City will continue to make new bike lanes, creates advisory committee

Updated: Tuesday, March 18 2014, 09:30 PM MDT
City will continue to make new bike lanes, creates advisory committee story image

By: Genevieve Curtis

EL PASO, Texas--City Council has created a bike advisory committee instead of halting creation of new bike lanes.
 
Tuesday, City Rep. Dr. Michiel Noe proposed the city hold off from making any new bike lanes for a few months and instead focus on repairing and taking care of the existing bike lanes.
 
Noe presented slides of debris in bike lanes which forces cyclists not to use the lanes. He also showed slides where lanes had damage such as potholes, which deterred users.
 
But many in the local bike community said the solution was not to stop creating bike lanes.
 
City Council Rep Cortney Niland express her concerns that such a resolution would possibly put the city in jeopardy of losing federal funds for new bike programs.
 
“I don’t want to waste everyone’s money on more crappy bike lanes,” said Noe. He said he wanted to bring all the stakeholders together and go over better plans and standards for creating and maintaining the city’s bike lanes before others are created with similar flaws or created and not cared for.
 
City transportation planners told council members they’ve adopted new standards for building bike lanes that include a buffer and wider lanes.
 
They said this would ensure that no more "bad lanes’" would be built.
 
Noe’s resolution ultimately came down to a tie, which Mayor Oscar Leeser broke by voting against.
 
However, council unanimously agreed set up a bike lane advisory committee to make sure the city takes care of or in some cases fixes its existing bike lanes.
 
“(Council) would not fully commit spending money on bad bike lanes and they would not commit to funding proper maintenance of bike lanes. We still have a problem; there are still going to be some tax dollars wasted on this. But I do think we made progress,” said Noe.
 
“It engages us, it involves us, we now feel we have a stake in these bike lanes,” said Scott White, a cyclist activist with Velo El Paso, the Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition.

City will continue to make new bike lanes, creates advisory committee
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