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San Antonio is asking you where to put new bike lanes

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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 motorbike lanes and the share of inhabitants who bike to work — for this metropolis, a measly one-tenth of 1 p.c.

At this time, dozens of miles of motorbike 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 infrequently harmful in visitors. Bike lanes, trek electric mountain bike.

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 accredited by voters within the 2017 bond program.

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

Till Sept. 30, individuals can go to surveymonkey.com/r/SABikes to see an inventory of 21 preselected corridors and select those they imagine ought to turn out to be priorities, he mentioned. A couple of half-million {dollars} is offered for the development program, he mentioned, which may construct a mixture of motorbike lanes, both striped or protected by curbs, and park paths.

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“I don’t assume I’ll hear many surprises,” mentioned Hayes in an amused tone that steered 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 shouldn’t be so simple as determining if there are apparent customers and logical locations the place they might need to go. Generally town owns very restricted rights of means on a selected avenue, and companies and residents are reluctant to lose on-street parking that is perhaps compromised by a motorbike lane.

“We’ve to make choices which are honest and equitable to everybody,” mentioned Hayes, a civil engineer who was employed in 2019 from inside the Transportation & Capital Enhancements Division, now often called Public Works.

One other job he hopes the survey will information is figuring out which roads needs to be placed on a “highway 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 benefit a lot applause.

“I really feel like there’s been plenty of research and reviews, however not a lot motion,” mentioned Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, an avid bicycle owner who usually plans holidays based mostly on how bike-friendly the locations are. She chairs the council’s transportation committee.

“I used to be actually disillusioned that this (web site survey) was not shared with council,” Gonzales mentioned. “It’s strictly workers pushed, and in my expertise, once you do that you simply received’t get a great consequence. We’ve not made a lot progress in any respect within the core of town.”

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

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

Martin mentioned he welcomes the survey however that cyclists have come to anticipate “bait and change” ways from town in relation to placing bikes and pedestrians forward of vehicles.

In accordance with Public Works maps and paperwork, town had 34 miles of bicycle “services” in 2000 — which means bike lanes on pavement, routes marked solely by indicators however with out traces painted on the highway and multiuse paths that are also utilized by pedestrians however will not be 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 instances that.

At this time, there are 259 complete miles of routes, bike lanes and paths.

Gonzales mentioned Public Works is perhaps “too engineering heavy” and will maybe velocity up its decision-making and development if it used extra bike-friendly city planners and fewer engineers, who’ve primarily labored on find out how to accommodate vehicles.

“I do know Tim Hayes is an avid bicycle owner. I see him driving round city together with his children,” she mentioned. “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 yr, throughout a Metropolis Council assembly on contentious plans to develop the Broadway Hall, Martin mentioned 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 obtained 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 prefer to be a bicyclist?”

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

https://www.hotebike.com

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