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Something about new bike lanes in city

Something about new bike lanes in city

A decade in the past, a nationwide survey of city bicycling put San Antonio among the many backside third of the 50 largest U.S. cities in such benchmarks as fatalities per capita, miles of motorcycle lanes and the share of the inhabitants who bike to work — for this metropolis, a measly one-tenth of 1 %.

Right now, dozens of miles of motorcycle lanes have been added and a metropolis bike/pedestrian czar (“pedestrian mobility engineer”) has been on the job a full 12 months. However many avid cyclists nonetheless imagine San Antonio’s driving community is disjointed and sometimes harmful in site visitors.

Now the Public Works Division desires folks to make use of its new, interactive web site to inform the town, amongst different issues, particularly the place it ought to construct its subsequent bike lanes, funding for which was authorized by voters within the 2017 bond program.


Most essential, stated bike czar Timothy Hayes, is getting enter from residents on the number of some 4 to 6 downtown and midtown corridors the place cyclists need to see new bike routes.

Till Sept. 30, folks can go to surveymonkey.com/r/SABikes to see a listing of 21 preselected corridors and select those they imagine ought to grow to be priorities, he stated. A few half-million {dollars} is accessible for the development program, he stated, which may construct a mixture of motorcycle lanes, both striped or protected by curbs, and park paths.

“I don’t suppose I’ll hear many surprises,” stated Hayes in an amused tone that urged he already will get loads of suggestions from fellow cyclists. He takes a bicycle to work every morning over a patchwork of Flores Road sidewalks.

The choice on the place to construct or designate a motorbike lane is just not so simple as determining if there are apparent customers and logical locations the place they’d need to go. Generally the town owns very restricted rights of method on a particular road, and companies and residents are reluctant to lose on-street parking that is likely to be compromised by a motorbike lane.


“Now we have to make choices which might be honest and equitable to everybody,” stated Hayes, a civil engineer who was employed final 12 months from inside the Transportation & Capital Enhancements Division, now often known as Public Works.

One other process he hopes the survey will information is figuring out which roads needs to be placed on a “street weight loss plan,” that’s, trimming four-lane streets into three lanes with a middle flip lane, a well-liked plan in some circles that federal research present can scale back accidents.

Amongst some aggrieved cyclists in San Antonio, the announcement of a brand new survey didn’t advantage a lot applause.

“I really feel like there’s been a number of research and experiences, however not a lot motion,” stated Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, an avid bike owner who typically plans holidays primarily based on how bike-friendly the locations are. She chairs the council’s transportation committee.

“I used to be actually disenchanted that this (web site survey) was not shared with council,” Gonzales stated. “It’s strictly workers pushed, and in my expertise, if you do this, you gained’t get a very good end result. Now we have not made a lot progress in any respect within the core of the town.”

Bryan Martin, vice chairman of Bike San Antonio and the founding father of Bronko Bikes, which builds and sells electrical bikes, known as the town’s progress on bike lanes “abysmal.”

“If you wish to see a metropolis that takes bikes severely, go to Austin,” he stated.

Martin stated he welcomes the survey however that cyclists have come to anticipate “bait and change” techniques from the town relating to placing bikes and pedestrians forward of vehicles.


In keeping with Public Works maps and paperwork, the town had 34 miles of bicycle “services” in 2000 — which means bike lanes on pavement, routes marked solely by indicators however with out strains painted on the street and multiuse paths that are also utilized by pedestrians however will not be a part of the town’s parks system. By 2004, that grew to 66 miles, then 136 miles in 2009.

When the present bike grasp plan was completed, in 2011, there reportedly had been some 200 miles, which meant 0.4 miles, on common, for each sq. mile of San Antonio. The nationwide common among the many largest 50 cities was 4 instances that.

Right now, there are 259 whole miles of motorcycle routes, lanes and paths.

Gonzales stated Public Works is likely to be “too engineering heavy” and will maybe pace up its decision-making and building if it used extra bike-friendly city planners and fewer engineers, who’ve primarily labored on the right way to accommodate vehicles.


“I do know Tim Hayes is an avid bike owner. I see him driving round city together with his youngsters,” she stated. “However he’s an engineer and he makes use of that very same lens to make his choices. … It simply appears that San Antonio is so gradual on all this. We’ve made good progress in the previous couple of years on sidewalks. Not a lot on bike lanes.”

Final 12 months, throughout a Metropolis Council assembly on contentious plans to develop the Broadway Hall, Martin stated stakeholders mustn’t see the dialogue as “automotive folks versus bikes, buses and pedestrians” and that Metropolis Corridor “should not have a look at pedestrians as objects for vehicles to go round.”

Councilwoman Ana Sandoval received applause from the bike crowd that day when she requested an engineering agency’s principal, after viewing an elaborate aerial mannequin of Broadway, “Do you might have a mannequin for what it appears to be like wish to be a bicyclist?”

“I do suppose we’ve some robust (vehicle) bias in a few of these displays,” she stated.

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