SAN ANTONIO – The recent death of a bicyclist killed in a suspected drunk driving crash is fueling the move to protect bicyclists and pedestrians around the Alamo City.
Grassroots efforts started two years ago, shortly after the death of bicyclist Tito Bradshaw, are now ready to present some ideas for the city to consider in the upcoming bond.
Architect Jim Bailey is one of ten board members with Activate SA, a volunteer group think tank for new active transportation infrastructure. He said drivers must think about just how dangerous it is for those who bike, whether for leisure, exercise or work.
“You fly by somebody. You don’t understand how vulnerable they really are, that all it takes is nicking somebody with your rear-view mirror going at 40 mph to literally kill them,” Bailey said.
The group is presenting 11 near-term pilot projects that will help link a city-wide transportation network to places where people travel, such as the airport, downtown, and Medical Center.
The plans seek to use routes along greenways and streets parallel to busy highways and roads. The group hopes the city will consider the ideas in the 2022 bond.
“We believe that, in one bond cycle, we can have the framework of a city-wide active transportation system,” Bailey said.
A lot of work has already been done through Vision Zero SA, which works to improve roads and decrease fatalities across the city. A closer look at the city data show’s the dangerous hotspots for cyclists.
Greg Reininger, the principal transportation planner of Vision Zero, says one of the most instrumental tools is driver education about the severity of these kinds of crashes.
“Education’s very important. We know that about 45% or so of crashes in San Antonio are caused by driver inattention or distraction,” he said.
The pandemic nudged many more people to hop on a bike. The fear is that as life returns to normal, the lives of those on two wheels will be in harm’s way.
The City Council will consider a list of projects the group will include in the upcoming bond. Voters will then decide if they support them.