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Losoya Street business owners join opposition to Alamo traffic plan

August 30, 2018

About a dozen owners of restaurants, businesses or buildings on Losoya Street have come out against a proposal to change the street to two-way traffic, saying it will interfere with deliveries and other services needed for business operations near a heavily visited section of the River Walk.

The proposal for Losoya is connected to the plan to change Alamo Plaza, which an Alamo planning committee may vote on tonight. The committee meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of the Municipal Plaza Building, 105 Main Plaza.

A northbound traffic lane would be added to Losoya Street to compensate for permanently closing Alamo Street to vehicle traffic through the plaza and on part of two side streets, Houston and Crockett. Proponents of the plan say the street closures will allow for historical interpretation and reverence in the historic plaza.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other city officials, Chris Moser and Phil Benson, partners of River Restaurants Ltd., said they “oppose the repurposing of this very narrow stretch of street.” Losoya currently has up to 36 feet of right of way, with two southbound lanes and delivery drop-off points designated as two-hour commercial delivery zones.

“Losoya Street is currently the major delivery artery for food and beverage suppliers to more than 20 operations on Losoya and the San Antonio River Walk,” Moser and Benson, whose firm operates River Walk restaurants Michelino’s, Lone Star Cafe and Cafe Ole, wrote in the letter.

“We believe there are better solutions to the traffic problems created by the redevelopment of the Alamo area and respectfully ask you to consider those alternatives,” they wrote, noting that the letter reflected the views “of certain property owners, business owners and interested parties on Losoya Street and in the River Bend area.”

James Lifshutz, co-owner of the history Dullnig Building that houses McDonald’s and other businesses, was one of a dozen business owners who signed a letter echoing the sentiments of Moser and Benson.

“Making Losoya two-way solves a problem for those who want to close Alamo St, but will hurt our businesses,” the letter stated. “Please reconsider. And please allow us to join the dialogue in a search for solutions.”

City Councilman Roberto Treviño has said the city is studying better methods for commercial deliveries that could alleviate congestion that already occurs on Losoya. He and Gene Dawson, president of Pape-Dawson Engineers, the city’s traffic consultant, have said northbound traffic could be diverted to Presa Street and other streets downtown as an alternative to converting Losoya to two-way traffic, while still allowing partial road closures in Alamo Plaza.

Scott Huddleston is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | shuddleston@express-news.net | Twitter: @shuddlestonSA

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