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El Paso City Council member pushes for better bike lane planning

By: Stacey Welsh

EL PASO, Texas -- The city could be putting the brakes on plans for new bike lanes, thanks to a new proposal. District 5Rep. Michiel Noe said the city needs to better maintain the current bike lanes before adding more.

"Even the good bike lanes are often not usable because they're just full of trash, which makes them dangerous," Noe said.

Belen Barrio-Arriaga is the general manager at Crazy Cat Cycling, and she said customers also complain about trash littering El Paso's bike lanes.

"We see a lot of flats because there's so much debris on our bike lanes as it is," Barrio-Arriaga said.

Noe said the city sweeps each street four times a year right now and could increase that based on cost.

"Is it going to have to be twice a month, once a week? What's it going to take to get them safe bike lanes? Once we know that, are we willing to pay it?" Noe said.

EP Cyclists board member Rick Moya also feels the city should prioritize cleaning streets with bike lanes.

"It's been ages since I've seen a sweeper cleaning any streets," Moya said.

Cyclists also tell KFOX14 some bike lanes are too narrow and have storm drains that get in the way.

"We need to figure out how we can address it by forming some type of entity, a committee or a group, combined of cycling enthusiasts and the different city departments that are involved in design and maintenance," Noe said.

Noe expects to present estimates of how much it could cost to add bike lanes and keep up the current lanes to the City Council next week.