In a recent article, a statement was made suggesting that the City of San Antonio has not sought after the valuable input of local cyclists as part of the City’s Bicycle Master Plan and SA Tomorrow. However, we at the City’s Transportation & Capital Improvements Department (TCI) know this is not the case.
Earlier this year, the City of San Antonio kicked off SA Tomorrow, a three-pronged planning effort ahead of the addition of over 1 million people to our area. These three plans – Comprehensive, Sustainability and Multimodal Transportation – will help guide our city toward smart, sustainable growth. Since these plans will shape the future of San Antonio, we know the most important component is gathering input from our residents. We can’t make these plans alone. We want and we need our residents to share their ideas, their concerns and their priorities.
Since our public kick-off event, we’ve made great progress with community outreach. We’ve conducted surveys to see how people travel. We’ve hosted meetings and gone to meetings other people have put on. We’ve even hosted a webinar for those who couldn’t make a meeting in person. We’re reaching out to people on social media and we’re getting information out through our website. Every person who drives, bikes, walks, takes transit or rail is important to our process.
For people who bike, we’ve been attending bike specific events over these last several months, too. One of the ways we interact with the bike community is through the MPO’s Bicycle Mobility Advisory Committee. This committee, a collection of local and state agencies, private citizens and professional representatives, encourages people to use the bike network, discusses bike issues and improvements around the area.
We have made a major effort to engage the bike community in our SA Tomorrow outreach efforts. Frankenbike held a swap meet at our April 11 SA Tomorrow kick-off. SA Tomorrow consistently has a booth at Síclovía – the September event was another great success. We interact with local bike groups on social media and at events such as Women’s Wrench Night, and proudly featured two of San Antonio’s de facto bike community leaders in a recent City-issued press release. We also have a bicycle representative on the SA Tomorrow Transportation Plan Element Working Group.
We know that’s only the tip of the iceberg, though. In the upcoming weeks we will participate in State Sen. José Menéndez’s Transportation Forum on Oct. 8 and in Bike Octoberfest Oct. 10. Shortly, we will launch a two-week program to invite people who bike to review the 2016 updates to the approved 2011 Bike Master Plan. We also want them to show us where they are currently riding on maps of the city. These maps will be available at all area bicycle shops and at bicycle community events.
We would love to have the opportunity to attend meetings to interact with even more bike groups and get their perspective for the SA Tomorrow Multimodal Transportation Plan. We’ve already had over 90 community outreach events but we want more. If you want to get your group’s ideas in front of us, send us an email to info@SATomorrow.com. We’ll come to you and we’ll be ready to listen.
And if you’ve got ideas that just won’t wait for a meeting, we invite all riders in San Antonio to share their ideas at www.satomorrow.com. You can also like us on Facebook under SATomorrow2040 or follow @SATomorrow2040 on Twitter to join the conversation through social media. We want to hear your voice – in person or online.
*Top image: A group of cyclists cruise down South Alamo Street towards Southtown on the Fourth of July, 2014. Photo by Scott Ball.