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April 22nd, 2012
City considers converting River Road car lanes to bike use


The city is holding a public hearing Monday evening about the possibility of removing two automobile lanes on East River Road and adding a center turn lane and bike lanes each direction.

View River Road repaving, restriping in a larger map

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. April 23 at Conway Park, 504 Bliss Lane.

Under a program the city is calling its Complete Streets initiative, streets scheduled for repaving are sometimes reconfigured before they are restripped in the manner of the “road diet” projects on C.M. Allen Parkway and Cheatham Street that converted car lanes to bike lanes and parallel parking spots.

“When we repave a street, we have a clean canvas from which to work,” said Public Services division assistant director Sabas Avila. “If we can restripe the road in a manner that improves mobility and makes it safer for all users, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

The initiative evaluates each street planned for repaving or minor reconstruction in order to identify low-cost cost measures—such as restriping or minor sidewalk improvements that could improve accessibility and safety, officials say.

River Road is currently a four-lane, undivided roadway with sidewalks on one side. The road has low traffic volumes and operates at Level of Service A, which describes a roadway with traffic flows at or above the posted speed limit and all motorists have complete mobility between lanes.

The Transportation Division is proposing reducing the lanes from four lanes to three lanes and adding bike lanes on the section of River Road between Interstate 35 and Texas 80. With the proposed change, the roadway would operate at Level of Service B, in which free-flow speeds are maintained but maneuverability within the traffic is slightly restricted.

Conway Park is located at the intersection of Sturgeon Drive and Bliss Lane in the Blanco Garden Neighborhood. For information, call 512-393-8036.

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10 thoughts on “City considers converting River Road car lanes to bike use

  1. The more striping we do the more the public comes to recognize it and respect it. Plus, it would justify the ridiculously low speed limit on that road. The striping would have a traffic calming effect and send the message to cylclist that the is a connective artery for them to use. Stripe it.

  2. We’re way behind on bike lanes. Striping roads that are wide enough for bike lanes is cheap and easy. River Road would accommodate existing traffic, with no appreciable impact, with two lanes and a center turn lane. That should leave plenty for bike lanes.

    The problem with River Road, though, is that there is no safe way across the highway. There are a few options to solve this, but they are not easy, and the city hasn’t (that I know of) committed to anything.

    Bike/ped improvements are at the top of every survey I have seen, for desired infrastructure improvements. Not sure what we are waiting for.

  3. My recollection is that voters approved bond issuance to pay for building bike and pedestrian facilities under I-35 at the San Marcos River bridge connecting Riverside Drive to River Road. I think that was in 2005. I haven’t heard what became of that project. It was part of a package that also included bike and pedestrian path alongside what is now Old Ranch Road 12.

  4. That could be, but if so, I would not be surprised to learn that it is long forgotten. The transportation advisory board worked with city staff many nights, discussing options. I can’t recall ever hearing that anything was funded, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t. to say that it was difficult in 2005/6/7 to get a clear answer about what was funded, and where the money was, would be a major understatement.

    It is also possible that the funding (if there was any) was insufficient, because of the challenges for that crossing.

    I do recall the bike/ped path on 12, from Craddock to Holland. It would be nice to see that one, too. There is already a path worn by all of the traffic. Of course, you’ll notice that there is nothing on the university side of Holland, at 12, so there is no place for all of that bike/ped traffic to go. I don’t know if they have anything in the works. They didn’t back then, making this a good (albeit small) example of the city and university not working well together.

  5. Yes. There was to be a sidewalk along the frontage road (past the eye-sore kayaker place) and then a striped crossing across the frontage road with some effort made to get cars to slow down.

  6. This would be great if you live in the multitudes of apartments on Aquarena east of I-35 and you want to bike to the river. Great little recreational ride. Much safer than going through town.

  7. The road is great for biking now with the low amount of traffic and two lanes in each direction. They should leave it the same but increase the speed limit to at least 35

  8. That street has less traffic (per official counts) than Holland. It doesn’t warrant four lanes. If you went to two and a center turn lane, you’d never notice the difference, and there would be room for designated bike lanes.

  9. that road is so far removed form bike traffic, its absurd. there are many other thru streets in san marcos that would benefit from a bike lane. at least select a feasable lane that can and will be used.

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