Waco must improve infrastructure of areas surrounding Baylor

By Josh Meyer | Reporter

While driving around Waco, whether that be from home to campus, a trip to the grocery store or even just visiting a friend, you can’t help but notice one thing — the poor conditions of the roadways, which is something that must get fixed.

According to the Better Streets Waco website, the city of Waco currently has plans for maintenance on major roads in the “Baylor Bubble,” which includes the stretch of Bagby Avenue from 12th Street up to First Street.

Other improvements are shown to be planned for the area immediately surrounding campus, as well as areas across La Salle Avenue, where many students reside. There’s currently no information regarding when these improvements will be made.

The interactive map does, however, provide information about the last time maintenance has been performed on these problem roadways, some of which haven’t been properly updated in nearly 40 years. While the necessary improvements to these roadways are easy enough to point out, one must also think of the financial costs that would be incurred.

The funds needed to complete a project like this wouldn’t be impossible to raise, as the city is currently considering levying a tax known as a street maintenance fee on all property owners that would be paid monthly. This influx of funds would not only allow the proposed maintenance to begin, but it would also create a situation in which future road maintenance could be done in a more consistent and timely manner.

According to the annual report and financial review from the Waco city managers office, the city has been awarded multiple grants for projects aimed at improving the overall infrastructure throughout the 2022 fiscal year. However, there are a lot of areas throughout the five districts of Waco that require attention as well, which is why we must take action in lobbying for funds and manpower to be allocated to areas throughout the Baylor area.

The university is not only a major form of income for the city, attracting visitors from all across the country, but it also is a major employee of Waco citizens. Maintenance by the City of Waco to the areas surrounding the university would obviously be in the best interest because it affects the community as a whole.

There are no doubt many different problems that the city of Waco is faced with, but one that I believe must change quickly is the insufficient infrastructure that surrounds Baylor and throughout the city as a whole.