East Austin neighborhood gets 4-way stop after Fox 7 report

- At the corner of Mason of Ledesma in East Austin a memorial still stands more than a decade after the tragedy. 

A bench and a cross.

According to a previous Fox 7 report, 13-year-old Mercedes Cervantes was hit by a car in 2005 when she was riding her bike down Mason and didn't stop at the intersection.  A car hit her and she was killed.

A similar situation in 2015.  That little girl survived.  

Reyes Rodriguez reached out to Fox 7 last year.  He’s lived in the area since 2003.  Rodriguez said he and others in the neighborhood with the Ortega Elementary campus advisory committee had been asking the city for years to make the area safer for kids.
 
Last year the City of Austin’s Transportation Department told me there were guidelines and criteria for 4-way stops, including the number of reported crashes in a 12-month period.  They said engineers were studying the area.
 
More than a year later, Rodriguez said now there's an all-way stop at Mason and Ledesma.
 
“Just last week they installed the stop signs and then they added these little bumps and they painted the crosswalks,” Rodriguez said.  “I thank Fox 7 for coming out here and taking the time and showing concern for bringing it to the attention of the general public out there.”
 
Rodriguez said there were only two stop signs at the intersection previously. 
 
“Yes just north and south and now we've got east and west where the majority of the traffic is coming through,” he said.
 
And it seems some drivers haven't gotten used stopping at the new signs just yet.
 
Rodriguez said the all-way stop is a great start. But he's hoping the city will still consider more safety improvements around Ortega like sidewalks along Mason.

“We’ve got families that their kids go up there just in general, even when school's out people are still walking down the street.  They don't have a sidewalk to walk down,” Rodriguez said.  “We’ve got PHB’s, we've got crosswalks, we've got bike routes all over other parts of Austin. We need and deserve those things in this community too,” Rodriguez said.
 
The city's Public Works Department says parts of both Mason and Ledesma are considered medium priority -- other parts, high priority or very high -- and the mobility bond provides funding for those.

So basically there will be some new sidewalks there in the near future.  Public Works just wasn't exactly sure about the timeline. 
 

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