Business owners weigh in amid battle between SA, state over 2.2-mile stretch of Broadway

SAN ANTONIO – More than seven years after TxDOT announced it would give the city of San Antonio control of a 2.2-mile stretch of Broadway Avenue, the state is set to reverse the transfer.

City officials were caught off guard by the move, which could end their plans to redesign the hallway after years of effort and millions of dollars.

The city intended to reduce the current three lanes of traffic to two on the stretch of Broadway from I-35 to Burr Rd. They would add larger sidewalks and a protected bike lane. TxDOT officials say the plans would create more traffic congestion, which is why they want to cancel the transfer.

Those who live and work in the area said they favored the city plan.

“Follow plans that will benefit commoners,” said Liam Dean, who works at Broadway.

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“Coming to work every day, there is no parking. You have to pay to park nearby. It would be a lot easier if we could ride bikes,” said Sheila Mojica, who also works on Broadway.

Business owners had a more mixed reaction. Some said they would prefer more traffic lanes if possible, but certainly not less.

“There is no doubt that more people come to my restaurant by car than by bike. There’s a lot of traffic there. Again, I don’t think it’s a good idea to restrict traffic,” said Millard Stetler, co-owner of Good Time Charlie’s.

Just up the road at Cheesy Janes, owner Tirso Sigg agreed that more construction in the area would be bad for business. However, Sigg thinks the city project would be worth it.

“The benefits of having more traffic, walking and biking, and things like that, it gives me a different opportunity that I could target different target markets,” Sigg said.

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg called the whole situation “breathtaking”. He said they had been talking and working with TxDOT since 2014 to relocate the Broadway section, adding that if TxDOT canceled the orders, all work done would be lost.

“Why have we been collaborating for six years and spending money and time on this project, and all of a sudden they want to totally reverse it,” Mayor Nirenberg said.

The Texas Transportation Commission will vote Thursday at 10 a.m. whether the transfer will be finalized or canceled.

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