Texas summers are not for the faint of heart. One day, it’ll be wonderful: the sun is nice; allergies have subsided (a little); that fresh outfit is still cute; and you’re feeling a cool breeze at the local spot. But more often than not, the sun just gives hot glares and laughter, sending down temperatures reaching 110 degrees on the heels of a beautiful 80 degree day. That’s when you end up with raging sweat, stuffing paletas down your pants, and avoiding outdoor contact until after sundown.
Summer in Texas is not a kind character. As bicyclists and pedestrians, we must take precautions from the trail ways to downtown’s streets to ensure we safely enjoy the summer season of fun.
The streets are bustling with cars, tourists walking, communities engaging, and an abundance of bicycling throughout the day. More people, especially the young ones, are outdoors, traveling to cool destinations throughout San Antonio. We must be mindful of all the busy streets and the activities happening within parks and special events. So, here are some tips to keeping a watchful eye on our community:
- When walking, make sure the person driving an automobile sees you! Give them a friendly wave to let them know you are crossing and make eye contact to help the driver visualize that you are safely in the right of way in the crosswalk.
- Make sure you don’t stand or park in the bike lane, as it is still a traveling lane.
- Whether driving, walking, or bicycling, be aware of your surroundings and prevent distracted travel by keeping your head up, your phone safely tucked away, and your mind focused on negotiating traffic. Avoid activities that take away your concentration. Look up!
- Even when riding the trails on your bike, it is recommended you wear a helmet to protect your noggin from injury. A collision can happen anywhere, whether from taking a wrong turn, getting hit by a vehicle, or even striking another person.
- Stay hydrated as much as possible during high temperature days. Find a nearby store or business that can help you refill your water bottle or provide refreshments for relief. The library is a great resource where you can take a break, chill, and explore.
- Sunset to sunrise, be on the lookout for blinding times of days when it may be difficult for drivers to see pedestrians crossing or any oncoming traffic because of the sun in their eyes.
- Adopt sun protection habits: Use sunscreen, hats, and various light-colored clothing options (many with built-in SPF) to keep your body cool and protected.
At VisionZeroSA.com, we want you to practice safe biking and pedestrian transportation, while still having fun in the sun! With so many happenings in and around SA, it is best to keep on your toes on how to stay cool, attentive, and “arrive alive” to all your summer destinations.
Have a great summer!
Jessica Brunson is an avid cyclist who can be caught biking to and from work along downtown San Antonio’s bike lanes. Brunson champions all modes of transportation, and she uses her skills as a Senior Transportation Planner for the city’s Transportation & Capital Improvements (TCI).