Despite questionable spelling, SA is ready to get "cyched"

Yes, "Get Cyched" is the media campaign tagline developed by Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Committee'sBicycle Advisory group. You can see it for yourself July 20 at 10 a.m. when the group kicks off a six-month long public education push in conjunction with the re-opening of bike and pedestrian-friendly Hays Street Bridge on Hays and Cherry Streets in the Dignowitty Hill neighborhood.

But, "cyched" (pronounced like 'psyched', dude) we are after attending last night's bicycle advisory group meeting. We unfortunately had a work date with some tigers and bears later that eve, so couldn't stay for long, but caught the gist of the group's ever accelerating plans to make San Antonio more hospitable to those on two wheels.

The gigantic committee (including more than 20 citizens, ACOG members, COSA employees and River Authority people, but sadly none of our fixie friends) welcomed the public's input as they begin to develop the bicycle master plan, to be completed in spring 2011.

Highlights from this meeting included learning how to use, a site that lets cyclists mark up a virtual map of San Antonio with suggestions on how to make roads more bike friendly. Anyone can log on, and users can make additional comments to existing notations. The input will be used to help prioritize bike lanes, routes, and road improvements. "This is very cool," said John Sanders, a South side resident who has attended the past four bicycle advisory committee meetings. An avid bicycle commuter, Sanders said "you ride around during the day, get home and highlight the issues you noticed."

Julia Diana, bicycle coordinator for COSA's office of Environmental Policy, also promised the new bi-lingual "Get Cyched" campaign would include radio ads targeting drivers to encourage them to share the roads with cyclists, instead of whizzing by them and blasting their car horn. Other print advertisements would remind riders of the new bike light and safe-passing ordinance.

Maybe we're slow on the uptake, but what really spun our wheels this time around was meeting Agdel Rivera, the coordinator for Linear Greenways around the city. Showing us a map of the greenways plan at Leon Creek, North Salado Creek, South Salado Creek, Medina River and Leon Creek, he told us the eventual goal is to connect all the greenways with bicycle-friendly routes, forming a green halo around urban San Antonio. Hallelujah!

Public input meetings regarding the bicycle master are planned for October, where interested bikers can name their preference for bike destinations, bike lanes versus bike routes and the worst roads and traffic spots in the City.

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