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

Friday, February 24, 2017

MPO Needs Your Input

Our Local MPO is asking for Input on proposals for bicycle and pedestrian facilities across the region.  They Are....

Hillcrest/Babcock Intersection Improvements: $1,000,000
Converse Greenway Trail:  $1,382,725
Ackerman Sidewalks and Bike Lanes: $1,742,763
New Braunfels Citywide Pedestrian Connectivity: $1,516,711
Zarzamora Pedestrian Improvements:  $5,000,000
Schertz Pedestrian Routes & Bike Lanes: $1,158,266
Seguin, Walnut Springs Trail Extension Project: $2,801,246
Alazan Creek Linear Hike and Bike Trail: $6,000,000
Martinez Creek Linear Hike and Bike Trail: $3,125,000

If you add all the amounts together, you get $23,726,671.  Unfortunately, there's only $15,000,000 available for projects. The Alamo Area MPO wants you to rank these projects as to which ones are the top 3 (click here) and here are those projects and the reason why I put them in the priority.

5. Martinez Creek Linear Hike and Bike Trail:
    Cost:  $3,125,000
    Project Description:  Consists of 1.4 miles of 10 foot wide shared hike and bike trail along
    Martinez Creek beginning at Cincinnati Avenue and extending to Mario Farias Park.

 As a person who uses the linear Creekway for commuting and a person who violates the law that states such trails can't be used after dark, I am for the expansion of such trails.  These trails will only help the police go underneath and chase away the homeless that sleep underneath these bridges.  It

4.  Converse Greenway Trail:
     Cost:  $1,382,725
     Project Description:  Construct 1.2 miles of 10' wide concrete linear greenway trail between
     Converse North Park and Converse City Park.

If this trail is ever completed, it will serve a basic need of being able to connect two places. It will provide residence who don't own a car an alternative across Gibbs-Sprawl Rd (an aptly named rd by the way).  I don't know if Converse will ever allow this trail to be used after dark, but it would be really cool if they did.

3. Schertz Pedestrian Routes & Bike Lanes:
    Cost: $1,158,266
    Project Description:  Construct 10’ shared-used path. Construct 6’ sidewalks, including curbs, curb ramps, and drainage. Stripe 6-8’ bike lanes along two connector streets. 6.97 miles total.

When I wrote my post, Where 2 Live in SA W/O a CAR, I wrote it with the personal experience of not owning a car.  I'm always asked if other areas of Bexar County could be an area to live with out a car and my answer is only if there's proper infrastructure is available to be able to walk or to bike.  Schertz is such an area not only lacking basic pedestrian infrastructure, but VIA bus services.  I can attest with personal experience that the reason why VIA is so loathed even though they do a lot of things right is because many areas of San Antonio lack basic pedestrian infrastructure.  People would rather wait for a bus to go around a block than to walk there all together.  Having Schertz improve sidewalks and add bicycle lanes will help provide the residence with alternatives to go to the grocery story and compete with more walkable areas of San Antonio.  But take my advice Scherts, putting in protected bicycle lanes will help with the traffic problem way better than any painted bicycle lanes. 

New Braunfels Citywide Pedestrian Connectivity:
    Cost: $1,516,711
    Project Description:  Construct sidewalks, ramps, and other pedestrian-related infrastructure in the
    Seele Elementary School area and on key segments of San Antonio Street, Walnut Avenue, and
    McQueeney Road (2.2 total miles).

As a member of Strong Towns, I understand that improving sidewalks is the best investment that any municipality can make to receive the biggest return.  If you ever been to New Braunfels, you would know the community is lacking sidewalks. They could use some sidewalks. 

1. Zarzamora Pedestrian Improvements
    Cost: $5,000,000
    Project Description:  Install missing sidewalks, repair existing sidewalks, remove unnecessary
    utility poles, install pedestrian crossing infrastructure, implement ITS strategies, and perform road
    diets along Zarzamora Road and SW Military Drive (4.5 miles).

Out of all the the projects posted, this is the one that is number one on my list.  The project stretches from Fredricksburg Rd all the way to SW Military Dr.  It is a 4 lane corridor of speeding cars, impassable sidewalks on the west side.  It's also where VIA wants to put its next Primo route for the 520 is the second busiest route in the city. It is also no coincidence that the Diabetes Institue is located at Alazan Creek Linear Hike and Bike Trail or Hillcrest/Babcock Intersection Improvements.  Well the reason why I didn't list them is because our MPO now includes New Braunfels, Seguin and Beorne, so when deciding the priorities on this list, I thought of those places too.  If It was being San Antonio centrist, I would have made Zarzamore, Alazan and Martinez the top of this list.  Also the other reason why I left out the project in Seguin is because I don't know enough about the project at all to give my two cents.

Remember, all comments are due February 28, 2017.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

SA Doesn't Make The List/There will be no Bike Lane on Broadway.

Every two years, Bicycling Magazine releases their list of the 50 Best Bicycle Cities in the United States of America, and guess what, we're not on this list.  I can't say that I'm surprised at all because back in 2014 I predicted that San Antonio wouldn't make the list and Austin would be on the top 10 of that list. Well Austin is at number 7 in 2016. Back in 2014, it was at number 11.

Gone are the days that to get on this list, all you had to do was build a bunch of hike and bike trails. Today, there's hike and bike trails galore stretching hundreds of miles. If you ever get the chance to visit a small town in Iowa, you are very likely to come across one. In southwest Ohio, there are several trails stretching from Cincinnati to to just north of Dayton, even to Columbus. Every city/town in the United States is basically copying Austin, Texas to improve their community.

A friend of mine ask me to ask you to help him get a list of bicycle friendly businesses so they could be asked to contact The League of America Bicyclists. If you know of any business that would like to be listed as a bicycle friendly business, please have them visit http://bikeleague.org/business.

Now if you ever read "Why San Antonio Don't Deserve Bronze," you would know how I feel about the League's grading system. Although having more bicycle friendly businesses would help to expand San Antonio standing, it will not be enough to make San Antonio make the list in 2018. If San Antonio is to be back on the Bicycling Magazine bicycle friendly list, we are going to have to build protected bicycle lanes. If this recent Rivard Report story on the Broadway is any indication, we'll never be on this list ever again.

In the report from The Rivard Report, "Renderings of a Reimagined Broadway," they show several concept visions of Broadway that will be built if the Bond is passed in May. Except for one cross section referred to as Upper Broadway Cultural Corridor, Tuleta to Allenswoth, (Image 60.2) all the cross sections lack even a simple bicycle lane.  Compare them to my cross sections that I did back in 2014, (Image 60.1) and you would see that I found plenty of space for a 6 ft protected bicycle lanes on both sides of Broadway including on street car parking/bus stop island.
Below, you'll find the cross sections that were featured on the Rivard Report story with my cross sections right below them. In Each and everyone of them, I show how there's plenty of room to put a two way protected bicycle lane. I'll be going in order, from north to south.

Starting at Hildebrand, we have a 100 feet to work with.  In the proposed rendering, you see a bicycle lane at either end.  Well this doesn't have to be for there's plenty of room not for just a two way protected bicycle lane, but also for on street parking. (Image 60.3)
The next one is from Allensworth to Tulet. Even though they have a 10ft protected bicycle lane, it is recommend by NACTO that bicycle lanes are at least 6ft wide.  I decided to add on street parking,  because there's plenty of room for that too.  And keeping with having trees in the turn lane, I did that too. (Image 60.4)
I don't know why they couldn't even add the protected bicycle lane that they started from Allensworth down to Josephine.  There's plenty of room for that too. (Image 60.5)
Any proposals that are made south of Josephine must be able to incorporate the yearly Battle of Flowers Parade.  In their proposal, there's no bicycle lanes.  But if we remove the center turn lane, we will gain the room to put in either bicycle lanes or a protected bicycle lanes with removable planters or barriers. Knowing the City of San Antonio, they won't do this. (Image 60.6)
As We go further south, again we see no proposed bicycle lane, nor on street parking, the reason why this part of Broadway had it's bicycle lane removed back in 2010.  Again this is where the Battle of Flowers parade goes down and taking that into account, we can have the protected bicycle lane with the removable barrier and what the businesses want, on street parking. (Image 60.7)
Even From Houston To 3rd, there's plenty of room for both parking on both sides of the street and a two way protected bicycle lane.  (Image 60.8)

If these illustrations that were featured on the Rivard Report tells me anything, it tells me that the City is not serious about Vision Zero,(#VisionZero) but are for making sure that driving a car as enjoyable as possible.

 The 73-page report by California-based design firm MIG and Parsons Brinckerhoff of Canada at http://therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Final_Broadway_Corridor_Plan_web.compressed.pdf

60.1: My cross section featured in my Story, Streetcar Part III, No Need for Streetcars Down Broadway. Source for cross section:  http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mEV5Yb_NRmY/VAExhNU_R2I/AAAAAAAAAvc/OMgqeqzEsCU/s1600/Midtown%2BBroadway%2BIdeally%2BBus%2BStop%2BWest.jpeg

60.2: Source of image https://therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/upperbroadway-road-diet.jpg

60.3: Source of the top: https://therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/upper-broadway-to-hildebrand.jpg, Source for the bottom: http://streetmix.net/BikeSanAntonio/63/allensworth-to-hildebrand-wparking

60.4: Source of the top: https://therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/upperbroadway-road-diet.jpg  Source for Bottom: http://streetmix.net/BikeSanAntonio/71/allensworth-to-tuleta-wparking

60.5: Source for top: https://therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/upper-broadway-road-diet-josephine.jpg   Source for Bottom: http://streetmix.net/BikeSanAntonio/72/josephine-to-tuleta-wparking 

60.6: Source for top: https://therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/lower-broadway-josephine.jpg  Source for bottom: http://streetmix.net/BikeSanAntonio/72/josephine-to-tuleta-wparking

60.7: Source for top: https://therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/lower-broadway-3rd-road-diet.jpg
Source for bottom:  http://streetmix.net/BikeSanAntonio/61/3rd-to-i-35

60.8: Source for top:  https://therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/lower-broadway-road-diet_centro-MIG.jpg  Source for bottom:  http://streetmix.net/BikeSanAntonio/70/houston-to-3rd