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

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Problems with Plans to Nowhere

At the last BMAC Bike Night meeting on October 6, I learned about several projects that wish to get priority funding like connecting the South and North Salado Creek Trails together through Fort Sam, the connections of the San Antonio Mission Reach to the Media River Trail, Via's sidewalk projects for bus stops and this one in particular caught my attention which was a Cycletrack down Floyd Curl Dr in the Medical Center which is #2 on the list. (Image 24-1)

Out of all the projects, this one is the most expensive and for one I can say, yes, it is needed down a Stroad like Floyd Curl Dr.  From what was explained to me, It would either by a one or two way protected bicycle lane like the ones you see in the Netherlands (Video below) from Huebner to Louis Pasteur.  It the most expensive of all  the projects which states it at $5.8 million.  And it's located in a place that I feel for certain will embrace the path built.  But here's my problem?  Why isn't it on Huebner, Babcock, Medical Dr, Wurzbach or Fredericksburg Rd?

It's a good question after all Huebner is a 7 lane stroad with cars that constantly speed above 50 mph; why isn't there a plan to put one there.  The Same with Babcock, a 7 lane stroad, but this one is sorta special, it goes towards town, it has an HEB, Via's Medical Center Transit Center and residential neighborhoods along it. But no, it's going here on Floyd Curl out of the way every ones way serving only about 3 or 4 hospitals and doctor offices that for the most part, the patients of these places are incapable of riding a bicycle. 

It's the same thing I wrote about in June 11 posting "San Antonio Don't Deserve Bronze," for what I stated is that for the most part, City of San Antonio considers cycling a recreational activity and fail understand that bicycling can serve everyday people shopping, paying bills, working, connecting people homes to their jobs and businesses that they go to.  When the protected bicycle lane along Floyd Curl is build, you'll still be more likely to drive your car to the HEB on Babcock, then to go there by bicycle, as is you'll still be more likely to drive to the restaurants along Fredericksburg or Wurzbach.  What it will connect is a park at the corner of Sid Katz Dr to the hospitals along Floyd Curl. 

I want to see stuff like this happening in San Antonio, but here's my beef, I want it down the stroads that are needing protection first, that connect everyday people with the ability to choose a bicycle over a car in going to the grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses along the way.  Putting bicycle infrastructure down side streets and not the main stroads sorta reminds me of separate water fountains that we learn about in school that were around for Jim Crow because lets face it, you're pretty much considered a second class citizen when you are force to live without a car in San Antonio.  Lets face it, I'm not the only one noticing the bias towards automobiles when it comes to transportation improvements.

So when I filled this MPO Pick your projects online survey, (Image 24-1) I picked three projects that I believe that is beneficial to the future of San Antonio and yes, I have every right to be criticized for picking a project that for the most part is recreational.  They are the Salado Creek connection through Fort Sam (#3), a path I've constantly used after dark breaking the law using the trail for commutting.  The other project is Via's MyLink Pedestrian Transit Plan, to build sidewalks on Fredericksburg, US 281 and Roosevelt for the purpose of providing some type of ADA accessibility between the bus stop and the near by businesses (#10).  I also picked the Safe Routes to Schools: School and Transit Pedestrian Infruxtructure Improvements (#4)  I hope that as they build these projects, they'll consider installing protected bicycle infrastructure along, but chances are, it ain't going to happen because cars are simply more important than a person choosing to help create an Ozone action day. 

I want to encourage everyone to visit this website and pick your own projects (Image 24-1) and you'll have to make sure that all the  projects you pick are under $11 million dollars.  Everyone has until October 24, 5PM to do this online survey, so please get to it. 

I have other issues such as #7 McCullough Corridor Improvements in which they're not providing any bicycle lanes along the project.  After all, that space is needed for cars to make a faster left turn and not a protection of a human being on a bicycle keeping the air clean.  Hope the other projects I pick do the same thing. 

1 comment:

  1. Comparing your fight for bicycle lanes to what happened during Jim Crow is a tasteless comparison to make. Jim Crow was a lot more than using separate water fountains, black Americans were treated below second class citizens.