By Rodolfo Salinas
Sometimes I wish I had all the money in the world to do the changes I envision for Laredo. I always ask myself why University Boulevard is incomplete. Why isn’t there more housing for students like in other cities? I wish that TAMIU could receive the treatment it deserves from the community. I would apply more emphasis on the institution because it is our only university in town. In more simple words, let’s give it more recognition. There literally needs to be more connection between the community and the university. The fact that University Boulevard doesn’t extend to McPherson Road bothers me. It limits the chances of the university being connected with an important road in Laredo.
I see McPherson Rd. as the spinal cord of our town. It is full of businesses and restaurants that are not found anywhere else in the city. How is this not easily accessible for students that come from other cities and states? How can students and faculty explore when there’s not a simple direction. It would be much simpler to say just to go down the road from the university. Not only would it help students learn their way around Laredo, but it would also help decongest traffic when it builds up at five o’ clock. University Boulevard will serve as a second road to access Loop 20 quicker, saving some students from being late to their 5:30 PM courses. The fact that the Boulevard is incomplete frustrates me. Why even consider it a Boulevard? There should be no limitations yet there is.
Maybe it’s not as easy as I think it would be but I wouldn’t want to think it is unattainable. Laredo is not like other cities. You don’t need to take certain highways to get to certain parts of the city. This city is unique in the sense that most streets connect with each somehow and that’s what I want to keep seeing Laredo officials do. I’m the type of person to explore parts of Laredo that most people don’t even know about. If University Boulevard was completed, people will be able to see Zacate Lake more often and maybe later work around that environment and add some of our unique culture to it. I find myself constantly looking at Google Earth thinking that there’s nothing in the way from completing this simple issue into a reality. I often wonder how long it will take a city official to request a purchase price on the land and making this project into an accomplishment not just for them but also for the university and the community.
FYI the Bartlett Avenue extension will take over University Blvd. as a connector between McPherson and University Boulevard.