Land use patterns in San Antonio over the past 60 years have created a transportation system dominated by single-occupancy automobile trips. Biking, walking and transit lag far behind as ways to get around the city. Over the five-year period from 2009-2013, 95% of San Antonio residents traveled to work by car: only 3.5% of workers rode public transit, 2% walked to work and less than 0.25% cycled to work.

We have taken measures to improve this situation. Our Parks & Recreation Department has developed 50 miles of greenway multiuse trails and has plans for 40 more miles of trails. VIA Metropolitan Transit has developed a plan to provide more frequent and efficient transit service along major transit corridors and provide better transit mobility between important activity centers. Along with a recent bicycle plan and a new focus on pedestrian safety, San Antonio is beginning to lay the foundation for a safer and more efficient transportation system that safely links pedestrian, bicycle and bus travel.

Still, we need to make much more progress to create a more human-scaled, inclusive and sustainable city where people can get to work, school, personal activities and daily tasks without getting into their cars. Capital improvement and incentive programs that focus on building, expanding and improving pedestrian, bicycle and transit-oriented infrastructure should be a priority.

We can continue to encourage programs and projects that make the City’s bicycle network more accessible, direct and continuous. We can promote urban forms that reinforce bicycling, pedestrian and transit activity by encouraging and providing incentives for developments close to destinations within walking or bicycling distance. We can develop sidewalks and trails integrated into the transportation system and activity areas such as schools, shopping and neighborhood centers. And we can develop a system of safe routes to schools, while we ensure ADA accessibility in all public realm improvement projects.