Local News

Oct 21, 2013 11:15 AM by Janine Reyes

Meeting Open to Public Aims to Create Safer Streets for Pedestrians

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Our roads can be deadly for walkers, joggers and cyclists. Now, a group of private engineers are teaming up with the city hoping to change that.

Some who run our streets say making them more people friendly is essential.

That's why a group of private and city engineers plan to meet and discuss it.

"It took all of 2 seconds for someone to put me on the couch for six months," said Josh Newton. His life changed dramatically july 20th as he trained for the New York Marathon. "I was on a 6 mile tempo run and I was at the 1 and a half mile mark at that particular point in time," Newton said.

At that particular point in time, a driver plowed into him, crushing his marathon plans and his leg. "It's a big setback," Newton told us, "but, I'm very fortunate to be here right now, fortunate enough to be alive and the fact that I will be able to walk again and run again."

Unfortunately, several walkers, joggers and cyclists have been hit along Ocean Drive. That's something Anthonly Gavlik notices as both a cyclist and a civil engineer. "I know we have a bike lane along Ocean right now, but, it's really tight, there's not much separation from traffic," said Gavlik who is a member of The Corpus Christi American Society of Civil Engineers.

He pointed out another example on the city's southside, there's a hike and bike trail off Ennis Joslin, but if a cyclist jogger, or walker wants to get there from the two lane road that leads up to it, there's absolutely nowhere for them to safely travel.

It's a problem Gavlik notices across our city.

"How do we rank right now in your opinion," we asked him. "Below fair," he replied.

Gavlik and others hope to change that all across our city. "It can be done, plans can be made and these improvements can be incorporated into capital improvement projects, so it can be done over time," said Gavilk

To get it done, it's going to take cooperation from everyone who uses the roads to run, cycle or walk.

People like Newton, who definitely plans to attend.

Because, just like it will take time for him to recover from his injuries, he's hoping in time we'll see improvements to our roads as well. "To just move our city forward and make us a healthy town," Newton said.

Police have not found the driver who hit Newton. All he knows is he got hit by a white SUV. The investigation is still open.

As for the Pedestrian and Cyclist Mobility Planning Panel Discussion, it is set for Thursday, October 24th at the Corpus Christi Science and History Museum in the Watergarden Room. It starts at 6:30 and admission is free.

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