32 thoughts on “Renderings of a Reimagined Broadway

    • This is a very real concern. This is going to happen once Alamo Plaza is closed from Houston Street to Market Street. (Reimagine the Alamo Project) The traffic normally on Alamo Street will have to be diverted to Broadway. Or is there another street that could handle that kind of increased flow of traffic?

      • Almost all the bike infrastructure on page 12 is already there, save for the one short (1/4mi) piece proposed in front of the Witte. You can already bike down Ave B to the Pearl where you will find bands parked in the bike lane unloading at Sam’s Burger joint or cars driving in the bike lane due to horrible signage and design.

        • Ave. B is still MUCH more bike-friendly than Broadway. Where parallel alternate (and safer) routes exist, then before adding protected lanes to the more-congested road, the priority should be make sure the safer alternate route is kept safe and bike- friendly.. which for Ave. B means enforcing existing right-of-ways, better lighting, maintaining good road surface, etc.

  1. Where are the bike lanes in some of the renderings? For example, I don’t see any bike lanes proposed in the Lower Broadway renderings.

    • Even in the first picture of the slideshow that heads this article, you can see the bike lane in front of the Witte and then it just dead-ends into nothingness. That is not a transportation solution, especially if Brackenridge park is still going to be open to vehicular traffic. Cars will kill this city. Design around buses, peds and bikes if you want this project to have a legacy.

  2. Where are the ADA areas and bike trials. What about making San Antonio a place for citizens can have access to exercise on trials on Broadway.

  3. It is strange to drive lower Broadway with all the lanes, but it becomes clear that the “extra” lane is used for delivery or parking. This offloading space seems a requirement in so many places.

    • Is that where the bike lanes are located as well? Seems futile to state there are bike lanes when vehicles are allowed to park in that lane.

  4. A lot of the elements look a bit forced. While improved sidewalks would certainly make walking safer, a good portion of the buildings along the cultural corridor have large setbacks and lots of driveway cuts and street facing parking lots. So while the act of walking may be improved, the experience doesn’t seem to change much. I don’t know that broader sidewalks and some trees will necessarily incentivize people to walk that stretch any more. An ihop with a large parking lot facing a tree and new sidewalk is still an ihop with a large parking lot.

    On another note – isn’t Broadway slated for rail in VIA’s long range plan? The installation of medians and trees would seem to create a hassle for rail in the future. How much of that $43 million would have to be removed for rail to travel down the middle of Broadway?

    It would seem that other corridors – maybe lower Fredericksburg – would be better in form for the city’s first foray into complete streets. The process there would simply be reverting the corridor to its original design whereas much of Broadway involves marrying complete street design with a largely auto-centric design.

    Should this ambitious project not meet its high expectations one could imagine residents being hesitant to approving bond funding for such redesigns in the future.

  5. And the elephant in the room. What about Fiesta parades? Seems that the medians with trees begins south of Houston, how are floats and the UT/A&M bands going to get through there?

    • Accommodating special events like that has to be an afterthought. We can’t design a city around a parade. It has to be the other way around, even if it means stepping on the toes of tradition.

  6. I agree with Nacho. Those of us who must deal with life along Broadway don’t understand how severely limiting auto access while increasing density of population in the corridor will improve our lives. I will be voting against bond funding because voting no is the only recourse available to citizens.

    • Although your concerns about the Broadway corridor are well thought out, please reconsider your vote against the 2017 bond package. The bond contains so very many important, transformational projects whose time has come now, in this bond. No guarantees that they will make future bonds thus won’t ever happen. You can make your voice heard on the Broadway proposal by reaching out to your councilperson to be sure that he or she holds the street designers accountable for making the best possible decisions. These designs can be tweaked and your ideas can be heard.

    • I fear my comments were misinterpreted.

      I am absolutely in favor of limiting vehicular traffic along Broadway and am fully in favor of redesigning the corridor to better accommodate pedestrians, bike riders, and public transit.

      However, I fear the installation of a median is short-sighted as VIA plans to use that same space to accommodate rail in the future. That would mean that a good portion of that $43 million would be spent on a project that would be torn up within the next two decades. That is not at all sound management of public dollars. The money that would be invested in a median would be better spent in other places along the corridor.

      MRK is correct though, these renderings are not the final design for the corridor and should the bond pass the City will work through its own design process.

      I look forward to supporting the bond package in May and I encourage you to review the full slate of projects and consider the transformational impact they will have on our city before you decide not to support the bond package over the possibility of increased vehicular congestion on Broadway.

      • Oh my. Fiesta is in the DNA of San Antonio and involves a half million people over the 14 days. Not to mention the $millions generated. Not to mention the reality that fiesta is for all people of all financial backgrounds. So to dismiss all that because developers want to increase property values along Broadway, well, that’s just wrong. I know the designers share your vision–all for developers and nuts to the poor folks from the west side for whom Fiesta is embedded in their lives. Can’t smart people find a better design?

  7. This is good work. Slowing and calming traffic will make a better environment for alternative transportation, and as we are seeing, the built environment in that corridor is becoming more and more walking friendly. This is the type of design that increases value around the investment. It’s odd how the cost is challenged when the outcome is proven to increase value, but things like an $880 million dollar proposal to expand Loop 1604 from 8 to 12 lanes is only challenged because of proposed tolls, or $500 million to expand US 281 to the edge of Bexar County to subsidize sprawl in Bulverde and Spring Branch is only challenged for the tolls. Why should non-motorists on Broadway accept miserable conditions just to accommodate through traffic?

    This really is good work.

  8. Pictures look nice. In reality losing those car lanes would suck. Have they seen all the fat people we have? No one bikes or walks in SA. I like the idea of making the area a little more lively though because it’s depressing driving through that section now.

    • Maybe YOU don’t walk or ride a bike. I ride a bike every day by choice. According to the COSA, 32% of San Antonio adults are obese and 39% are overweight. Only 28% are at a healthy weight. Which group are you in? Driving cars is the worst thing people can do for their health, their planet and their wallet. Why would you willfully make that choice when you are presented with an option to improve your quality of life? Just imagine if you could check the mail without getting short of breath.

    • “Have they seen all the fat people we have? No one bikes or walks in SA.”

      I know you’re just being glib, but the relationship between these things works in both directions. If San Antonio was a city where getting around without a car (by bike, on foot) was at all feasible, not to mention safe and enjoyable, of *course* people will do so! People don’t avoid biking because they’re not fit, they’re not fit because they avoid biking. Because biking doesn’t feel good in San Antonio; it doesn’t feel safe, and it doesn’t feel convenient when you have to twist and turn through sidewalks, side streets, and parking lots to get anywhere.

  9. It’s like they always say, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” I will say that adding trees would beautify this street, but reducing driving lanes would cause way too much of a traffic jam. It still gets kind of hectic at around 5 pm but it is still an easy street to drive through and at least traffic moves pretty well… now imagine how it would be driving down a 2 lane street at 5 o’clock if this gets approved…

    • If ugly is broke, then Broadway is definitely broke. Maybe with a nicer area that is more bike friendly more people would ride their bikes, I know I would. Imagine a beautiful street with people walking and riding bikes, sounds much better than driving on an ugly road.

  10. Thanks for the story Iris. Alamo Heights developed a Comprehensive Plan almost 10 years ago that our city leaders have ignored. One of the main features was the redevelopment of Broadway. Maybe one day it will happen, but only if we get annexed by San Antonio. 😉

  11. If reduced vehicle lanes was a catalyst for development, Houston Street would be booming. If anyone thinks narrow streets are desirable, they could travel up and down New Braunfels Avenue and leave Broadway alone.

    • huzzzah / why should cars be allowed at all where people are ?? they emit poison gas / they are intrusive by their nature – little cocoons of drivers cut off from the environment around them moving around at their own pace determining the style of the whole place / why does everybody need a car ?? this is the most inefficient method of transportation / take a 180# person and put them in a 3000# vehicle and drive it down a public street emitting poison gas along the way to go to the grocery story / ok we’re not ready for that but hopefully this plan will move in the direction of what a top tier city would create as their main boulevard since we are all about being accommodating and inviting people to visit and heck you can make the floats to fit the street not the street to fit the floats

      • No concern is given to neighbors for whom Broadway is the Only artery.
        New Braunfels stops at Eleanor Ave.
        Traffic from New Braunfels already avoids upper Broadway traffic and then zooms through our residential streets to continue down Broadway.

  12. Bikes…I thought I left that behind in Austin. Bikes will never outnumber the volume of city growth and the cars it brings to roads. If you do not believe me, all you have to do is travel down the road in Austin.

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