27 thoughts on “City Council Removes South Flores Bike Lanes

  1. The lanes are to be removed under the guise of ‘safety’ yet the cities own study proves (albeit in a small sample size) that safety actually improved with the advent of the bike lanes.

    Funny.

    • @ Rob

      The 8 fewer crashes is hardly an improvement and it’s very likely that over a longer timespan (say, 10 years), you might see similar variation year-over-year. This is probably why there is only a two-year comparison. In fact, the graph has many problems with it. As the article mentions, the scale is very misleading. That, and it doesn’t take into account the overall context of the street conditions in either year (e.g. construction or lack thereof, new businesses, light work, etc.). I would also suggest it actually weakens the argument because of the misleading nature of the data. It undermines the argument’s credibility no matter how correct it is.

      Nitpicking aside, this is very disappointing decision in terms of the overall evolution of the city’s center and the south side. I have a feeling over the next several years, this decision may come back to bite them when cyclists start taking up the whole right lane. In fact, that sounds like a great idea for a peaceful protest.

    • More precisely, the logic expressed at the council meeting was (my translation):

      1. The data shows there was a slight improvement in safety
      2. The citizens’ claims of a safety problem really looks to be an argument about perceived inconvenience to motorists
      3. Data shows there was no impact to motorist convenience
      4. We agree reverting the street to 4-lanes contradicts SA2020, Complete Streets, and the Bicycle Master Plan
      5. The city stands steadfastly in support of Complete Streets, the Bicycle Master Plan, and SA2020
      6. We are going ignore all of this and take the bike lanes off Flores anyway, return Flores to 4-lanes, and accept the increased risk to pedestrians, promote more automobile trips, faster speeds on Flores, and seek citizen opposition to future projects that might somehow encourage any shift from the auto culture.
      7. We remained fully committed to the principles of electricity. That is to say, we remain fully committed to SA2020, the Bicycle Master Plan, and Complete Streets, unless it is too difficult, then we remain fully committed to the path of least resistance.
      8. Now city staff, go out and implement the hard stuff, but please don’t expect support from the elected officials.

  2. remember that episode of Seinfeld when Kramer re-striped the highway lane in the middle of the night using a paint roller?

  3. Very lame. S. Flores doesn’t need more car lanes. The traffic is fine the way it is and shoving all the riders to picturesque roads is all very well for leisure riding…but many people actually COMMUTE on bikes too. Too bad the City is going backwards on this for no good reason that i can see.

  4. In atypical Rangel fashion I’m not going to craft a long diatribe in response to the removal of the S. Flores bike lanes at my expense, tantamount to the epitome of “adding insult to injury”. I never rode those lanes. I never needed to. Now I can’t. Big deal. Every lane is a bike lane. They already screwed up the bike lanes on North (or Lower. Or whatever the f*ck) Broadway and replaced them with an ultrawide “sharrows” lane that is meaningless except that now there is room for cars to pass cyclists unsafely at will because they do not understand that, just because there is room to, it does not give you the legal right to pass in the same lane. That’s not what that lane is for. But I digress. The fact remains that city council is running scared of being displaced and will do anything to retain whatever voters they can to keep them in place. Which is ironic because it’s not a well paid position, rarely leads to a larger office for most of them, and they obviously have no real interest in making the city more progressive. Why do they make stupid decisions like the bike lane removal? Besides fear, of course? Because they can. It’s the same reason the HDRC goes apeshit every time someone in Southtown wants to paint their house without permission. Someone people get a boners from signing on the dotted line to exercise a minute bit of power over someone else. It’s the same thing that makes that shitty Bill Millers manager force their employee to pick up a box they dropped. Or the reason that Dollar Store cashier takes 10 minutes to makes change before they check you out. It’s the only power they have and they will use it whether it needs to be or not. City Council clearly is demonstrating that they are both afraid of upsetting residents that are, apparently, more important than others and that they can do it with impunity and against black and white studies strongly suggesting (if not outright proving) the incorrectness of their decision. These same residents will be the ones to get up in arms and complain when “gentrification” comes knocking and they want to save their neighborhoods from developers who are even MORE important to city council. Sh*t flows downhill and money goes the other direction.

    So take your little win, ill-informed residents of the “So-Flo” corridor.

    Someone else will be coming to take more important things from you than our bike lanes in the near future. And guess what? I’ll be SMH riding down the middle of a full traffic lane while nice new middle-class people water their condo lawns on what used to be your property.

  5. In cities, like this one, where there is more than enough space to provide cyclists with with well thought out, lets call them, “Urban Bicycle Routes”, they lack the creativity and intelligence to provide them. Unless is its someone else calling the shots besides the residents……I would suggest or advise them to study well Urbanized cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, NYC, Chicago etc.. and understand how bike routes work in their cities and see what the city needs to function properly.

  6. Meh a bunch of middle class hipster fixed gear bike riders are upset they were unable to gentrify a neighborhood.

    I would say cry me a river, but yal got the San Antonio River Reach and are making progress on kicking people out along the banks…

    What we think we need and what we have been taught to consume becomes very relative…

    Consuming urban middle class culture will have it’s effects on our blue collar history here in SA.

  7. This is unfortunate. Totally agree with Lorenzo, biking and walking makes for a friendlier, more livable city.

  8. I heard both sides disagreeing about the impact on the youth in the neighborhood, that cars are bad for youth or bikes are bad for youth. But did anyone actually ask the kids in the neighborhood what they thought? After all, everything we are planning and constructing will primarily impact them, not us. How much of a voice do they have in what happens to the community?

  9. “About 53 miles, however, have been identified for review to either remove parking or add a separated bike lane between parking and vehicular traffic.”

    So when cyclists end up being killed by people opening their car doors into the so called separated bike lane, will the city throw away $16,130,434 to remove them?

    These paint markings provide nothing but a false notion of safety.

    I ride a bike. Often as a commuter. For years in Boston I rode a 12 mile commute each way. Never felt the need for a bike lane. In fact I vehemently disagree with much of the opinions so called new urbanism claims as fact.

    If a group of cyclists are going to demand special accommodation on the roads then perhaps it is time to reinstate bicycle licensing to fund such accommodations. A dedicated bicycle tax that could actually fund real improvements such as segregated bicycle ROW such as common in Europe. Those ROW are superior to the facade of “bike sharrows” and paint on the road.

  10. Wow. I can’t get over how many folks posted comments against this decision… Just curious how many let their city council person know your views?

  11. The city is divided among political lines so it’s hard to move forward with plans no matter what the proposal.

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