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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

San Antonio Barely Makes the List

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Every two years, Bicycling Magazine creates this list of the 50 top bicycle friendly cities in America published in Oct 2014. We're down to #48 (Image 21-1) from #47 back in July 2012 (Image 21-2).  83 Miles north of us, is the Weird city of Austin, and they're also on the list at #11 from #13 back in 2012 (Image 21-3).  Another blogger recently wrote about this in Fit In S.A. saying quote: "The completion of the Mission Reach is one of the reasons San Antonio made it onto the list." That's the only reason why we're even on the list folks because of a "recreational trail" and with B-cycle serving it.

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Don't get me wrong I love the Mission trail, but unlike back in 2012, Bicycling Magazine also mentioned the bicycling community quote: "An emerging cycling-friendly vibe fueled by 1,700 miles bike network of lanes, paths, and sharrows."  What the hell happened, oh, that's right, the City council voted for the removal of such a system with only one member, Shirley Gonzales voting to keep it.  Also happened was that Boneshakers got it's property cut off by the San Antonio River Authority, and they went out of business at their river location and their Hays Street Bridge location. Cars still park in the cities only cycletrack on Avenue A, and to top it all off, the city don't give a damn about cars parked in your bicycle lane.

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But I don't think it is because of our expanding B-cycle or a completed recreational trail that we made the list, in my own opinion I believe it is the fact that San Antonio has a rich bicycle culture.  It is you the people who come out to Frankenbike, Downtown Highlife Bicycle Club Ride , the Zombie ride, and all the other rides in San Antonio.  It's bicycle groups like The Wild Dawgs, the Street Ratz and many many more.  It's those who get on their bicycle or as I like to say "put the fun between your legs," and ride everywhere just because.  You see it every First Friday with people just riding down S Alamo and going to the bicycling friendly places like Alamo Street Eats, and other bicycle friendly places like the Bottom Bracket Social Club.

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It's funny as I look back at our position of #47 and see an echo of it through the Tweet of Diego Bernal of District 1 claiming how San Antonio is planning to 1,700 miles of bike lane (Image 21-4).  Just like Ron Nirenberg saying how we need a plan to improve transportation in San Antonio, it goes to show you how useless it is to have a plan if your not willing to follow through. 

Recently, Several Stroads where recently repaved in District 1 near downtown.  Here on Colorado St, they finish repaving it and repainting it (Image 21-6).  According to the Bicycle Master Plan, Colorado St from I-10 to Caesar Chavez (Image 21-5) has a plan for a road diet similar to what was done to S Flores. But as you can see in my recent photo of the place it has the same configuration that makes a stroad a stroad.  Hey Mr Bernal, where's the bike lane that you promised? (Image 21-4) 
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But lets face the reality here, San Antonio is too stuck behind the wheel of a car to ever envision a Netherlands network of bike paths and Cycletracks or ever have light rail transit.  Although the city is constructing a cycletrack in front the Henry B Gonzales Convention Center along I-37, chances are it won't be used like the city ever intended because there's no signs, sharrows, or painted green like you would see on a similar path in Austin (Image 21-7).  If things don't start changing, we will not be on the Bicycle Magazine list come 2016 while I'm betting that Austin will be comfortably in one of those top ten positions because they're committed to building more bus stop islands like this one on Guadalupe St (Image 21-7).  Keep Austin Weird, Keep San Antonio Lame.
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Images:
21-1:  A picture of the Bicycle Magazine October 2014 rating of San Antonio, TX as #48 of one the top 50 Bicycle  Friendly Cities in the USA.
21-2:  A picture of the Bicycle Magazine July 2012 rating of San Antonio, TX as #47 of one the top 50 Bicycle  Friendly Cities in the USA.
21-3:  A picture of the Bicycle Magazine October 2014 rating of Austin, TX  as #11 of one the top 50 Bicycle  Friendly Cities in the USA.
21-4: A Screenshot of my Facebook Re-posting of Diego Bernal's FB posting of how San Antonio has 1,700 miles of bile lanes planned and my friends response to his comment.
21-5: A Screenshot of page 28 of the Bicycle Network PDF of the Bicycle Master Plan.
21-6:  Colorado St Looking North one block north of Martin St.
21-7:  The Bus Stop Island on the Guadalupe St Cycletrack in Austin, TX.

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