The City of San Marcos Engineering and Capital Improvements Department has been working on a joint project with the Texas Department of Transportation to implement new bike lanes and lane striping on Guadalupe Street. The lanes are set to be complete by Sept. 1, with the entire downtown project complete within six months.
The project is part of a larger plan to improve alternative transportation in the city which will include adding bike lanes to Grove Street and LBJ Drive.
The third vehicle lane of Guadalupe Street has been removed to make way for additional bike lanes, enhance continuity and slow down traffic moving through the downtown area.
The bike lane will be two lanes for south-bound and north-bound cyclists with either the physical barrier of parked vehicles or vertical delineators protecting pedestrians from oncoming traffic. Included in the project will be bike signals stationed at each intersection, allowing cyclists to cross busy intersections when other lanes of traffic have stopped.
Laurie Moyer, director of engineering and capital movement for the City of San Marcos, wants the implementation of bike lanes throughout the city to encourage different modes of transportation and increased downtown activity.
To make room for the bike lanes, several parking spots are being reconfigured, causing concern for citizens regarding accessibility of the popular downtown area.
“There is a net loss of four parking spaces as we do this reconfiguration,” Moyer said. “However, when we continue the project on Grove and LBJ, we will gain parking spaces then. With the completion of the CM Allen project this fall, we will be gaining 27 spots along CM Allen. While there is specifically a net loss of four on Guadalupe, overall we will have a positive gain of over 30 spots when the projects come together.”
In addition to bike lanes, there will be sidewalk improvements along the east side of Guadalupe between MLK Drive and the railroad tracks, as well as water quality features at the railroad tracks and MLK Drive.
Casey Maron, geography senior and bike technician at The Hub, said everyone working at the shop is looking forward to the new bike lanes in the downtown area and the safety it provides cyclists.
Maron has been involved in a hit-and-run while riding his bike behind the shop and has been run off the road by vehicles several times. The Hub employees and owner, Andy Howard, hope the additional space will bring more business to the shop, which will relocate to a larger building on Guadalupe Street right next to the new bike lanes.
“The number one thing is people get scared on bikes because of the inability to access all parts of the city,” Maron said. “As far as this side of town goes, it is kind of hit-or-miss. As far as bar traffic goes, I feel safer having parked cars in the way protecting me from oncoming traffic.”
Although the new bike lanes and lane striping portion of the Guadalupe Street Improvements Project will be completed by Sept. 1, barricades will be placed in the new bike lane spaces until the project construction is complete in late spring 2020. There will be an addition of bike signals and green paint will be in the bike lanes.
Rohit Vij, San Marcos senior engineer, anticipates the city and TxDot are 90% finished with the design process and the entire project will be completed within six months. Although Vij noted the reduction of one lane on Guadalupe Street will cause delays, there will be increased safety for alternative transportation methods throughout the city.
“We ran a traffic simulation before finalizing the project and we found that yes, there will be some impact on traffic and more delays, but it won’t be that significant,” Vij said. “We will be adding additional signals for the bike lanes. Once the cyclists have a green light, all of the car traffic will be stopped by a red light.”
The Transportation Master Plan was community driven and focuses on prioritizing diversity in transportation access and safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
For more information, contact the Engineering and Capital Improvements Department at (512) 393-8130 or [email protected]