Citing safety issues in one of Edinburg’s oldest residential districts, some residents of Enfield Estates are requesting the City take action to improve their neighborhood.
At the City Council meeting on Oct. 6, residents of Enfield in south Edinburg requested that the city consider widening Austin Blvd, as well as establish curb and gutters.
“Our street is very narrow. In order for two cars to go down that street, if they are traveling in opposite directions, one has to move over because the street is too narrow,” said resident Pat Del Barrio, who was present at the meeting.
Del Barrio, who has lived at her home on Austin Street for nearly 24 years says during that span she has witnessed on numerous occasions, the local postman getting stuck in the mud. She has also seen speeding traffic that has a tendency to push over children who ride their bikes on the street.
“The school bus, the kids are dodging cars because they have to run to the bus because it parks at the Subway (restaurant) sometimes,” she said. “It’s an old neighborhood. I kind of figure it’s a historical neighborhood and we should maintain it. If we all came together, we can make the neighborhood better and safer, right now it’s not.”
City administration presented to the City Council the inherent risks outlined by at least 52 residents of Enfield Estates in a petition addressed to Public Works last July. Enfield is arguably one of Edinburg’s oldest neighborhoods dating back to 1927. It is located just west of Tourist Drive and south of the Echo Hotel.
In his presentation, city engineer Isael Posadas outlined a roadway proposal with an estimated total cost at $936,180 to complete the project in three phases. Street improvements are estimated to cost $184,649; water improvements, $475,079; and sewer improvements, $276,452.
City engineers plan to add a curb and gutter to missing sections, widen areas with missing curb and gutter to match the existing roadway and add drainage inlets.
“We have looked at this once before. At the time, what we did, which was shortterm was just go out in areas where it was narrow, was just clean out some of the bar ditches,” Posadas said. “At the time, due to funding shortfalls we weren’t able to address this. Now it looks like we can do something a little more longterm.”
The council did not move on any part of the issue. Instead, Posadas said his department is now in charge of visiting with property owners to hear both sides of the argument for and against widening of Austin Blvd.
“We believe we don’t have a consensus among the property owners. Two years ago there was some resistance to the widening because people were afraid of faster traffic,” Posadas said. “If you widen the road you were going to mess up some of the landscaping that was a nice feature of the subdivision.”