Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

University pushes forward, traffic stalls

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is expanding UTSA Boulevard — and headaches too.

TxDOT is currently widening UTSA Blvd from two lanes to five and slowing traffic and increasing travel time in the process.

With enrollment at UTSA’s Main Campus at an all-time high — Fall 2014 witnessed the highest percentage of students within the last five years (81.1 percent) enrolled at the Main Campus — the highly touted $9 million project comes at the wrong time for UTSA students and local businesses.

According to US News and Education, 95 percent of UTSA students currently live off campus, which translates to an absurd amount of traffic along UTSA Blvd during peak rush-hour times in the mornings and in the afternoons.

So why begin building now? Considering the high volume of traffic to and from campus, shouldn’t TxDOT have started sooner?

Because of the duration of the project, beginning in the summer would not have curbed the impact to campus. With the project slated to be completed in 2017, traffic from construction was always in view. And prolonged construction leaves UTSA students to deal with the adverse consequences — like safety for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.

Additionally, the emergency response time for the more than dozen off-campus apartments located along UTSA Blvd will be adversely affected; for example, about half of college students consume alcohol through binge drinking, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Local business will be affected as well.

The popular hangout spot, The Block — which houses ecletic food truck choices — will undoubtedly see its attendance affected.

But, at least there is a silver lining.

The project, expected to be completed in 2017, wil fully equip UTSA Blvd with bike lanes and desirable traffic flow. And if that isn’t enough, according to TxDOT, the current 18,700 vehicles that frequent UTSA Blvd now, will increase to more than 28,000 within the next 20 years.

With UTSA expanding at its current rate, headaches and hinderances, such as traffic flow, detours and commute, time are to be expected.

The University is on the right track to expand its surrounding area.

Soon all roads, proverbial and concrete, will lead to campus.

But will they reach Tier One status as well?

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