More people using their bikes for transportation

KTSM
News

POSTED: Friday, May 9, 2014 - 1:24pm

UPDATED: Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 3:31pm

The number of people biking to work has increased by 60 percent over the past ten years in the U.S.
Cyclists in El Paso say there is a similar trend here as well.

"There is an opportunity here of being very bicycle friendly city. And one of the reasons is it's not a big city. There's not a lot of traffic yet," said Jacob Flores, worker at Crazy Cat Cyclery.

Aaron Lopez has been biking to work for about a year. He said there are a few perks.

"Mainly for exercise and I was spending a lot in gas. I have fun while riding, I get a workout," Lopez said. In addition, he said looking for parking isn't an issue.

Despite the push towards bike friendly change, advocates say there is still work to be done.
With only 130 bike lanes across El Paso, many aren't quite ready to hop on a bike and brave the traffic.

"We are technically not allowed to ride on sidewalks so we have to ride on the street. But there is no space for us. And it feels very uncomfortable with the way traffic is set up in El Paso," Lopez said

It's an issue the City is addressing. They will be forming a bike advisory committee and $2 million in funding from the Metropolitan Planning Organization will go towards new bike lanes and a bike share program.

To accommodate those using alternative modes of transportation Sun Metro has done its part by putting bike racks on buses.

"As we replace bike racks, we replace them with 3 because we are finding more and more people are biking and riding Sun Metro at the same time," said Laura Cruz-Acosta, spokesperson for Sun Metro.
They also add there are bike racks at their transfer station, which are often full of bikes.

All in all, El Paso cyclists say the city is on the road to becoming a bike-friendly community.  

To celebrate National Bike Month, the following events are taking place across the city.

  • May 9: Glow in the Night Ride – Light up the night, be safe, be seen
  • May 10: Kidical Mass at the Downtown Farmers Market – Live music, art activities and free bike safety class for children and families
  • May 11: Mother’s Day/Cyclofemme Ride – Spend an afternoon with mothers and grandmothers while learning about the bicycles role as a powerful tool for women’s rights.
  • May 14: Sister City Ride to Ciudad Juarez
  • May 16: No Pants Ride
  • May 17: Pedal to the Petals – Ride to promote community gardens and bicycling
  • May 23: Zombies from Outer Space – The Zombie Apocalypse descends on El Paso
  • May 29: Bike to the Ballpark for Go Green Night at Southwest University Park

The full calendar of Bike Month events, along with background information and resources, is posted at www.elpasobikemonth.com. For more information, you can also visit El Paso Bike Month on Facebook

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