AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 15-year-old is in the hospital recovering after being hit by a driver along East Yager Lane earlier this month.
The boy suffered a skull fracture and doctors had to perform two brain surgeries. His mother said he will require physical and occupational therapy before getting back to normal. The mother and other neighbors are just thankful he’s alive. Neighbors are frustrated as this is not the first time a 15-year-old has been struck by a driver in the area.
In 2019, a 15-year-old boy was killed in a similar crash. Neighbors are calling on the city to make a change as they say the area is growing and they need the infrastructure to go with it.
City of Austin leaders said in a statement they’re working on it. Both the Austin transportation and public works departments said they are working to develop a sidewalk project along East Yager Lane from Jourdan Crossing to Cottage Promenade. They do not have a set construction timeline but because this area is part of the 2016 Bond-funded sidewalk project listed in the 2021 MAP, construction should begin by 2024. However, neighbors say that’s not soon enough.
“It’s not a matter at this point of being startled and upset it’s like angry now because we’ve been talking about this,” Tarik Aossey said. “Two children have been struck one killed and one probably impacted for his life, families are impacted, drivers are impacted and still nothing so somewhere the line has to be drawn.”
Neighbors also complained about speeding drivers. ATD officials plan to conduct some speed studies that could potentially lead to speed limit changes on East Yager Lane and surrounding streets.
The area is covered by both city council members Leslie Pool and Natasha Harper-Madison. Harper-Madison’s office confirms they are aware of the issue and will be meeting with city staff Tuesday to discuss what can be done to ensure no one else gets hurt again.
The city is also working on constructing a 12-foot-wide urban trail as part of its Safe Routes to School Program and Urban Trails Program for people walking and biking that will connect Copperfield Elementary from Thompkins Drive to Shropshire Lane. Construction is expected to begin sometime later this year or early next year.
City of Austin transportation leaders are taking steps to add more sidewalks. In the last six years, they’ve added 500 miles of sidewalks. They’re in the middle of a new initiative called ATX Walk Bike Roll. They’re looking to hear from people about what sidewalk, trail and other pedestrian improvements they want to see where they live.