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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Iowa St Bike Lane, a Double Edge Sword.

Go Fund Me Campaign

It still up, and I could use the help to be able to take some pictures I need to illustrate the my story on the Streetcar issue.  It's going to be a three part story, and the first of these stories should be posted some time around August 6th.  If you want to help me out, please help pay for my Greyhound ticket at http://www.gofundme.com/b8rmq4

Iowa St Bike Lane, a Double Edge Sword.  

Iowa St got it's bike lane about a year ago.  But my question is, did it ever really need it?  In all my time riding up and down the this street, I never had a problem with people driving by.  In fact, even before the bike lane painting, I would have said, this is a street that never need one in the first place, then again I'm an experience cyclist, please try this at home.  LOL. 

Iowa St got painted a bike lane with 10 ft driving lanes in the center, the 4ft bike lane and then a 8 ft parking lane.  (Image 15-1)  I personally don't like this type of bicycle lanes because to a cyclist, it feels like we're riding between two buses like this cyclist is doing in  England.(Image 15-2)  On the other hand, when there are no cars parked, it becomes a buffered bicycle lane providing more protection to cyclist using it for it forces the motor vehicles to the center of the street, hence, the double edge sword. 

The bike lane on Iowa St stretches from New Braunfels down to Cherry St, the pattern of Bike lane and Parking Lane exist, but between Cherry and Hackberry, it boggles the mind on why they have this same pattern between Hackberry and Cherry because I have never seen cars parked here before there was a bike lane. Why the city of San Antonio couldn't just put in a painted buffered bike lane (Image 15-7) between Cherry and Hackberry is beyond me, but then again, when has TCI ever did something that wasn't in line with keeping San Antonio lame.

When they first put in the lanes, the 30-28 lineup I ride would ignore the bike lanes and treat it as if the four lane stroad was still there. This is nothing new, VIA ignores it's customer base all the time, just look at what the VIA supervisors do at night during the lineup on Commerce St with their trucks.(Image 15-3)  The Good news is that most of the bus drivers have stop driving the bus down the right parking/bike lane. 

If anyone from VIA is reading this, please be advise that the driving lanes on Iowa are only 10ft wide.  Last I checked, aren't those lanes suspose to be 11ft wide for safety?  I mention this because this is what I've been told at the BMAC meeting when concerning streets the buses would be running on.(Image 15-4)
Now it's not uncommon to see these types of lanes.  For example, we see it on other streets such as Ashby, Josephine, S Main, (Image 15-5) Dewey and Cincinnati just to name a few, and each time, the parking lane is bigger than the tiny bicycle lane provided.  Now it is appropriate to have it on streets like Cincinnati and Iowa, but having it down streets like Josephine and Ashby is not because of  the fast moving traffic.  If the parking was removed on these streets, then it would be better for the cyclist using it, but because the parking is more important, the cyclist will get no such relief because parking is more important than a healthy city.  At least in Austin, they actually go out of the way and have a 5ft bike lane with a parking lane next to it that even bigger.  To accomplish this, they remove the parking on the other side of the street.  (Image 15-6)
 Now if you happen not to be in Austin and encounter one of these type of streets while riding, just go ahead and ride your bicycle in the parking lane.  You have all that unused space, so put it to good use.  The City of San Antonio is allergic to removing parking, so if and when we get over that allergy, we're not going to be seeing bike lanes like this (Image 15-7) any time soon on Ashby and Josephine. 

15-1:  Iowa St by the YMCA looking West
15-2:  A Facebook photo that was shared to me.  Had to use it for it illustrates what a cyclist feels when riding next to a parked car and traffic is passing by.
15-3:  VIA's Supervisors Pickups parked on the Sidewalk next to the Alamo One Building on E Commerce St.
15-4:  A VIA Bus going down Iowa St.  Showing how the traffic lane is too small for commercial vehicles.
15-5:  The Bike lane/Parking Lane down S Main Ave looking south.
15-6:  A Similar design in street dieting but with a bigger bike lane.  Somewhere in East Austin, TX
15-7:  A painted Buffered Bike lane in East Austin, TX.  I think is looking south.

 Up Coming Important Meetings
If you want to make a difference, please attend. 

Lee's Creek, Joe Ward and Sunset Hills Parks Plan Review Public Meeting
When:  Wednesday, August 20, 2014 6:00 PM
Where:  Joe Ward Community Center,  435 E. Sunshine, San Antonio, TX 78228
What Should You Ask For:  The thing to ask for at this meeting are good sidewalks,  20 mile per hour speed limits and safe ways to get to the park down Hillcrest and St Cloud such as bike lanes down those stroads.  

Hemisfair Public Work Session:
When:   Tuesday, July 29, 2014  6PM-8PM
Where:  The Depot at Sunset Station, 1174 E Commerce, San Antonio, TX
What Should You Say:  The biggest thing is having cars come into the park.  This is the worse decision ever for if anybody know from experience, cars make a place unsafe and make people uncomfortable.  They don't let cars into La Villita, so why should cars be allowed here.  Also asking for La Villita types shops in the abandoned houses would be a plus too. 

Local Bike Advocate Training for Statewide Campaigns:

When:   August 3, 2014 1pm to 4pm
Where:  BikeTexas.org HQ  1902 E 6th St, Austin, TX  78702  or Online.  To Register, click here
Do you want to learn key tactics to support bicycle advocacy in your area? Join people like you from around Texas for a special bike advocate training on Sunday, August 3, from 1-4 PM.
National experts from the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking and Walking will facilitate the workshop. They'll talk about statewide campaigns in the lead up to the 2015 legislative session, such as keeping TxDOT from moving funds away from programs designed to build bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Register for this training and be prepared for the next call to action!
The training will take place in our office at 1902 E 6th St (map), but you don't have to be in Austin to attend. Register as a teleconference attendee and we'll send you a link to join the broadcast. Please register by July 26 to secure your spot and receive updates on the training. See you on August 3!
This workshop is offered free of charge thanks to funding from Advocacy Advance. Please consider making a donation to BikeTexas to support better bicycling in Texas. Even a dollar helps!.  More info can be found at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/local-bike-advocate-training-for-statewide-campaigns-tickets-12258432301

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.  

FrankenBike #51
When:   Saturday August 16, 2014  10AM to 4PM
Where:  Earn A Bike Coop ~ 2619 Guadalupe St ~ 78207
Description:  San Antonio's Bicycle Swap Meet and Flea Market.

Glow Roll SA
When:  Saturday July 26, 2014 3PM  Ride Starts at 9PM
Where: Travis Park Downtown.
Description:  The KickStand SA & SA Made by Hand Mercado presents "House Party in the Park @ Amor y Arte" & the 1st Glow Roll Social Ride in Downtown San Antonio

Date: Sat.July 26th
Destination: THE N. ST. MARY'S WALKABOUT event
What to do: Trick out all or parts of your bicycle with neon lights, or neon/glow in dark tape! Wear bright,neon,glow in the dark clothing for the ride too!
What to bring: ID, $$, extra tubes in case, bike and YOURSELF ready to have fun!

**Amor y Arte: 3p-9p -- come by early to check out local artisans, live music & food trucks! SAMBH is providing a limited supply of glow sticks to decorate bikes. They will be set out @ 7:30p at The KickStand SA table...get there early to grab a few! Alamo Bike Shop will be set up offering tire service/minor adjustments too!

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