Wednesday, November 23, 2016

El Paso Needs Bike Lanes

Photo "Selfie" by Amaya Williams

I recently hosted Erik Schampion and Amaya Williams in my home. Over the last ten years they have bicycled through 102 countries on every continent of the world. They are now on a final trek across America and expect to be in New York City in April. From there they will travel to southern France to live for a couple of years and get some much needed rest. You can watch their adventures HERE. I am looking forward to the book and the movie.

While visiting, Amaya pointed out the huge economic benefits of bicycling tourism. Check out this page to see just how huge that impact is: $133 Billion annually in the United States. El Paso, which is on the Southern Tier Bicycle Route, could expect more business from bicyclers IF we had bicycle lanes. Erik and Amaya told me that El Paso was far behind other cities in this regard.

Fortunately, there is now a City Master Bike Plan which calls for 900 to 1,000 more miles to be added to the existing paltry 140 miles of lanes that we have. There is good news: Sun Metro accommodates bicyclists and the City's bicycle sharing program is a success - contrary to predictions by bloggers who saw bicycles streaming across the border. (Hasn't happened.)

Next step: Get aggressive about the bike plan.

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