Author of Blog: Daniel Day

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.

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