Friday, August 12, 2016

Approved Plan Includes Over 1,000 Miles of Bike Lanes

By Armando Landin   

City Council has approved the final Comprehensive Bike Plan for El Paso that could add nearly 1,000 miles of bike lanes throughout the Sun City.

This "heat map" shows the demand for bike lanes throughout El Paso, from the recently adopted Comprehensive Bike Plan. (City of El Paso)

The plan includes recommendations for which streets around El Paso should have bike lanes added, and the types of bike lanes they should get. It contains an extensive atlas for each area of town.

Creating an interconnected network of bike lanes is the goal, according to the plan. Currently, there are about 140 miles of bike lanes in El Paso. The plan states that number should be between 900 and 1,100 miles.

Dashed lines represent proposed bike lanes as part of the Comprehensive Bike Plan in El Paso. The range in colors represent different types of bike lanes. (City of El Paso)

The Comprehensive Bike Plan was developed with input from community meetings and feedback from stakeholders.

City and Transportation officials will use the plan as a guide when building new roads, as well as adding bike lanes to existing streets in hopes that increased mileage leads to more folks using bikes to get around El Paso.

The Comprehensive Bike Plan of El Paso recommends adding over 900 miles of bike lanes to the city's streets. (City of El Paso)

There is no concrete timeline for developing the increased bike lane mileage, though the City hopes to "create a comprehensive network of bike infrastructure over the next decade."

"This plan will allow the city to develop infrastructure which accommodates all users including motorists, pedestrians, mass transit users and bicyclists," said Fred Lopez, Assistant Director of the City of El Paso's Capital Improvement Department, in an email message.

This section of the Comprehensive Bike Plan's atlas shows a section of East El Paso. Solid colored lines indicate existing bike lanes while dashed lines are proposed routes. (City of El Paso)

"The plan is an important component of improving El Paso's quality of life by encouraging regional cooperation and recommends key changes to planning processes and land use policies to ensure bicycle infrastructure is more thoughtfully integrated into existing roadways, off-street paths, and new development."

The plan can be viewed in its entirety at the City of El Paso website by clicking here.