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The Old Tascosa Cycling club held their monthly meeting on Monday, September 18, 2006 in the downtown library meeting room. The guest speaker was Amarillo Traffic Engineer Taylor Withrow. The topic of discussion was the city’s future plans for the municipal hike and bike system. 17 concerned citizens were in attendance including City Commissioner Paul Harpole (a cycling club member), Kenneth Graham, (a member of the Parks & Recreation Commission, & OTC Secretary), Fernando Martinez (Texas Bicycle Coalition Local Outreach Coordinator), Joyce Cunningham (Texas Bicycle Coalition Local Outreach Coordinator & OTC Membership Director), Dr. Charles Hennessey (a member of the local running club), Cynthia Jennings (assistant principal at Emerson Elementary School), and Joe Chapman (reporter for the Amarillo Globe-News).
The lack of bike lanes in the Hamlet, Mesa Verde, Emerson, and Horace Mann schools was a question by Jennings. It was answered by stipulating the width of street necessary to include a bike lane is more than the width of the streets in these neighborhoods. Therefore they will be designated as bike paths.
Lack of adequate signage in areas that already have bike lanes and bike paths denoting directions to local popular destinations was brought to the attention of Withrow. A discussion of what is adequate and would still be cost effective brought a better insight to the audience.
Another concern was bridge/tunnel access for bicyclists and pedestrians across busy intersections and railroad tracks. Commuters must now go long distances to have access to work and other areas of need because no pedestrians and bicyclists bridge access is allowed in some areas of town.
Traffic signals allowing adequate time for pedestrians and cyclists to cross an intersection safely in high traffic areas was discussed. It was suggested that this and more bike lane/path signage would make motorists more aware, and pedestrians and cyclists safer in their travels.
The Old Tascosa Cycling Board Members felt this was a much needed discussion and will work to make a more productive relationship with City trafficking.