The streets near Los Hermanos Flores Park could become safer for pedestrian traffic as the Kingsville City Commission considers changing the intersection of E. Santa Gertrudis Avenue and N. 12th Street into a four-way stop.
The ordinance authorizing the placement of stop signs, stop bars and crosswalks at the intersection was introduced during Monday’s city commission meeting. City Engineer Rutilio Mora said the intersection is currently a two-way stop, with stop signs on N. 12th Street.
Mora said the recent improvements to Flores Park, which have included new playground equipment, picnic tables and a splash pad, have led to “an increase in pedestrian traffic.”
“And a two-way stop is no longer the safest intersection condition,” Mora said.
Mayor pro tem Edna Lopez said changing the intersection to a four-way stop was “a very good idea.”
“Ever since they repaved, I’ve gotten several complaints that traffic has just been going by extremely fast,” Lopez said.
Mayor Sam Fugate said traffic in that area “probably needs to be slowed down a little more.”
“There are a lot of kids down there,” he said.
Mora said along with adding two new stop signs to the intersection, crosswalks and stop bars – thick white lines painted across the lane indicating to drivers they need to stop their vehicles – would also be placed across Santa Gertrudis Avenue.
The total cost estimate for the project is about $1,300, which, if authorized, would be paid through the city’s general fund.
In an interview on Tuesday, Kingsville Parks and Recreation Director Susan Ivy said she has noticed the increase in pedestrian traffic since the city began implementing improvements at the park.
“And now that we’re in summer, there’s been a lot of foot traffic in that area,” Ivy said. “And to get to (Flores Park) from the neighborhood, some of them have to cross that busy street, Santa Gertrudis (Avenue), and I think a stop sign and a crosswalk there is an excellent idea.”
Ivy said making the intersection a four-way stop would “increase the safety of the children and families that live in the neighborhood.”
“People zoom down Santa Gertrudis,” she said. “So we appreciated this solution to that problem and we can get it done.”
Kingsville resident and parent Carla Garza, who brings her children regularly to Flores Park, said she was also in favor of the change.
“It would definitely be safer for the kids,” she said.
Garza said making the intersection a four-way stop would also be a benefit during the school year for students attending the nearby Kleberg Elementary School.
“My little ones go to Kleberg (Elementary), this is a very busy street, especially during school time,” she said.
The Kingsville City Commission could take action to authorize the new four-way stop during their next regular meeting, tentatively set for Monday, July 22 at 6 p.m.
Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at email@example.com or (361) 221-0251.