Check out what the city council was debating yesterday: Bike Lane a Pain
Now, relative to all the mega-malls and strip malls and just about everything else in this city, those businesses don't have parking. Relative to say, Boston, those businesses have plenty of parking. Its a question of just walking a block or two.
Personally that's one of the things that most irks me about this town. Its nearly impossible to go wandering about somewhere because everything is driving distance (partially because of the acres of parking that many businesses are required to have). I really miss things like Mass. Ave. from MIT to Harvard. I don't know how many times I wandered that stretch casually window shopping and just being out and about. If I was in a bit of a hurry, I'd hop on my bike and it'd be all good. I know that most of the businesses that I frequented were on the major roads that I could actually get to on a bike. If I needed tools or something, I'd go to the Tru-value on Mass Ave because it was close and I knew how to get to it quickly (because I'd seen it sitting there so many times)
Here, the businesses are advocating that bike lanes should be run through residential streets. Ummm.. hello, hasn't anyone here heard of pedestrian/bike traffic? Most businesses should be clamoring for exposure to more people. Instead, these folks want to have less traffic. Not only that, but knowing how residential streets in this town tend to be, I'd wager that most bike lanes run through residential streets would be parked in half the time, or people would just drive in them anyways. The good thing about keeping the bike lane in a commercial street is that people don't stay there indefinitely. On a residential street, a car can stay parked for weeks.
Considering that the powers that be are trying to make the central part of El Paso more appealing to people, you'd think that they would add bike lanes rather than taking them away.Bike lanes into and out of the area, older/classical buildings, more traditional storefronts, nice neighborhoods, all those things would make the area much more appealing. If I were looking for a place to live, I would really be more likely to move someplace where I could safely ride my bike when I wanted to. No, that's not the only criteria I would use, but I suspect that it would be one of the key things that I would give a fair amount of weight to.
Right now, I live out in what used to be the outskirts of town, and you can still see the farm influence out here. Narrow roads, no sidewalks, large yards, etc... All nice and country-like, but not particularly conducive to bike riding. The part of town where they want to remove the bike lane would be a really nice place to ride around in (esp once more bike lanes come along)....
Urk, I have to go to work now. I'll probably rant about this more later....