Fri, 25 Sep 2015 21:35:00 GMT — Crews will begin construction this winter on a new median along north 10th Street in McAllen. Not everyone wants the strip of concrete.
The McAllen Citizen's League held a meeting Thursday to discuss the issue. "This is a project that is in partnership with the City of McAllen. It is something that is not set in stone or concrete," said Texas Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Octavio Saenz. More than 350 people signed a petition called, Stop the 10th Street median. They want McAllen city commissioners to reconsider. "When you build a business, (and) when you invest all your hard earned money into that business, (it TMs) location, location, location. You want the best location, and you pick that location. So, it TMs a disservice that the city is doing to take that prime property that you now have with that prime entrance away and is going to put a barrier there," said concerned resident and former McAllen ISD school board trustee Debbie Crane-Aliseda. The raised median is a way to better manage the flow of traffic and reduce potential accidents or conflict areas, according to Saenz. "Think of it this way, you go to an amusement park. and you go on a ride, those rails that dictate where the line is supposed to go, imagine if those were not there. You would have a mob. People would have different options of where to move. So, in essence, that controls the flow of traffic," Saenz explained. But not everyone believes a physical median will resolve traffic issues. "They say they are taking away conflict points, (but) they are adding more areas for accidents because they have to travel further and make U-turns. Another problem I have is the flush median, theirs is no median. If you see an accident in your rear view mirror, you can pull in the middle lane for refuge," Crane-Aliseda said. Most who are against building the median feel it will impact local businesses and future development. They point to Ware Road as an example. "You tell me what got built since the median. The answer is two buildings, I know of, maybe three. All the rest of the land is undeveloped, and it TMs undeveloped for an obvious reason. Retail follows rooftops and retail decisions are based on location," said real estate specialist Michael Blum. Weingarten Realty owns Trenton Crossing Shopping Center on 10th Street. "We want further evaluation of the 10th Street median project to determine impact, the realty company said in a statement. It appears there will be negative access issues for our property and our tenants."