WAXAHACHIE

The City of Waxahachie will have new crosswalk pedestals around its historic downtown later this spring.

According to a memorandum dated Jan. 11, the Texas Department of Transportation notified the city in late 2017 that the agency intended to make adjustments to the city’s pedestrian control systems for the traffic signals downtown. Downtown development director Anita Brown said that TxDOT’s generic poles were not visually pleasing when compared to the rest of downtown Waxahachie’s décor.

So, the city requested to be allowed to install its own poles instead.

“We wanted to have the same look as our other poles downtown,” Brown explained. “To preserve the historic-looking aesthetic of our downtown, we take it seriously.”

According to the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone's Jan. 18 agenda, the TIRZ board approved $3,972.80 for the purchase of several eight-foot poles, 16-inch bases and seven-inch caps that match with the pre-existing antique light poles. TxDOT public information officer Donna Simmons said it is common for cities to upcharge for enhancements like these.

“Instead of just having the regular ones that we provide, a lot of cities put their own accents on them,” Simmons explained. “Then they pay the difference and purchase them themselves.”

According to the installation map, TxDOT plans to implement nine pedestrian poles downtown, while they will also install six pedestrian crossing buttons at various points throughout West Main Street as well.

Brown stated that the city had poured so many resources into making sure their downtown remained beautiful in the past. She said this purchase, by comparison, was a small contribution to make.

“There’s probably been about $120 million publicly and privately invested in our downtown,” Brown stated. “Why would we worry about $4,000?”

The Waxahachie City Council approved the purchase during its council meeting Tuesday. Brown said TxDOT would begin installing the new crosswalk pedestals between February and March.