Neighborhoods across San Antonio are asking for bike lanes to be put onto their roads, but not one community on the South Side.
After the city changed the traffic pattern of South Flores from Theo/Malone to SE Military Drive from four lanes, two each direction, to two lanes with bike lanes, many area residents were upset. The changes were made last year.
Residents claim the increased traffic was now congesting, stacking cars with frustrated drivers that are making increasingly dangerous decisions for pedestrians, which include school children at the neighborhood's multiple schools. They want the bike lanes diverted onto less busy thoroughfares.
Cycling advocates dispute the "more dangerous" claim and say the change back, which is estimated at costing between $400,000 and $700,000, doesn't get at the root problem: motorists speeding. Cyclists also point out that they are going to use the road regardless and taking away the lane is less safe.
A city-commissioned study of the area said there was no increase in peak traffic, with northbound lanes experiencing less congestion. The city also provided details showing the number of accidents in the area have dropped slightly.
The city's Transportation & Capital Improvement department made the changes as part of their bike master plan in 2011. Julia Murphy with TCI said the city held many public meetings regarding the changes and no one opposed them at the time. She conceded the meetings were for the city as a whole and not held in all affected neighborhoods.
The council will vote on whether to change the layout of the street Thursday, May 29.
- Rafael Mancilla, cycling advocate who uses the lanes regularly
- Gloria Mora, C.O.P.S. / The Metro Alliance member and S. Flores resident