As part of the Road to Zero initiative, which aims to end all fatalities on Texas roads by 2050, TxDOT stated in a March 10 news release it is building the pedestrian barrier from 51st Street to Rundberg Lane on I-35.
“Pedestrians make up a significant portion of the total number of people killed on our roads each year,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan said in the TxDOT news release. “These new barriers will deter pedestrians from trying to cross such a busy section of highway, and ultimately help us end the horrific streak of daily deaths on Texas roads.”
According to the TxDOT news release, the new barrier is designed to be easily removable by emergency personnel in the event of a crash or accident. The barrier will further help to reduce headlight glare from oncoming traffic.
“Last year we painted no pedestrian crossing signs on the center-line barriers near 51st Street and have seen good success. Today, we are expanding on that initiative, by adding a 2-foot panel on top of the center-line barrier and painting the no pedestrian crossing signs along a 3.3-mile stretch of I-35 where we continue to see pedestrian fatalities,” TxDOT Austin District Engineer Tucker Ferguson said in the March 10 news release.
The $700,000 pilot project is funded by the Road to Zero initiative approved by the Texas Transportation Commission in 2019.