Northgate Pedestrian Improvements To Start in March

A Saturday morning alleged hit-and-run accident involving two pedestrians is just one of many accidents highlighting the growing concern about pedestrian safety at Northgate.

One of the most dangerous areas for accidents in College Station is getting a major facelift.

It's a new look to Northgate.

Artist renderings show a bird's eye view of more than $2 million in improvements coming in March.

Kelsie Brunson is a junior at Texas A&M and walks through here every week.

"I've been pushed off the curb several times and it's not a comfortable experience to be in," she said.

A dangerous situation happened just this Saturday morning when College Station Police say 22 year-old Morgan Head was driving a 1970's Ford Pickup when she struck two people who'd stepped off the curb because the sidewalk was crowded on University Drive.

It's easy to see why pedestrians have to step off the curb here at the corner of University Drive and College Main. The sidewalk is only 60 inches wide.

From 2001 to 2010 at least 447 accidents have been reported in the Northgate area.

The safety improvements will include widened sidewalks, a barrier wall on part of University Drive and the closing of College Main at University Drive to cars in between University and Patricia Streets.

"It has high volume of pedestrian area in there and so the end project will be more pedestrian friendly," said Bob Colwell, TxDOT Public Information Officer.

Many local businesses aren't pleased with all the changes including Linda Weaver at Texas Aggieland Bookstore.

All 16 parallel parking spots outside her store and down the street are going away.

"Our book rush was off this year because of the construction. They were putting in a gas line and people avoided the area and we're concerned about it," said Weaver, a clerk at the store.

"I just think it's a safety issue," said Kelsie Brunson.

The entire project is expected to be completed by summer.

The rest of the $3.7 million project started in November with improvements being made on the ramps coming on and off Wellborn Road onto University Drive.

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