Sunday, January 22, 2006

bikin' it

Some of you may have been seeing me on my bike a lot lately. I bought this nifty EZ on EZ off wicker basket for my lightweight aluminum Jeep bicycle and when the weather is favorable I am really enjoying running my errands via bicycle and leaving the van parked.

So there I am zooming along Padre Blvd. thinking about the plan to improve our main drag by adding center medians, thinking about the proposed plans I have seen and trying to remember what happens to the breakdown lane - the lane that I am zooming along in. I could be wrong but I think it pretty much disappears.

Can anyone tell me for sure?

I read in the Breeze that the new business persons association has taken an oppositional stance to the median plan for reasons only tangentially related to bike riding (drainage, pedestrian safety, disruption of traffic flow and loss of access to businesses are their stated concerns). Clearly we need some straight answers from our city officials regarding this plan and what the resulting boulevard will look like. Spare us the whimsical artistic renderings in pretty pastels populated with non-native vegetation and give us solid answers to questions like... where will I be able to ride my bike? The town website would be a great place to describe this project - if it is there my search did not turn it up.

Island resident Amazin' Walter had his own thoughts on the issue which he has given me permission to share:

hi ms feet... since you seem to be the politicaly active representative for the SOBS ... i've got a couple of observations and questions... i read in the morning paper that we qualify for more grant money from txdot... without reading further a feeling of dread crept up my spine... i thought of the $389,000 eyesores at both ends of the bridge that furnish us with such critical information as "clickit or ticket"... (which is a threat about obeying a state law), and "brought to you by txdot". I also thought about the bicycle trail at the foot of the causeway which doesn't really connect to anything and has a gap in the middle that you - i'm not making this up - can't ride a bicycle on.... ??? so after reading further and realizing it has to do with dividing our lanes with trees and planters and what all and i thought oh it's not so bad. and then i remembered what happens in a really heavy rain to our lanes in the gutters of the island.... but only a few hours at a time (so far)... anyhow i guess we'll manage to get around as best we can no matter what. my question?... i think i forgot my question...

3 Comments:

Blogger Sam said...

Like Amazing I have a few observations and no pat answers. First, I remember being rebuked (like verbally slapped) when I mentioned the median project as being for "beautification." In fact it is not; it is funded solely for safety, and if the Town wanted some plants in the median they (we) would buy them ourselves. Apparently, that area up to Red Snapper is infamous for automobile incidents, or has some potential for that.

Be it as it is, that project won't solve the roadway sides where the cars roll over the sidewalk for parking. In fact, a median could cause additional problems by requiring additional stormwater drainage.

It could be that over the years, Padre Blvd went from a 2-lane road to the 7-lane behemouth it is today, and thus took away some real nice real estate in front of the stores (I may be wrong here). But clearly, something should be done because there are few palms (and not maple trees)- on a bad day, certain parts of the roadsides are downright ugly and quite dangerous-looking.

But all that requires a lot of very expensive underground work, stormwater drainage, contingencies for burying power lines, whether the median is actually done, and how to work with the local businesses. There are no simple solutions here, folks.

And, as you and Amazing suggest, promoting bicycling would be good.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

losers -- ran for office and lost.
carpetbaggers -- make money on the Island and live on five acres somewhere else.

don't know if this applies, but....

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

other nancy m.
Has anyone tried the "feedback" page on the town site to ask for this information?

8:46 AM  

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