Neighbors of San Miguel protest against bike path 


León.- Inhabitants and tenants of Venustiano Carranza avenue started a protest against the placement of a bicycle lane next to the sidewalks. They consider that this infrastructure is unnecessary, since “about 8 cyclists pass the whole morning”; while the Municipality pointed out that, according to its measurements, some 520 people cycle through that section every day, between Torres Landa and Timoteo Lozano. 

According to lawyer Francisco Valdivia, who has his house on Avenida Carranza near the corner of Río Mayo, the project is as unnecessary as it is cumbersome. The road is used by very few cyclists – “of course cyclists have the right to circulate safely, but they hardly pass through here” -, and many trucks do pass. In the area there are 2 warehouses where the maneuvers of trailers in whose movements the traffic is blocked are constant. “Now imagine with the bike lane, they won’t be able to maneuver.” 

For its part, the Municipality defends the project endorsed by the Bike N City group, an organization that promotes sustainable mobility, as well as in measurements made by its personnel from the areas of Public Works, Mobility, Municipal Planning Institute and Road Police, who are directly involved in this project. 

A poster announcing the cycle path, mentioning that the project was carried out with the support of residents and businessmen in the area, which is denied by them. 

The norm marks 2 meters for the width of a cycle path, although in this case it will be limited to 1.5 meters, it will be attached to the sidewalk in each direction, and parking will continue to be allowed on public roads, only leaving the cycle path space between the parked car and sidewalk. 

In this they are against the neighbors. To begin with, they say, Venustiano Carranza avenue is not wide enough in its lanes to still take a meter and a half off each side.  

Juan Lona, who has an upholstery workshop right in front of the Orugas bus stop in Carranza and Río Mayo, pointed out that with the bike path he would not be able to work, since he upholsters cars parked outside his premises, and if he does it a meter and a half further to the middle of the lane, I would be in danger. In this section, Carranza Avenue narrows even more, since the bus stop took away space on both sides of the avenue. 

Maneuverability tests were carried out. The neighbors tried to demonstrate that it will be very difficult for the trailers to enter the warehouses in the area. 

Mrs. Beatriz Juárez, who has a food store that she serves from before 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., stated that a bike path in front of her establishment will be detrimental to the business; people will no longer be able to arrive and park to consume. 

Another food merchant, Jesús Muñoz, is one of the oldest businessmen in the area. He has a taco stand on the corner of Río Conchos and Venustiano Carranza, outside a car wash. For years he has suffered from a broken sidewalk and an open sewer, which bother him and cause risks for him, for customers and for passers-by. Now with the bike path, his business will be isolated. 

     “Do a survey and you will see that no one agrees with the bike path, no neighbor is in favor, because the avenue will be narrower and the road problems will be greater, everything already becomes congested when a trailer arrives at the companies in the area,” Muñoz said. 

He mentioned that it is not about being against the benefit of the city, but there is already a history of cycle paths that were counterproductive, such as those on Aranda Guedea boulevard, in the León neighborhood, or the one in Vasco de Quiroga, where they practically removed a traffic lane and the road was strangled. 

For its part, the Municipal Department of Public Works explained that the cycle path project is contemplated to cover 1 kilometer in each direction in the section from Timoteo Lozano boulevard to Juan José Torres Landa, to connect with the existing cycle paths in both roads; its implementation is on the vehicular stream attached to the sidewalk with delimiters that protect the cyclist, painting of pedestrian crossings and lane dividers. 

In turn, the garages and places allowed to park are maintained, as well as the vehicular traffic lane, that is, the mobility of the area is ordered to provide security to families and workers who use bicycles or non-motorized vehicles as means of transportation. 

He mentioned that in the previous exercises carried out on this road, a cyclist capacity of around 524 users per day was obtained. 

Likewise, he explained that among the benefits obtained with the implementation of bicycle paths are reducing traffic incidents, providing equality and safety conditions for women and children, adequate signage to improve safety at pedestrian crossings and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. 

 Source: La Silla Rota