Villamain Road is closed at Graf Road near Mission San Juan. Photo by Robert Rivard.
Villamain Road is closed at Graf Road near Mission San Juan. Photo by Robert Rivard.

The City of San Antonio has posted “Share the Road” signage along a 1.4 mile stretch of  South Presa Street and other streets near Mission San Juan to make vehicle drivers aware of cyclists riding a detour route while Union Pacific Railroad installs a second track along Villamain Avenue, a project that required the closing of Shane and Villamain Roads.

share the road sign

The two roads meet at the so-called Ghost Track railroad crossing, and are the safest and most widely used route for cyclists headed south of the Missions and on to Southton Road for longer rides beyond the city limits. The roads and the Ghost Tracks were closed on Aug. 25 and will remain closed until Oct. 1 while Union Pacific installs a siding track more than one mile long that will allow trains traveling in opposite directions to pass in a more efficient manner. Currently, one train needs to pull on to a siding track miles away and await for a clear line to enter the city. A dramatic increase in train traffic has resulted from construction of a Southtown Road industrial site serving Eagle Ford Shale drillers.

The detour route takes cyclists from Mission Road to South Presa Street via Graf Road. That detour requires cyclists to travel south for 1.4 miles on busy South Presa before turning on to Southton Road. There are no bike lanes along the detour route and vehicles travel at a higher rate of speed and are generally unaccustomed to bike traffic there.

A mobile electronic sign was placed Tuesday on Southton Road near the intersection with South Presa asking vehicle drivers to slow down and share the road with cyclists. A second electronic sign was placed Wednesday afternoon on South Presa Street where it meets Graf Road.

The City’s Office of Transportation and Capital Improvements added 20 new “Share the Road” signs on area streets to make drivers more aware of the bike traffic. Those signs were installed Wednesday (see map).

"Share the Road" signage is being installed by the City of San Antonio at 17 locations along and near a cycling detour route near Mission San Juan.
“Share the Road” signage is being installed by the City of San Antonio at 17 locations along and near a cycling detour route near Mission San Juan. Map courtesy of City of San Antonio.

*Top image: Villamain Road is closed at Graf Road near Mission San Juan. Photo by Robert Rivard.

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Robert Rivard

Robert Rivard is co-founder and columnist at the San Antonio Report.