SAN ANTONIO –
A new construction zone under the direction of university students kicked off this morning at UTSA’s main campus.
The project, which was petitioned by students, consists of making a new bike trail and tool shop in an effort to create a more sustainable and safe university campus. The trail will also honor local cyclist, Tito Bradshaw, who was killed by a suspected drunken driver.
For Henry Padrilla, a local cyclist, shoveling granite on a 300 foot-long path, is his form of paying tribute to his longtime friend, Tito Bradshaw.
“During the time of his death, I wasn’t around to be able to attend any of the funeral services, so it was really tough for me on that end,” Padrilla said. “To be able to put some time in here in his honor, it makes me feel like I'm actually doing something for him, his family and hopefully for other cyclists."
On the corner of Ximenes and Brackenridge Ave., students this academic year will come back to a new bike trail funded by UTSA’s Office of Sustainability.
As a biker himself, third-year architecture student Christian Dittemer, decided it was time to create a safe space for cyclists on campus after hearing about the project through a professor.
"We really need more bikers, and we need that kind of encouragement,” Dittemer said.
Although the trail is intended for UTSA students, it’s a project community members and volunteers like John Bailey are also passionate about.
"It’s a small part, but it’s important to kind of build these small parts into a network,” Bailey said. “A network of safe biking facilities throughout the whole region.”
Bailey serves as part of the Natural Resources Defense Council, whose mission also includes creating safe spaces for alternative transportation.
The project will also designate a ride-share pickup point to help address a bigger issue on campus: parking. The initiative aims to encourage more people to opt for more sustainable transportation options.
“A lot of people leave their bikes on their porch and they don’t repair them,” Dittemer said. “They don’t have pumps and stuff, so we want to give them a space where they can come and repair their bikes.”
The trail will lead students to an old information booth that will be converted into a multi-use tool bike shop free of charge. Students hope to have the project completed by September.