Pedestrian safety project to bring sidewalks to West Odessa

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Sidewalks will go from Knox to West Loop 338, other improvements to be made as well

ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar)- A pedestrian safety project is scheduled to start this month on FM 2020, which is better known locally as West University Boulevard. Sidewalks will be added on both sides of the road from West Loop 338 to Knox Avenue.

The project features 6-foot-wide sidewalks on each side of the FM 2020 corridor. Pedestrian signal buttons will be installed at pedestrian crossings at West Loop 338, Tripp Avenue, Redondo Avenue, Moss Road and FM 1936. To accommodate construction of 6-foot-wide sidewalks along FM 2020, the shoulders and pavement width will be reduced. The number of lanes will remain the same. 

During construction, lane closures will be necessary, but the Texas Department of Transportation says it plans to limit lane closures to daytime working hours. Lane closures should not be in place at night unless there is an unforeseen safety concern.

This project is another step in TxDOT’s #EndTheStreakTX campaign which encourages Texans to drive safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on our roadways. November 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. Since then, at least one person has died on Texas roadways every single day. That adds up to more than 70,000 motor vehicle fatalities since Nov. 7, 2000.

Since 2010, there have been four reported pedestrian fatalities on this road. The deaths occurred in 2011, 2014, 2019 and 2020. Nine other incidents resulted in serious injuries to pedestrians.

“We’ve seen pedestrian deaths increase in our 12-county area with 18 pedestrian deaths already reported this year,” Odessa District Engineer John Speed said. “While we incorporate pedestrian safety elements in virtually every major project we do, a standalone project like this underscores how serious TxDOT is when it comes to safety for everyone who uses our corridors. We still need the traveling public, both pedestrians and motorists, to maintain safe practices on our roads, but this project is certainly a positive step for those wanting to walk along FM 2020 in West Odessa.”

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