San Antonio looking at ways to boost alternative transportation, ease congestion

Working group to be created to brainstorm strategies

By Myra Arthur - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - If you’ve sat in traffic lately, it will come as no surprise to learn that 80 percent of San Antonians drive alone to get to work.

WATCH LIVE: Transguide traffic cameras from around SA

It’s the “one person, one vehicle” method that city leaders want to curb to help ease increasingly congested roads.

“Without doing something different, we're going to be stuck in the same place,” said District 7 City Councilwoman Ana Sandoval.

Sandoval and Councilman Rey Saldana, District 4, proposed working with multiple local agencies and private businesses to create “Transportation Demand Management” strategies that look at ways to make it more convenient, fast and affordable to use alternative transportation.

“Let’s go away from spending billions on highway infrastructure projects that may get us one more lane in 10 years -- because that’s how long these projects take -- and start thinking about the way we can move people and not just cars,” Saldana said.

$83 million transportation proposal aims to ease traffic woes through various projects

Programs already exist to promote alternative transportation like biking, walking or riding a bus, but the fact remains that the majority of San Antonio driver choose to put their own pedal to the metal.

Saldana said this plan needs to fuel more creative ideas to make transportation options convenient, like, HOV lanes to help buses and carpooling commuters zoom through traffic faster.

The city also plans to work with businesses to find out how employees want to get from point A to point B.

"They can help their employees have a faster and better commute to work by offering bus passes,” Saldana said. “But that bus, again, needs to be fast. Needs to be frequent. And that’s what the city has to work on.”

Saldana added that increased funding for VIA needs to be part of the discussion.

When asked how she would respond to people who say alternative transportation doesn’t fit their schedule or lifestyle, Sandoval said, "Well, let’s find something that does. That’s the goal of this work group that’s going to get together.”

Traffic fixes for congested Loop 1604 still a long ways off

The city’s Governance Committee Tuesday unanimously approved moving forward with the brainstorming of Transportation Demand Management strategies and will do so with local agencies over the next several months.

An update will go before the Transportation Committee before the full council could take action.

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