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

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 consider San Antonio’s using community is disjointed and sometimes harmful in 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 authorised by voters within the 2017 bond program.

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

The web site comprises 21 pre-selected corridors and other people can select those they consider ought to change into priorities, he stated. A few half-million {dollars} is out there for the development program, he stated, which might 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 prompt he already will get loads of suggestions from fellow cyclists. He takes a bicycle to work every morning over a patchwork of Flores Avenue sidewalks,

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

“We now have to make selections which might be honest and equitable to everybody,” stated Hayes, a civil engineer who was employed in 2019 from throughout 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 “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 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 a whole lot of research and studies, however not a lot motion,” stated Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, an avid bicycle owner who typically 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 stated. “It’s strictly employees pushed and in my expertise, whenever you do that you simply gained’t get an excellent end result. 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 significantly, go to Austin,” he stated.

Martin stated he really welcomes the survey, however stated cyclists have come to count on “bait and change” ways from town in relation to placing bikes and pedestrians forward of vehicles.

In keeping with Public Works maps and paperwork, town had 34 miles of bicycle “services” in 2000 – meaning bike lanes and paths, some organized as routes. By 2004, that grew to 66 miles, then 136 miles in 2009.

When the present bike grasp plan was completed, in 2011, there reportedly have 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.

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

“I do know Tim Hayes is an avid bicycle owner. I see him using 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 selections. … 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 12 months, throughout a Metropolis Council assembly on contentious plans to develop the Broadway Hall, Martin stated stakeholders shouldn’t see the dialogue as “automobile 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 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 could have a mannequin for what it seems to be wish to be a bicyclist?”

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

The town survey might be discovered right here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SABikes

bselcraig@express-news.web

https://www.frebike.com

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