SAN ANTONIO (July 15, 2015) – The City of San Antonio is studying all modes of transportation in order to prepare for the additional 1.1 million people expected to live in San Antonio by 2040. As the city’s traffic congestion grows more serious every day, bicycling and walking are the most popular travel alternatives to avoid and reduce that traffic.
A recent Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Study indicates there are approximately 325,000 area residents who bicycle at least once a month. City officials have recently renewed their commitment to make transportation safety a top priority for 2015. The majority of bicycle riders are recreational cyclists, 17% bicycle to run errands, 7% bicycle to work, and 4% bicycle to school.
Corrigan “Red” Luckey is one of the 7% who commute to work on a bicycle. “I work for a company that encourages employees to bike, walk, or run to work. They provide showers for those of us who commute on bicycles or on foot, and the company culture really encourages alternative modes of traveling to work,” he said.
A professional bicycle technician, Luckey prefers cycling as his primary mode of transportation. He does most of his work, errands, and socializing within two miles of where he lives in the northwest part of town, which means that he and his wife only need one car. “I have a grocery store, two pubs, a taco truck, and my workplace within my personal ‘bubble’. This means I am a strong supporter of local businesses. I think I am more of a ‘local’ than many San Antonio natives are,” he said. The 32-year old Houston native believes that San Antonio seems to be the most forward-thinking city about bicycles in Texas, including Austin. “I just wish we had more protected bike lanes,” he said.
Edith Lopez Estrada moved here from Missouri four years ago and didn’t have a car. “I used VIA and rode my bike. I had to get a car eventually because it is very difficult to get along without one in San Antonio,” she said. That said, a year ago, Lopez Estrada started commuting to work on her bicycle. “I have a nine-mile roundtrip commute to work. I live in the Pearl area and work downtown, so I have access to safe bike lanes. Except for the wet weather this year and the flooding and debris in the roads that it caused, bicycling makes my trip to work easier, I save on parking and gas, and it’s a healthy thing to do,” she said.
Lopez Estrada is a volunteer with the local Earn-a-Bike co-op, an organization that provides affordable bicycle maintenance, services, and education. “A lot of cities with progressive transportation programs have these Earn-a-Bike co-ops. We recycle bikes and create an awareness of cycling through programs like the monthly Women’s Wrench Night that focuses on helping women do their own bike maintenance.”
Providing more transportation choices and linking the various modes of transportation are important components of the Multimodal Transportation Plan, part of the City of San Antonio’s SA Tomorrow planning effort that is currently underway to prepare for the additional 1.1 million people who will live in San Antonio.
“San Antonio’s interconnected network of trailways is destined to become a sort of ‘freeway’ for bicyclists and pedestrians. People already see the value of this City asset, and as we plan for 2040, the greenway system will play an even bigger role in helping people move around our city,” said Terry Bellamy, Assistant Director, Transportation & Capital Improvements, City of San Antonio.
Public open houses will be held in late July and early August to present Multimodal Transportation Plan information to the public, and to get input from San Antonio residents on existing transportation conditions and trends, local transportation corridors, and transportation policies. The City-sponsored open houses will be held on July 23 (Igo Library), July 27 (Barbara Jordan Community Center), July 28 (Melendrez Community Center), July 29 (Central Library), July 30 (Brookhollow Library), August 3 (Great Northwest Library), and August 4 (Pan American Library). A live online webinar will be held on August 11.
Residents are encouraged to visit www.SATomorrow.com for more information and follow SA Tomorrow on facebook.com/SATomorrow2040 or twitter.com/SATomorrow2040.