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Sunday, June 13, 2021

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National Bike Month brings Challenges & Opportunities in SA

National Bike Month brings Challenges & Opportunities in SA

MAY 21st: The Vision Zero team will be out in the community for Bike to Work Day at Legacy Park (107 W. Houston Street). Our energizer station will encourage responsible cycling and provide a rest and refuel stop.

Bike Month usually promotes bike trips for commuting and recreation, but at Vision Zero SA we know the barriers that exist when parts of a particular road seem unsafe. We were pleased when we saw San Antonio's fatalities begin to decline: after nine bicyclist fatalities in 2018-2019, the city recorded only a single fatality in 2020 – and this was during a year of surging bike ridership due to the pandemic.

But reality struck again, this time just weeks from Bike Month. It was grim news to hear Beatrice Gonzalez, a leader of the cycling community, died on April 7, 2021 on North St. Mary’s Street. Police say an intoxicated driver hopped a curb and struck her on the sidewalk. This loss was nearly two years to the day since the passing of Tito Bradshaw, another well-known and beloved cyclist.

We recognize any bike rider’s death is unacceptable, and Vision Zero SA is committed to creating a safer commute for everyone.

That means safer infrastructure for all abilities and communities. One such example is the new cycle track at Five Points intersection of Fredericksburg Road and North Flores Street.

On the edge of Midtown and Downtown, this area has brought together vibrant culture, yet serious disrepair of infrastructure for those not traveling in cars. It was hard for pedestrians to cross or for cyclists to travel because of the high volume of vehicle traffic, transit stops generating bus traffic, and multiple roads converging at two off-centered intersections.

Recently, through the 2017-2022 Bond, the City installed a combination of new facilities at the intersection – green bike lanes, bike boxes, grade-separated shared-paths, and painted crossings for both bike and pedestrians to create minimal interaction with vehicular traffic.

Previously, transit riders crossed sporadically, drivers lacked sight distance, and people cycling on the North Flores bike lane suddenly reached a disconnected end. Now, this intersection has been revived with a new ‘Two- Staged Left’ layout, which gives more priority to human-powered travel.