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San Antonio is asking you where to put new bike lanes

San Antonio is asking you where to put new bike lanes 2020-09-10Leave a comment

electrical bike San Antonio is asking you the place to place new bike lanes

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 inhabitants who bike to work — for this metropolis, a measly one-tenth of 1 %.

As we speak, 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 yr. However many avid cyclists nonetheless imagine San Antonio’s driving community is disjointed and sometimes harmful in site visitors.

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

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

Till Sept. 30, individuals can go to surveymonkey.com/r/SABikes to see an inventory of 21 pre-selected corridors and select those they imagine ought to develop into priorities, he stated. A couple of 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 assume I’ll hear many surprises,” stated Hayes in an amused tone that instructed 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 wish to go. Typically town owns very restricted rights of approach on a selected road, and companies and residents are reluctant to lose on-street parking that is perhaps compromised by a motorbike lane.

“We now have to make choices which can be truthful and equitable to everybody,” stated Hayes, a civil engineer who was employed in 2019 from throughout the Transportation & Capital Enhancements division, now referred to as Public Works.

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

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

“I really feel like there’s been a whole lot of research and studies, however not a lot motion,” stated Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, an avid bicycle 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 employees pushed and in my expertise, once you do that you simply gained’t get outcome. We now have not made a lot progress in any respect within the core of town.”

Bryan Martin, vice chairman of Bike San Antonio and the founding father of Bronko Bikes, which builds and sells electrical bikes, known as 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 truly welcomes the survey, however stated cyclists have come to count on “bait and change” techniques from town on the subject of placing bikes and pedestrians forward of vehicles.

In response to Public Works maps and paperwork, town had 34 miles of bicycle “amenities” in 2000 – meaning bike lanes on pavement, routes marked solely by indicators however with out strains painted on the street, and multi-use paths that are also utilized by pedestrians however not a part of 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 occasions that.

As we speak there are 259 whole miles of routes, bike lanes and paths.

Gonzales stated Public Works is perhaps “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 best way to accommodate vehicles.

“I do know Tim Hayes is an avid bicycle 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 sluggish on all this. We’ve made good progress in the previous couple of years on sidewalks. Not a lot on bike lanes.”

Final yr, throughout a Metropolis Council assembly on contentious plans to develop the Broadway Hall, Martin stated stakeholders shouldn’t see the dialogue as “automotive individuals versus bikes, buses and pedestrians,” and that metropolis corridor “should not take a look at pedestrians as objects for vehicles to go round.”

Councilwoman Ana Sandoval bought 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’ve got a mannequin for what it seems wish to be a bicyclist?”

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


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