I got on my bicycle this morning to go to the Victoria Public Library but when I got to Red River at San Houston, I found it blocked. I don't mind the barricades but the soft sand would have made it difficult. It's about a 5 mile trip that usually takes me about an hour. I usually take a detour behind Citizens to find me a place where I can cross highway 59 safely. I know what the students go through every morning, half asleep, trying to cross that busy thoroughfare while trying to avoid those that are running late to wherever they are going. That's an accident waiting to happen.
The bicycle riders in California, who avoided "Carmageddon" inspired me,when they stayed off California's Interstate 405 while it was being repaired. I've been on that highway, and I just can't visualize it without backed-up traffic. It just goes to show that if we ask the American people to sacrifice; they will but we never ask. As a state, California is a lot more bike friendly than Texas. Austin does a pretty good job; it is quite a sight, watching the bikers navigate around the University of Texas area. I couldn't do it because it's too hilly but those bikers can get to their destination a lot faster than one driving a car. I've never lived in Austin but my nephew tells me that cars don't get into the bike lanes because they've gotten used to allowing that 3 feet or so for their fellow commuters. He said that he even allows the space where they aren't any bike Lanes. It's habit forming, I guess.
I use our trail ride but getting across Airline can be treacherous, unless you are an old retired person, who can wait out those persons that are in a hurry to get somewhere. It's a boring ride because backyard fences aren't that pretty. I do appreciate the city building the structure for us. We have a bike trail in our park, but it's too far away. I hope they build one around the Lone Tree area and leave as much as the original landscape as possible. I know it seems like I won't be happy, unless they build a bike trail outside my back door, but you don't know what I'm talking about, unless you try to ride a bicycle in Victoria. I've had pretty good luck bicycling from Tanglewood to the Wells Fargo at Mockingbird. I do have to cross Airline and Sam Houston at some point, but I have a lot of lightly traveled back roads I usually take. I have never tried to cross the Navarro but there are a lot of traffic lights on that main thoroughfare. It's the motorists that don't care about the lights much less the bicyclists that I worry about.
I don't expect Victoria to designate bike lanes because we have too many negative people that will see it as a waste of taxpayers' money. We even have some (as holein1 calls them) north side elitist who think anything south of Northgate is not worth improving. They only think of the south side when they flush their toilets. We've had some bicyclists hit by cars but the only solution right now is for people riding bicycles to stay off the roads. I don't ride my bicycle that much to worry about it, but I bet a lot more people would be riding bicycles if we became more bicycle friendly. The larger cities have community bicycles where you rent one and leave it at the next destination. The malls and other business place have installed bicycle for their customers at the front entrance.
If you come across an old retiree slowly peddling his way across Victoria on a bicycle equipped with a light, mirror, and a small GPS unit mounted on the handle; go around me but please do not honk. I don't know why I have lights; I would never ride at night.