Bike markings removed from Northwest Side neighborhood after complaints

Situation prompts transportation department to change communication methods

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Residents in the French Creek Village community are pleased that the city has removed bike markings from neighborhood streets two weeks after they appeared without notice.

Buddy Howard has lived in the Northwest Side community for almost 40 years. He was surprised when new bike markings appeared on the streets a couple weeks ago.

"We saw that they were putting them in, and (we) said, 'What do we need those for?'" Howard said.

The city's Transportation and Capital Improvements Department described them as "sharrows," safety markings that remind drivers to look out for bicyclists. Not to be confused with designated bike lanes.

"This is a residential neighborhood. We know to look out for bicyclists, kids," Howard said.

French Creek Village is next to O.P. Schnabel Park. Many neighbors were worried the markings would lead parkgoers to use their streets as a park entrance, causing more traffic. Plus, they were never notified about the markings, and neither was District 7 Councilman Cris Medina. So he arranged a meeting with TCI leaders.

"About 30 or 40 people showed up. We expressed our concerns about it, that we didn't think we really needed them," Howard said.

Those concerned neighbors said just two days after that meeting, city crews were here scraping the markings off the street.

Since sharrows don't change the use of the street, where you can park or drive, the city doesn't have to alert the neighborhood. However, after this incident, TCI Director Mike Frisbie said even if future projects won't change street usage, the city will still talk to community members. It's a change both Medina and residents are happy about.

"I think that's wonderful. They need to communicate with the neighborhood before they come in and try to make changes," Howard said.

Medina released this statement Tuesday in response to the change:

"I support TCI's decision to seek neighborhood input prior to placing new road markings on residential streets. Doing so could prevent having to remove unwanted markings or signage in the future and save taxpayer dollars."

Frisbie said that the TCI Department has hundreds of projects going on at once, and crews rarely have to redo or undo projects. 

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