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'It's a hidden danger': Commuters complain about crosswalk headache

Residents of a southwest-side community say that multiple cars have crashed into a newly-erected crosswalk.

SAN ANTONIO — A small, 6-inch high, raised crosswalk near the bustling intersection of West Military and Royal Gate Drive is giving commuters headaches, as well as car trouble.

Southwest side resident Frank Montanez reached out to Eyewitness Wants to Know on Monday, sharing photos of cars that have crashed into the crosswalk since it was recently erected.

The crosswalk sits on a strip of road managed by the Texas Department of Transportation. However, VIA pushed for the construction of the crosswalk to allow for easier access to a bus stop on West Military Drive.

Residents said that at least three cars have crashed into the crosswalk because it's hard to see, especially at night. 

“It’s that it’s hidden. A hidden danger, if you will,” Montanez said.

Our Eyewitness Wants to Know team went out to the crosswalk Tuesday. While there, only one person crossed -- outside of the crosswalk.

Oil, broken plastic and debris from cars cover the center of the raised crosswalk. Residents said it's more of a hazard than a help and that few people use it.

Aside from two signs off to the side of the wide, seven-lane road, not much else points out the crosswalk.

"I perfectly understand there's a need for crosswalk but there's also common sense to install signage or letting drivers know to go around this crosswalk," Montanez told KENS 5 in an email.

He said, “I just don’t understand why they don’t put signage out here."

A spokeswoman for TxDOT said the agency has only gotten one claim for vehicle damage after a San Antonio police officer crashed into the crosswalk. Police, however, did not immediately return a request for comment seeking more information about the incident.

VIA said the project met TxDOT's criteria and that safety is the agency's number one priority. A representative for TxDOT said they will be placing temporary delineators at the crosswalk, but it's unclear if a permanent solution is coming.

“Either signage or take if off," Montanez said of solutions he'd like to see. "Or move it back where it should be, which is a few feet off.”

While talking with Montanez, other residents joined in, telling KENS 5 about how they have seen the crosswalk cause damage to vehicles, and how they themselves have nearly hit the raised island.

A representative for VIA was unavailable for an on-camera interview, but sent KENS 5 the following statement:

“Safety is our No. 1 priority. VIA built the pedestrian refuge island to provide a safe place for people to stand while crossing the seven-lane road, particularly when accessing our service in that area. It is built near the midpoint of the road, which is owned by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), a strong partner in mobility and safety for our shared roadways. The structure was built to specifications provided by TxDOT, and was reviewed and approved by them. It features reflective surfaces to enhance visibility for pedestrians and motorists. We understand that TxDOT is reviewing the situation for any modifications that could be made to improve its visibility in this environment. Any changes, including additional signage deemed appropriate, would be made by TxDOT.”

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