on Alameda since Bustamante first moved into his Lower Valley residence. Like many residents, Bustamante wants a firmer road surface and better traffic areas. But like his neighbors, he would like to see improvements in the offers along the street. He mentioned that he would like to see a fairground or area where residents can gather and celebrate the community.
“For example, we lost the Bronco Swap,” he said. âPeople went out there just to walk. Meet up with friends, have a churro, a burrito. And you can see what’s on sale or talk to the sellers. It was like an escape for the people who came to Alameda. “
Fabiola Campos Lopez, president of the Corridor 20 Civic Association, said she was glad a study was being investigated to improve Alameda. And it’s not often the street that gets attention, she added.
Campos said she would like to see sidewalks built where they are missing and to see existing ones renewed and widened. The street should also have rest areas along the sidewalk in case individuals wish to walk along the Alameda.
She said the parking lots should also be expanded near commercial areas to make them safer. The motorway could also use better rainwater infrastructure and zebra crossings to make it more accessible.
âTry to think about how to slow down the traffic,â she said. âIt could be roundabouts, it could be calming bumps or more lights. But maybe they have to find a way to say it for everyone, âshe said.
Future discussions may revolve around how to ensure that improvements do not lead to an increase in the cost of living for those living nearby. And some residents are pondering what the future of car parks along Alameda will look like.
This discourse can take place during the town hall scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on August 26th. Residents can join in to contribute via a zoom link posted on the city’s website.
Cassandra Hernandez, city representative for District 3, which represents part of the city that includes Alameda, said there were opportunities to improve the highway and meet development needs.
“The money for the master planning is separated from the Texas Ministry of Transport, we are working with the master planning of the roadway with TxDOT,” said Hernandez. âThe city council has passed a capital improvement plan that includes planning documents for key corridors across El Paso. Alameda was part of one of the streets selected as the master plan. “
Hernandez said residents near Alameda are prioritizing the road and have urged elected officials to improve it.
“The Alameda Corridor is more than just a street: there are lanes, sidewalks, right of way, landscape buffers, vacancy and rezoning opportunities,” she said. “We want to have a discussion about how the future development along the corridor will take place, how housing, retail and grocery stores can be promoted in order to ensure a diversified business market.”
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