Jaywalkers beware!

(Image from Boston.com/The Boston Globe)

First it was Windcrest.  Now it seems that SAPD is also cracking down on jaywalkers.

Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Windcrest police were ticketing Rackspace employees who were on their way to or from lunch at one of the restaurants across Walzem Road from Rackspace’s headquarters at the old Windsor Park Mall, known affectionately as “The Castle”.

Now, there are several anecdotal reports of this happening in San Antonio itself, first at a school, now at some other location (it might even be the airport based on the person’s description of the sign, which I have only seen at the airport.)

So this begs the question, what are the state and local laws regarding jaywalking?¬† more »

Terri vs Bruce

Bruce Davidson, one of members of the Express-News’ editorial board, wrote a spot-on editorial¬†in yesterday’s paper about how the root cause of toll roads is the Legislature’s and Governor’s resistance to increasing the gas tax.¬† His editorial essentially says not to blame the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (ARMA) because they’re just playing the hand they’ve been dealt and that, in reality, they are working to find funding for 281 and other projects “wherever they can get it.”

Of course, the response out of¬†southern Comal County¬†was nearly instantaneous.¬† more »

4 May 2010, 8:54am
Laws and policies Roads Transit:
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Comments Off on MPO holding public meetings for 4 year plan

MPO holding public meetings for 4 year plan

San Antonio-Bexar County MPO logoThe San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will be holding three public meetings on its 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  Essentially, this is the revolving list of local transportation projects that are proposed to be funded* over the next three four years (yes, I can count <g>).  The projects selected are typically a subset of those in the current long-range plan.  Obviously, what eventually does get funded depends heavily on what money eventually comes to this area, but this plan identifies the projects that are first in line to get whatever funding becomes available.  The plan includes allocations for all forms of transportation including highways, streets, transit, and bike and pedestrian amenities.

The MPO is the agency charged under state and federal law to control the transportation funding purse-strings for the San Antonio urban area, which in this case includes Bexar County and portions of Comal and Guadalupe counties in the Schertz area.  The TIP is required under federal regulations as a condition of receiving federal funding.  Projects not in the TIP cannot use federal funds, so this is an important process.

There will be three meetings, all with identical content:

  • Tuesday, May 4th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 6th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 8th from 9:00 a.m. to noon

All three will take place at VIA Metro Center on San Pedro just south of SAC.  Visitors will also be able to check-out some new interactive systems and discuss the transportation planning process with the folks that make these decisions.

For more information and to see a draft copy of the TIP, click here.  Also, see the interactive site here (link added 5/4/10 10:35 am).

(* As I’ve discussed before vis-a-vis the US 281 project, the term “funded” in transportation parlance¬†means¬†that¬†anticipated revenues during the plan timefame¬†will¬†be able to fund a project.¬† Until those revenues are actually allocated to the MPO, a project does not actually have money available to start work.)

9 Feb 2010, 9:36pm
History Laws and policies Passenger rail Railroads Safety Uncategorized:
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Comments Off on Live steam coming to San Antonio

Live steam coming to San Antonio

1925 Baldwin steam locomotive at Pearl Brewery

1925 Baldwin steam locomotive at Pearl Brewery

Question:¬† How do you return a long dormant steam locomotive back to active passenger service in 2010, with all the heightened concerns about safety?¬† Answer:¬† Very, very carefully.¬† This ain‚Äôt 1964.¬† Way back then early Texas Transportation Museum members including one Dave Wallace, acquired the 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive from New Braunfels where it had sat idled in a shed since being retired around 1928, brought it to San Antonio, placed it on tracks adjacent to Pearl Brewery, simply filled the boiler with water and fired it up.¬† While it didn‚Äôt explode, it sent out enough smuts and soot that those same volunteers ended up cleaning car windshields for several blocks around. more »

100th anniversary of San Antonio’s first traffic laws

Lewis bzirdsong in a 1910 Franklin on College Street, San Antonio

Lewis bzirdsong in a 1910 Franklin on College Street, San Antonio

It is, of course, one of the more minor centennial occasions.¬† You probably won‚Äôt celebrate it but you will, without noticing, except for this little reminder, observe it.¬† February 7, 2010 is the 100th anniversary of San Antonio‚Äôs first traffic ordinance.¬† Nine years after the first gasoline powered horseless carriage, eight years after the city gained its first automobile agency, seven after the creation of the San Antonio Automobile Club, and six years after the city mandated that all vehicles be registered and¬†display ID plates or numbers, the city introduced written rules for all road users. more »

21 Jan 2010, 10:48am
Gas taxes Laws and policies Roads
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Construction suppliers rally for new fed transpo bill

IMG_2506

Congress has yet to approve a new, comprehensive¬†surface transportation bill to replace the previous legislation (known as “SAFETEA-LU”)¬†that expired last year,¬†instead opting to keep it on life-support through a series of short-term extensions.¬† The resulting¬†lack of certainty over future funding– as well as limited funding in those extensions–¬†is severely crippling the construction industry, that according to several speakers at a noontime rally outside San Antonio’s convention center yesterday that attracted about 100 people.

more »

My first year as a born again cyclist in San Antonio

bike and TAround four o‚Äôclock in the afternoon of Thursday December 31st, zooming alongside the old San Antonio & Aransas Pass railroad tracks on Villamain between Mission San Juan and Mission Espada, in top gear and the wind at my back, I reached my own personal milestone by completing one thousand miles in the first year of owning a bicycle since I left Scotland in 1991.¬† Today, Jnauary 9th, also around 4:00 PM, on De Zavala Road at Clark High school I reached by personal goal of 1,040 miles.¬† That, of course, may seem like an obscure number, so let me explain. more »

MPO approves long-range plan; Tommy starts to get it

As reported here last week, the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) policy board was scheduled to vote on the¬†“Mobility 2035” long-range regional¬†plan yesterday.¬† Toll opponents were angry because the plan included numerous projects in three corridors (I-35 North, Loop 1604, and I-10 West) pigeon-holed as toll-concession projects, also known as¬†Comprehensive Development Agreement (CDA) projects.¬† As I explained previously, because current projections show little to no gas-tax funds being available during the time span of the plan, those projects had to have creative funding¬†“placeholders” assigned to them in order to continue¬†planning work on them, those placeholders¬†being CDAs.

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TURF: “MPO rams 37 toll projects down San Antonians‚Äô throats”

Mobility 2035During my daily review of transportation news, I came across this the-sky-is-falling press release by staunch toll-opponent Terri Hall and her TURF organization.¬† As usual, TURF shows a continued lack of¬†insight of what’s actually happening and peppers the article with their predictable array of tried-and-true rhetoric, fallacies, and mendacities as they¬†denounce the large number of projects that are listed as possible toll and Comprehensive Development Agreement (CDA) projects in the new 25-year regional transportation plan.¬† Yes, there are¬†a substantial number of toll-option projects in the plan.¬† However, the outright panic by TURF is premature and demonstrates their failure to see and comprehend¬†the bigger picture and actually jeopardizes¬†badly-needed future projects.

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