The New Bike San Antonio

The New Bike San Antonio

Hi San Antonio Cyclists,

I’m Janel Sterbentz and I decided to start this new bike advocacy group because I saw a dire need for it. Although I’m not from here, the longer I’m here the more I love it and want to improve the city while preserving it. I have a Master’s in Urban Studies and have worked for transportation departments, bike advocacy groups, grassroots organizations and for-profit businesses.

Many have been telling me that there are lots of different bike groups here, but they’re not connected. Cyclists tell me how unsafe they feel on the streets, and how often they’re harassed and yelled at by people in cars.

I hear from friends that another cyclist was killed or severely injured, but I don’t see it in the news, and I can’t find any details about just how many have been killed and why. This is why Bike San Antonio is needed, to organize cyclists and demand safer streets!

We’re dealing with a mental health crisis in the US, with more people depending on costly pharmaceutical drugs or turning to illicit drugs, both of which can lead to health problems or death. There’s an obesity epidemic here in San Antonio, and whether or not you believe in climate change, the fact is that pollution from cars leads to many health problems. 

If you do believe in climate change, you know we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels now to prevent more catastrophic and costly disasters. The US transportation sector produces about 30% of all US global warming emissions, more than almost any other sector. 

Bicycling is such an amazing activity because it can easily and simply solve all of these issues. Cycling has been proven to reduce cardiovascular diseases, cancer, premature death, isolation and depression. We can all easily contribute to cleaner air and water, reduce climate change disasters, and reduce healthcare costs — all the while increasing our mental and physical well being!

Often people rally against bike improvements because they think it will take away their parking or increase traffic, but from my experience this doesn’t have to be the case. I worked with a group in San Francisco where we were able to get protected bikeways installed on streets in the middle of the city.

It required the removal of about 60 parking spaces. This is in a neighborhood where you can circle around for half an hour looking for an open space. The city was able to re-stripe parking spaces and find underutilized areas to make up all the spaces.

Yes, sometimes installing a protected bike lane requires removal of a travel lane, but often the capacity of the roadway is great enough and traffic light enough that it doesn’t affect traffic. Also, the more bike infrastructure there is, the more people travel by bike which decreases overall car traffic.

I’ve already put in a lot of unpaid time, and spent my own money on flyers, a banner and stickers. Please support Bike San Antonio by getting a membership. Once this organization gets stable funding we will hire an Executive Director and as much staff as we can to make the streets safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable for everyone.

With a membership you get a membership card and sticker. Eventually members will get discounts from participating businesses. Also, join us for our third meeting!

 

 

Comments

  • Theresa Galindo | Sep 18,2017

    Yes when is second meeting and where will it be? Do you have an office or will you have one? How much are dues and how long is membership Year or lifelong? Will you be having fund raisers to raise awareness?

    • BikeSanAntonio | Sep 19,2017

      Hi Theresa, thanks for the comment. The link to the second meeting is at the end of this article. Once we get enough funding we will rent an office. You can find membership info here https://www.bikesanantonio.org/product/membership/ it is for one year. Yes we want to have fund raisers, we can discuss this at the next meeting. Hope to see you there!

  • Jaime SANTILLAN | Sep 19,2017

    Thank you for this much needed advocacy group. I have tried and tried to get our city council to inform the public about our cities’ bicycle laws. The bicycle public and the city know the rules but the general public do not know what our rights are. I have asked that the city inform the public via radio or TV ads and show a short video on TV that shows how our bike laws should be respected by the drivers of our city. It should show the 3 foot passing law in effect and also the required lights for cyclists and encourage helmet use by cyclists. Most of the reasons we get yelled at in traffic is becaus the public doesn’t realize that we cyclists have the right to use the full lane of traffic and we are not allowed to ride our bikes on the sidewalk as the drivers in the city always shout at us to do. Lol. I think that if the city of San Antonio would inform the public about the rights that cyclists have and also about the many benefits of cycling, we would have a much better relationship with the drivers in the city. Awareness goes a long way towards establishing respect for cyclists rights. Thank you for your efforts and I hope to make your 2nd meeting.

    • BikeSanAntonio | Sep 20,2017

      Hi Jamie, thanks for your efforts. This is why BikeSA is so vital, because when one person voices their concerns it gets filed away. When we come together to determine which efforts are most important, we have more power and influence to actually make some real positive changes! Hope to see you Thursday.

  • Regina | Sep 19,2017

    Hello, my name is Regina Celis. I am glad to hear about the potential impact of an organized BIKE organization. I am currently out of town and will be for till mid November. I am looking forward to attending a meeting and touching base with you. I would like to volunteer hours and ideas as well as to help inform the people of this group and make a positive impact in the city and the WORLD.

  • Mark Fukuda (HCC cycles) | Sep 26,2017

    Great to see this happen

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