Laguna Heights Residents Concerned Over Pedestrians' Safety

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LAGUNA HEIGHTS – People in Laguna Heights said they've stayed quiet for too long, and are tired of being over looked.

Rambo Barrera, a resident there, said he's no longer willing to do that.

"I'm going to speak, and I'm going to speak for this little town," Barrera said.

For too long, Barrera said, the Cameron County Colonia has been just a place, people from all over the country, pass through, to get to South Padre Island.

He wants county and state officials to look closer at residents’ safety in his hometown.

"Nobody ever done anything much just - blinking lights," Barrera said. "We need some traffic lights. We need some cross road lights here."

His frustration sparks from a recent accident.

A Laguna Heights woman remains hospitalized in San Antonio. She was struck by a deputy constable here Sunday night, while crossing the road.

She suffered broken bones in her hip, arm and leg, and a large laceration to the head.

Barrera said he and other residents will unite Saturday to hold signs along Highway 100, to make their concerns known.

Laguna Heights spans about a mile.

As CHANNEL 5 NEWS crews drove from one end of the Colonia, to the other, they saw nothing in place that gives pedestrians the right-of-way.

"This little town has been ignored," Barrera said.  "There has to be an end to this - I hope there's an end."

The Texas Department of Transportation has oversight for Highway 100.

Spokesman Octavio Saenz said a citizen contacted them Tuesday requesting a pedestrian study.  That contact followed our initial report of the accident Monday.

That means, over the next few months, TXDot will be out in Laguna Heights trying to determine if a crosswalk is merited.

"We should say that we did one three years ago, and found not a place where there's a concentration of pedestrian traffic," Saenz said, "but never the less, we are here to serve the public.”

TXDot will set-up cameras to record pedestrian traffic and gather data necessary to make a determination on what, if anything, will be built here for those crossing the street.

"Whatever it is that is built, whatever infrastructure is there, has to have factual data backing it up," Saenz said. "That's by policy. That holds true for this area and the entire state of Texas."

Barrera hopes something will be done, because he said, right now, people there have no other option than to be ready to dodge vehicles, to get from one side of the road, to the other.


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