#ivotebikesa

Author of Blog: Daniel Day
New Post once a month.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Earnabike CO-OP and More.......

I have three stories this weekend, so please read them all. 

Earn-A-Bike CO-OP
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On June 14, 2014, the first of it's kind bike shop open up in San Antonio. This isn't your typical Bike shop, but a place for you to build, repair, and share ideas on bicycling and to encourage more people to ride bicycles and other forms of Sustainable transportation. Many other cities have such a place where people who lack tools and bike repair stand could go to and learn how to repair a bicycle, and now San Antonio finally has one.

The Ideal started with Christian Sandoval and when he got his ideal and ran with it a week later, a person at VIA sitting on all the abandon bicycles that were left on the buses bike rack came to Sandoval and gave him 40 bikes.  The goal of the CO-OP is to get people who need bicycles on bicycles by providing them skills to keep their bicycles up and peddling along.  All somebody has to do is volunteer for 25 hours on building and repairing bicycles and you get your own in return.  So if you know somebody who's broke, and have plenty of time on their hand, please direct them to the Earnabike CO-OP at 2619 Guadalupe St, 78207.  They also have classes on coming up bicycle repair, so if you would like hands on training, please make time for this at this link:  https://www.facebook.com/eabcoop/events

They Are also in need of money to keep the place up and running as well as bicycle parts, tubes and everything else under the sun that is needed to keep a non-profit up and running and open so please visit the Earnabike website at http://www.earnabikecoop.org/ to donate or better yet, VOLUNTEER.  Also if you have a bicycle in the garage that your not touching anymore, please donate that too for somebody out there would like to put that fun between their legs.  Right now, their business hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 6PM to 9PM and Saturday 2PM to 5PM.   

Also FrankenBike will be having an event there on August 16, so please also attend then.  To Watch the Cutting of the bicycle tubes by Council Lady Shirley Gonzales, please watch the long video I manage to record. 

Sam's Burger Joint


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This Saturday June 21, 2014, I saw something amazing.  The Sysco delivery truck was not parked in the cycletrack making it's delivery (Image 12-2 and 12-3).  I was so amazed, that instead of turning down Pearl Parkway to go to the farmers market, I did a one-eighty and went down Grayson to take a picture of the amazement before my eyes.   Why this wasn't done earlier, like years ago is beyond me, but this is a nice start to see. 

I don't know if this blog is the reason why I'm now seeing this, but if it is, I would like to thank the readers who took time and made this possible.  I can only hope that the Famed Restaurant keeps this going and support the cycle track replacement on Broadway where it is needed the most.  Right now, construction behind the old Butter Crust Bakery is making this unused if the construction gets finished soon, more will use it. 


San Antonio Streetcar

I have yet to write about the famed streetcar that VIA is going to build simply because I have yet to go get some pictures of Greenville Ave and McKinney Ave in Dallas and it will probably won't be until August before I'm able to go.  However, there's a Town Hall meeting coming up tonight at UTSA Downtown Campus at 7PM.  As the anti cycling, pro-driving group called the Toll Party will try to pack the house yelling against it and spewing oil companies propaganda about it while the supporters of the Streetcar, try to counter act the miss information.  However, who is going to be there asking about the cyclist?  Let me tell you people again, I'm at work and I have no intention of missing work to attend this meeting.  So who among my readers are going to attend and make a voice for us?  Who among you will get out and say, why aren't you people building protected bicycle lanes like what they're doing in Austin in our downtown?  Why won't the city of San Antonio build a cycle track down Broadway and Frio St?  Because this is what is missing from this discussion.  


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Also what is missing from this discussion is that when the tracks are put down, will VIA issue a statement saying that bicycles must take a separate route like they did in Washington DC.  For me, I'm not going to have a problem with the streetcar or the tracks they're going to lay down.  I'm experience enough to just ride in between the tracks and not have my bicycle get caught in between the rails.  But I ride a mountain bike and a cruiser with 26 inch mountain bike tires, so this isn't going to be a problem with me however, other people will have a problem because most people have road tires and it is the unofficial position of the City of San Antonio that cycling is a nuance and is only for recreation, not for transportation.  My blog, San Antonio Don't Deserve Bronze lays out the case for that and points out the unofficial position of the City of San Antonio.  I can only hope what happen in Tuscon don't happen here.

For the Record, I'm for this streetcar because I know that when people start riding it, they're going to start demanding it be expanded.  Mothers are going to discover that they don't have to fold their strollers when boarding and wheelchairs aren't going to take 20 minutes to get aboard like they do right now when boarding a bus including the VIA Primo.  Your going to be able to take your bicycle aboard the streetcar and not just three, but as many as needed especially on a rainy day.  Try doing that on a bus that has it's bike rack full.  I have ridden rail transit before not just in Dallas, but also in other places like Chicago, Seattle, Houston and New York and I can tell you, that this is the best that the City of San Antonio can come up with to improve the community because this community cannot see pass using a motor and not the two feet we all have as a transportation.  Also, if Portland, Oregon can have streetcars and be the American Capital of Cycling, so can San Antonio.  If your going to want to see what a modern streetcar is  going to be like, just watch this video from Portland and decide for yourself that it is better than a bus.   Until I am ready to write about the streetcar and explain my full opinion, this is just going to have to do.

Images:
12-1:  The Earnabike Co-op grand opening. 
12-2:  The Sysco Delivery Truck parked on Grayson looking West from Broadway
12-3:  The Sysco Delivery Truck Parked On Grayson looking South from Avenue B Cycletrack
12-4:  The Warning Signs about bicycles and Streetcar Tracks.  Image from:  http://www.atlantabike.org/files/warning-streetcar-tracks.png

Up Coming Bicycle Events


 
 Cycle In-Cinema .  
When:   Every Thursday, June-August at Dusk, 8:45pm
Where:  Main Plaza, 115 N Main Ave, 78205
Description:  Out Door Movie.  





Tour De Tube 2014
When:  Sunday June 29, 2014
Where:  The Slab, 414 W Cevallos, across the street from La Tuna
Description: A group bicycle ride from La Tuna to the Comal River.  For more information, click here:  Facebook

FrankenBike #50When:   Saturday July 19, 2014  10AM to 4PM
Where:  Alamo Bike Shop/Taps y Tapas ~ 1016 N. Flores St ~ 78212
Description:  San Antonio's Bicycle Swap Meet and Flea Market.

Important Input needed.



Also Via is continuing its input for the the South/West Connector Corridor Study Area by having a online survey.  Please remember, to put in the ideas for Bus Stop Islands And Bike Lids like DART uses in Dallas, TX  at major bus stops while filling out the survey.  To connect the the Survey, please click here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=498P%2fFAtHTQYxMeDJNmk%2bK2DGZAQ9EtW4KyVtbaQkdQ%3d

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Too Busy This Week to type/ More Lanes=Worse Traffic

Sorry, I was going to write a story on the new Earn-A-Bike Co-op, but things have prevented me from doing that.  So this week, I'll simply write a story that confirms my status of reducing driving lanes.  My hope is that one day, the city of San Antonio will have a policy of only allowing two driving lanes of traffic down every stroad it has.  And so here is the latest story from Wired Magazine talking about how having more lanes of traffic simply makes traffic worse.  If you go drive down a freeway or ride your bicycle on Broadway where three lanes are available, you'll see every car racing each other trying to go as fast as it can by getting into not just the right lane, but the available lane that is free or reduce of cars.  For the whole story, please click here:  http://www.wired.com/2014/06/wuwt-traffic-induced-demand/?mbid=social_fb

On a side note, this story also confirms the city's findings on how it was getting safer to DRIVE down S Flores. 

Also Via is continuing its input for the the South/West Connector Corridor Study Area by having a online survey.  Please remember, to put in the ideas for Bus Stop Islands And Bike Lids like DART uses in Dallas, TX  at major bus stops while filling out the survey.  To connect the the Survey, please click here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=498P%2fFAtHTQYxMeDJNmk%2bK2DGZAQ9EtW4KyVtbaQkdQ%3d

Up Coming Bicycle Events


 
 Cycle In-Cinema .  
When:   Every Thursday, June-August at Dusk, 8:45pm
Where:  Main Plaza, 115 N Main Ave, 78205
Description:  Out Door Movie.  





Tour De Tube 2014
When:  Sunday June 29, 2014
Where:  The Slab, 414 W Cevallos, across the street from La Tuna
Description: A group bicycle ride from La Tuna to the Comal River.  For more information, click here:  Facebook

FrankenBike #41
When:  Saturday June 21, 10am to 4pm
Where:  SA Cycles 1804 S St Mary's St, 78210
Description:  A bicycle swap meet and flea market for bike parts and repairs. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why San Antonio Don't Deserve Bronze

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The League of American Bicyclists back in 2010 awarded San Antonio Bronze Status for bicycle friendly cities.  Back then, things were looking up.  The city was putting in the cycletrack behind Sams Burger Joint, the Linear Creekways were being built and I started to see more people on bicycles like I saw in Austin back in 2004.  The City of San Antonio just passed the Complete Streets ordinance.  Things were looking up with B-Cycle, Siclovia and even VIA promised to allow bicycles on the new BRT buses for which they followed through on but since then, it seems we've been in a stand still.  Progress has been made on the Linear Creekways, the Riverwalk Mission Reach and Museum Reach has pretty much been completed, but that's it.  Today, the cycletrack behind Sams is a parking place for it's delivery vehicles (Image 10-1), the Complete Streets is a joke, not down S Flores, but also where they're repainting the streets and failing to paint bike lanes where they're needed, and the Linear Creekways has issues to say the least.  For the most part, the city goal is to relegate cyclist to the side streets and to have cyclist share the traffic with grumpy motorist on the stroads when we need to use them.
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A the beginning of the year, I was at Coffee with the councilman Diego Bernal, District 1 at Sams Burger Joint and learned that they were going to remove the bike lane behind Sams for more parking and put down the cycletrack on N Alamo instead on where it's needed, on Broadway. It use to have wooden post to keep the vehicles out, now they have been all removed and on any given day, you see a delivery vehicle parked in the bicycle lane (Image 10-1).Even the  bands that play there park there and our calls to the city police department go unanswered.  Since they put in the cycletrack, it's hell crossing Josephine, and at the end of it at Casa Blanca and Broadway (Image 10-2), there's hardly a way to get across the intersection from the cycletrack.  At least in Austin down the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, they at least put up a very bright sign telling vehicles to yield to people in the crosswalk on or off a bicycle (Image 10-3).  Now instead of the replacement cycletrack down the Stroad that needs it the most, Broadway, they're planning to put it on a side street that don't need it, N Alamo, a street with virtually no traffic.  The KSAT 12 news story a day after Chase White was hit on Broadway, not N Alamo, Pete Esquivel was complaining about you guessed it Broadway. 
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But that's the unwritten policy of the city of San Antonio, keep cyclist off the main thoroughfares and put them on side streets.  We see this on the East Side along Pine both north and south.  Here Hackberry is the main thoroughfare two blocks away but when they repainted the stroad, they decided to keep the 4 lanes of traffic that make Hackberry difficult place to ride.  Instead of painting them where they needed to be down, they since painted them down a street that don't need them, Pine St.  From Steves Ave to E Commerce, you see cars parked in the bicycle lane (Image 10-4).  And again, I wrote what needs to be done in Useless Bike Lanes to this street to make it safer, but don't count on the city of San Antonio to do anything about it. 

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Now at night time, after I get off work, I follow go find the side streets because I don't want to become the latest news story on KSAT or NEWS4 WOAI.  And from my job at the airport to my house, I have to break the law to be safe specifically Sec. 22-28. Public parks hours of operation and curfew.(Image 10-5)  I ride down the Salado Creek Linear Creekway and so far since my last story, San Antonio isn't Serious about Bicycles, I haven't gotten pulled over for riding even when I ride right by the East Side SAPD sub station on the trail seeing the police officers fuel up their cruisers.  But it's only a matter of time that I'll be getting a ticket that I cannot afford doing something that the city claims they want me more people to do which is ride their bicycles.  It's worse on the West Side of town where all the stroads don't have bike lanes and are backed up with traffic.  Some try to beat the police there, but only end up getting tickets on the Leon Creek Linear Creekway.  And because of that, many of those people went back to driving their cars to work.
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Now the main reason why we should not have Bronze Status is because of the removal of the bike lanes on S Flores St.  I have gone over and over again that the bike lane was were it suppose to be and provided the protection all of us sought.  We wish the city would do the same thing down similar stroads but so far haven't.  I would not be complaining so much about or arguing that the Bronze Status should be revoked if they put the same street diet on Pleasanton Rd, a major thoroughfare and a stroad that needs a bicycle lane.  But no, they told cyclist to use the side street called Mission Rd to get to the South Side away from the business, the neighborhoods, the places that everyone goes which happens to be away from the Mission Trail.  At the end of the alternative route at Mission Pkwy and SE Military Dr, you'll will come to a green field (Image 10-7) with an occasional business across the street.  At Pleasanton Rd and SE Military Dr, you see the HEB grocery store, restaurants and other retail establishments.  And that's why the we the cyclist wanted to keep the bicycle lanes down S Flores, because it provided us the protection on where we want to go.  The nearest grocery store to Mission Pkwy is Walmart and to get to the Walmart, one must deal with 50 mph traffic down SE Military and before somebody says well there's E Harding paralleling SE Military.  Just go to google maps and tell how am I suspose to get over that wall that is separating Harding from the Walmart.. 
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That's the big thing here, is that the city is promoting cycling but at the same time failing to address the safety concerns that we face everyday.  They constantly say that they want more people to cycle, but at the same time they want cyclist to use side streets.  If this city was friendly to cyclist, I would not be breaking the law every night in choosing the safe route down the linear creekways to go home or for that matter, riding my bicycle on the sidewalks, Sec. 19-286. Driving or parking on sidewalks prohibited. If this city was a friendly bicycle city, they would have the proper facilities for my safety on the major thoroughfares instead of asking all the cyclist wear a helmet and take a side street.  The problem I have with this city being a bronze bicycle friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists is that it is sending the wrong message to those who think that our city leaders wants people to be on bicycles.  Keeping this status makes the League complicit with the city's decision to remove the bicycle lanes from S Flores, the relegating of cyclist to side streets and the acceptance of parking of motor vehicles in bicycle lanes and paths throughout the city. 

This is my argument against the League's status for the City of San Antonio.  I would like the League to come back within a few years, like right after they have the Rail Streetcar up and running and see if the city provided the necessary paths along the tracks and around the stations, to see if they removed the silly laws that make it illegal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk let alone down the Linear Creekways at night.  And maybe by then we would have the network of bike lanes down the other stroads like Southcross, Pleasanton, Zarzamora, and Nogalitos to name just a few on the Southside.  Right now this Bronze status isn't helping we the people who ride bicycles around San Antonio and who want San Antonio to be a safe cycling city. 

Images:
10-1:  A Sysco Delivery Truck parked in the cycle track behind Sams Burger Joint
10-2:  The End of the cycletrack  at Casa Blanca and Broadway
10-3:  The Lance Armstrong bikeway in Austin Crossing by Lamar
10-4:  A Truck parked in the bike lane On S Pine by Steves Ave looking South.
10-5:  The rule sign at Tobin trailhead.
10-6:  The CIM's Map showing where the alternative bike route is going.
10-7:  The End of the the bike lane at Mission Pkwy and SE Military Dr looking north. 

Up Coming Bicycle Events


 
 Cycle In-Cinema .  
When:   Every Thursday, June-August at Dusk, 8:45pm
Where:  Main Plaza, 115 N Main Ave, 78205
Description:  Out Door Movie.  





 
Friday The 13th Alleycat Race

When:  Friday June 13, 2014  7pm
Where: Bottom Bracket Social Club, 1603 N Colorado, 78201
Description:  A scavenger hunt bicycle race. For more information, click here: Facebook

Tour De Tube 2014
When:  Sunday June 29, 2014
Where:  The Slab, 414 W Cevallos, across the street from La Tuna
Description: A group bicycle ride from La Tuna to the Comal River.  For more information, click here:  Facebook


Earn-A-Bike Co-op. Grand Opening 
When:   Saturday, June 14, 3pm-5pm
Where:  2619 Guadalupe St, 78207\
Description: Join us of the grand opening of the Guadalupe St. Earn-A-Bike Co-op. Food, music, give aways, bikes and more bikes.  Earn-A-Bike Co-op.


If you have any event you want me to post about, please email me

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

S Flores Removal

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, the city council voted 10 to 1 to remove the bicycle lanes, man talk about a vote to Keep San Antonio LAME.  People in the Cycling Community feel anger at those who voted for the removal which is every council person and the mayor except one Shirley Gonzales, District 5 Council Woman.  After pleas from the us, they still voted to remove them.  I have a funny feeling this is not the last one, and we're going to be having this fight again sometime soon. I don't know why our mayor wanted to become Rob Ford, but he did because this crack smoking mayor did the same thing back in 2012.

The people who came out and spoke against the bike lanes were old people from COPS Metro Alliance.  Take a good look at these people, and notice, not one of these people are under the age of 50. What I found very ironic is that these same people just an hour before where complaining about the sprawl and were asking the city council to vote for the SAWS recommendation of fee hikes.  I guess these people didn't get the memo that cars are the thing that is causing the sprawl and not the bicycle, but they simply don't see it that way. 

What I also found infuriating was the fact that this guy, Ruben Sauceda brought in another person to testify against the lanes so he could get more time to speak.  You know I was planning to start encouraging my friends to start to visit the grocery store La Fiesta, but since the bicycle lanes are going to be removed, there's simply no need to.  I'm not going to go to a store that thinks that bicycle lanes are a safety hazard when the city's own data said otherwise. I have better places to give my hard earn money to and this store is simply ain't one of them.  I would like to encourage my readers not to visit the La Fiesta on S Flores or any other store but that choice is yours.   Just remember, it was this store that wanted them removed in the first place and where Ruben had people sign his petition.

The last nail in the coffin was a letter from the Harlandale ISD claiming that the bike lanes caused children to run between the cars after school. 

Now we lost and yet I have a funny feeling we're going to be facing this all over again pretty soon.  Jim Forsyth of WOAI said it best, "that people who ride the the bus are considered losers" and you can bet that includes people who rides bicycles too.  The cycling community is disorganized and fractured.  We really have no central source to go to or to rally behind.  There's a reason why Austin has all those bicycle lanes, it is because they organized pushed for candidates that supported bicycle lanes and infrastructure.  It's a long road, and I don't think San Antonio has it in us.  I'm not your leader, I'm simply the messenger and you can bet you'll not find any support from BikeTexas.org.  Whether Union de Chicas Ciclistas (UCC) comes through and becomes a voice for the community here is up in the air, but I do have hope.  Look below and see about attending their meeting on Thursday, June 5th.  

Also if your hoping to run off District 3 Rebecca J Viagran on her bicycle, then your wasting your time.  Look how round that belly of her's is. I doubt it that she rides at all and when she's does, chances are she puts her bicycles on her car and goes to a park.  She like the rest of the council will not admit it in public, but I believe they consider bicycling a nuisance, something to say they support, but boy they want you to wear a helmet and have the cars share the road and from the looks of the share the road campaign for motorcycles, I don' t think it's working.  I bring it up because I heard from a person or two about this awful ideal.  Although this act cause the former mayor of Los Angele, Antonio Villaraigosa to become more serious about bicycling, I think it's simply two late to change the mind of this council lady.  Although having her actually ride her bicycle would be a start, but I don't think she has the courage to deal with the speeding traffic on Pleasanton let alone on the other stroads in her district. 

 I hate to tell people, but there's is more people going to ride and your not going to stop them and this story from the Alamo Area MPO is simply confirming I'm seeing now when I'm riding.  Whether we see a news report similar to this one from Australia here is up in the air, however, we'll definitely see what's happening in Chile in the capital city of Santiago happen here in San Antonio.  Actually I already see it downtown especially across the street at the subways after the council's vote.  If you don't want to see this stuff, it's up to people like you to register to vote and actually go vote.  As the election comes closer for the County election, I'll have a chart up on those who support cycling and those who don't. The only way we'll get to see the infrastructure like they have in Austin, or for that matter, the Netherlands, is that we become a force to recon with like COPS Metro Alliance. 

As I heard the only person to vote for the lanes, District 5 Council Lady Shirley Gonzales,  I heard the echoes from a Charles Marohn of Strong TownsAnd for the record, she does ride a bicycle.  He came to town back on May the 7th at the Health and the Built Environment and did a presentation.  His presentation starts at 28:30 of the Nowcast video and I urge everyone to watch it.  I don't know how long the lanes will remain, but they won't be removed just yet.  So go an enjoy them because that's the future all over San Antonio. 

P.S.
If you want to tell the League of American Bicyclist to revoke our Bronze status, then click here.  Also here's a link to there FB page.  

Up Coming Bicycle Events

UCC Union de Chicas Ciclistas
When:   Thursday, June 5, 2014 6:30pm
Where:  Rosella Coffee Co. 203 E Jones Ave #101  78215


 
 Cycle In-Cinema .  
When:   Every Thursday, June-August at Dusk, 8:45pm
Where:  Main Plaza, 115 N Main Ave, 78205
Description:  Out Door Movie.  




Every Lane is a Bike Lane
When:  June 4, 2014, 6:00pm
Where: La Tuna Bar and Grill.  100 Probandt St  San Antonio, TX 78204
Description:  We will be riding next first Wednsday to show the city the power of the cyclist and we will be doing it on SOUTH FLORES. IT IS OUR SOLIDARITY!!!!!
6:00pm at La Tuna- South Flores and then to ALAMO BIKE SHOP for a celebration with them at first Wednesday.
Join us for a protest, a ride and beer.



Yoga For Cyclist and Sports
When:  Saturday June 7, 2014 9am
Where:  Rosella Coffee Co.  203 E Jone

Five Points Block Party
When:  Wednesday June 5, 6:30pm
Where:  Alamo Bike Shop, 1016 N Flores, 78212







 
Friday The 13th Alleycat Race

When:  Friday June 13, 2014  7pm
Where: Bottom Bracket Social Club, 1603 N Colorado, 78201
Description:  A bike race.  Facebook

Tour De Tube 2014
When:  Sunday June 29, 2014
Where:  The Slab, 414 W Cevallos, across the street from La Tuna
Description:  Facebook

Earn-A-Bike Co-op. Grand Opening 
When:   Saturday, June 14, 3pm-5pm
Where:  2619 Guadalupe St, 78207\
Description: 
Join us of the grand opening of the Guadalupe St. Earn-A-Bike Co-op. Food, music, give aways, bikes and more bikes.  Earn-A-Bike Co-op.


If you have any event you want me to post about, please email me.  
 Up Coming Important Meetings
If you want to make a difference, please attend. 


Bandera & Eckhert and Bandera & Tezel/Prue Public Meeting
When:  June 5, 2014 6:30 PM
Where: Maverick Branch Library, 8700 Mystic Park, San Antonio, TX

What Should you Say?  Demand that the city follows the guidelines that were lay down in the Bicycle Master plan.  Also demand that they build the "Protected Intersections" at protectedintersections.com so this area can become safe for all road users. https://vimeo.com/86721046  And ask for sidewalks too.  contact: Peter Rodriguez at 207-8154