During a recent construction project overseen by the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, wide shoulders were removed from the access road of Loop 1604 between US 281 and Blanco Rd in San Antonio. BikeTexas immediately began to hear from cyclists who previously used these shoulders regularly and now had no way of navigating safely in this area.
At public meetings in February and April, BikeTexas helped coordinate public input from dozens of cyclists. The Alamo RMA has agreed to pursue re-striping the roadway to include a 5′ signed and marked bike lane along the access road.
There is some cause for concern over just a 5′ bike lane next to 50mph traffic, and certainly the original 9′ shoulder would have been safer for cyclists. Signage and pavement markings will help alert drivers to cyclists in the new bike lanes. Where conditions do not allow for even 5′ width for bike lanes, shared-use pathways will connect cyclists along this corridor. BikeTexas feels this is a great compromise to fix a dangerous roadway, but we would not be satisfied if not for the long-term solution on the horizon.
Long-term plans for Loop 1604 expansion from IH-35 to Bandera Rd currently include a 15′ shared-use pathway along both sides of 1604. This physical separation from the roadway is the best way to provide safe travel for pedestrians and cyclists of all skill levels along this corridor with such high speed limits. We must also continue to work together to preserve existing shoulders on the access road in addition to shared-use lanes.
BikeTexas is grateful for the dedication of many San Antonio cyclists who came to these meetings during the middle of their workdays to voice their concerns. And we are delighted to report that the Alamo RMA has done a great job of hearing these concerns and acting to make the road safer.
Please consider taking a moment to thank the RMA for addressing the needs of cyclists. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org.