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Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 19:51
A new baseball stadium isn't the only big change coming to downtown El Paso. Several roads and sidewalks in that area will also undergo some big changes.
The new ballpark is expected to bring in a lot more foot traffic downtown, especially as people walk to and from different parking lots around the area to get to the stadium.
In turn, the city is trying to make downtown more pedestrian friendly, and make sure people can move from one place to another without having to drive.
The City Planning Commission approved a proposal at their meeting today to widen sidewalks and narrow streets around where the stadium will be. The commission said widening the sidewalks make them safer for pedestrians. Since the commission approved the proposal, it must now be introduced to City Council at their next meeting. Council will then discuss this plan at the Dec. 18 meeting. Local residents are encouraged to attend and participate. A resident attending this afternoon's meeting, supported the commission's decision.
"Nothing is changing for me," said Rodolfo Alarcon. "I'll still be able to go around the block and get back to my house."
Marisa Monroy, the Economic Development Coordinator of El Paso, also spoke with News Channel 9.
"We're not getting rid of the streets," she said. "We're making changes to the streets by making them more narrow. The city of el paso is really trying hard to make sidewalks in general a priority around town. Downtown should be a place where people feel completely comfortable walking around, walking to and from different areas."
The city said it is still putting together the designs for the ballpark and does not have a project timeline for the street changes, or an idea for how much the changes will cost.
They said the most important part of the process for now is getting these changes approved by the council.