June 4, 2017
Cars have taken over in San Antonio neighborhoods. So much so that drivers seem to assume ownership of the entire road. One of the biggest abuses I see in San Antonio is a number of cars parked in protected bike lanes, in every area of the city. Cars also assume that it is ok to drive in bike lines. As if riding your bike on a San Antonio street isn’t dangerous enough with distracted, aggressive drivers. (Photos below were taken near Woodlawn Ave and Zarzamora St - Westside of SA - May 31, 2017)
Bike lanes are meant to make distinctions between people driving, walking and bicycling. They are meant to keep people biking safe, away from a 3,000 lb frame of steel coming at you at 30-40 miles per hour (neighborhood speed limits in San Antonio are notoriously high).
Parked cars in bike lanes force people biking into the road with vehicles traveling at a high speed, which is a huge safety issue. I don’t even need to explain why it’s unsafe with vehicles driving in bike lanes.
When a city states that it wants to support multi-modal transportation and infrastructure options, they need to prioritize pedestrians and disabled persons first, bikes and transit next, and cars last. This makes for a safer and more efficient/green transportation plan. If you actually prioritize pedestrians, cyclists and transit, you end up with fewer cars on the road and more livable, viable communities. You end up with less pedestrian and cyclist deaths and injuries by auto.
Allowing autos to park in bike lanes sends a message – cars are more of a priority and the safety of people biking doesn’t matter. Small changes with city policy could make our city safer for cyclists – don’t allow parking and driving in the bike lanes, enforce and ticket those who violate this rule. Chicago is one example – they made a citywide regulation that does not allow cars to park, idle or drive in bike lanes and they frequently educate the public on this rule.
Please – share the road!