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Proposed bike path extension


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Some may know that the government is proposing to extend the path which currently ends at La Floresta and begins again at Cinco de Febrero. This extension would eliminate the parking on the north side of the carretera. My husband has a proposal which would extend the path while keeping the parking. Jim's thoughts follow.

"I’ve driven along the Carretera to provide my own assessment of the potential impact of a bike path on the mountain side of that street.
In addition to the loss of parking on the Carretera, off-street parking would also be impacted. By off-street parking I refer to the parking at Perry’s pizza, Sky Fitness, the flower shop, the Montana center, Fast Cash, OXXO, the AJIJIC clinic, and the off-street parking extending from the clinic past the Pemex station.
The creation of a bike path through the heart of town would have to be designed to accommodate pedestrians, shoppers, delivery vehicles, etc.
An alternative to bringing a bike path through town with the inherent disruption, is to take an example from interstate highway constructions which now build alternative routes circumventing the center of cities and providing a safer, faster alternative for vehicles.
We could take this imaginative approach by providing a bike path along Emiliano Zapata. The current bike path ends at Calle 5 de Febrero. Emiliano Zapata begins at that street and ends at Revolucion, where the existing bike path resumes.
That street in most instances is wide enough for parking, a bike path, and vehicular traffic. There are some locations in which parking may have to be restricted in order to accommodate the bike path, but even in those cases many of the streets have sidewalks on both sides one of which may be converted with some additional work to a bike path.
The choice of Zapata will of course require some construction and reconstruction and warning signs for both pedestrians and cyclists, but far fewer and with far less commercial interruption than that which would accompany an extension of the bike path to the heart of the shopping district.
Another advantage of the Emiliano Zapata route is that it would introduce cyclists to a view of Ajijic now denied them on a nerve-racking trip on the Carretera."
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I think this is the beginning of 3, maybe 4 vehicle lanes thru that area.  Rearrange everything needed to create the bike lane.  Realize it is problematic  but now the space is available., Decide to use the space for a vehicle lane instead.  There is a difference between a reason and an excuse.  The bike lane is the excuse and wanting to clear the roadside space is the reason.

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solajijic This is what I also thought when the subject of a bike lane first hit this board because it doesn't address the REAL problem of car traffic and buildings on the carretera extending onto government property (road right of way). They need to address this REAL problem even if it means removing parts of building already illegally encroaching on the road right of way and as you referred to using it as a excuse instead of a reason. No reason if a bike lane is desired that it could not be incorporated into the overall car traffic plans and accomplished at the same time. Either way the REAL problem comes first I would think. What do you think??

   

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7 hours ago, ajijicbound said:

I read recently that the path has been changed to start at Javier Mina and end at Juarez. The hospital have parking behind.

The clinic parking would be one of those "off street" areas to which ingress and egress would be cut off by the bike path. Only other option is to have cars crossing the bike paths in order to access off street parking. That is not a safe option.

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7 minutes ago, nothernewbie said:

The clinic parking would be one of those "off street" areas to which ingress and egress would be cut off by the bike path. Only other option is to have cars crossing the bike paths in order to access off street parking. That is not a safe option.

Hmm.......cutting off access to a health clinic to give priority to a bike lane sounds like a not safe option to me.

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The bicycle path in Ajijic has always been and will continue to be way too dangerous for general use. Even in areas protected by concrete barriers you'll often see motorcycles, mopeds, ATVs and even small cars, not to mention cows, horses and other animals. I agree with solajijic; any government plan to widen the road for a bicycle path will be quickly appropriated for a new car lane.

As far as the alternative idea to use Emiliano Zapata. Has the OP ever tried to ride a bicycle up 5 de Febrero for 2 blocks? It's exremely steep for a normal bike and is very difficult even with 18 speeds. The first block of Emiliano Zapata is about the only section with sidewalks. One side has trees and the other telephone and electrical service poles.

Continuing east at Juarez you have to make a quick, steep jog to get to the 1 lane section heading toward Colon, flattening out a bit there but still essentially one lane until Marcos Castellanos. Things don't improve all that much as you continue to Revolucion. 

Revolucion is also pretty steep and has a large tree growing in the middle of it as you get near the carretera.

Heaven forbid if you try to use that street after a rain. The water comes down from the mountain making the street impassible. The large grate across from Salvador's was built to try to move some of that river down the lateral to the east.

The city can't even fix potholes yet they are planning a bicycle path? Doesn't smell right.

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The whole proposal is a farce and will never work. It gives some city hall employees some office work to do for awhile.

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Let me add a couple of points from the perspective of those of us who actually use the bike path for riding our bikes. For one thing, this is a public safety issue. It is undeniably dangerous to ride a bicycle along the carretera in central Ajijic...and scary too. Although a substantial number of on-street parking spaces would be eliminated, very few off-street spaces would be affected. There are many businesses along the current bike path that deal with exactly this situation all day long. Parking for both the Oxxo and Ajijic Clinic can be accessed from the side streets. And didn't someone mention that the Ajijic Clinic also has parking in the rear? The parking lot at the Montana Plaza could remain as is. Remember, this is also the main bus stop for Ajijic and similar to the bus stop/parking lot/ bike path that runs along the Centro Laguna Mall in San Antonio. Perhaps Ajijic would be best served by a public parking lot to accompany the bike path extension.

And while we're at it, how about extending the bike path farther into Chapala at its eastern end? The bike path is just as dangerous, and just as scary, where it abruptly ends just west of the Lourdes barrio in Chapala. I know it's a popular myth on this board to claim that Chapala hoards all the civic revenues and short-changes Ajijic. However, this may be a good example of the fallacy of such claims.

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It's a poor example but a good point.  In Chapala the carretera is plenty wide enough for a bike lane to the west end of the Malecon and the latter is plenty big enough to accommodate bikes from there.  Providing a bike lane into Chapala would appear to me to be a lot easier than into Ajijic but would also require eliminating parking on one side.  I agree the bike lane through Ajijic is needed, I just question the safety of what is being proposed.  There's a reason for those barriers on the existing bike lanes, none would be provided for the part inside of Ajijic and they probably aren't practical there.   We all know how they drive around here, particularly the Tapatio weekenders.  I can see people getting run over quite regularly on the bike lane as proposed now.

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John Shrall is right: no one is going to take a bike up to Emiliano Zapata. As a cyclist, I want the best route through town. On weekends, for touring, there is nothing to see up there anyway.

The simple truth is that there is no room for a change to the highway through town. Either end of Ajijic, sure, but through town? No. And while the concept of bike paths is a great one, and has been implemented successfully in all kinds of places around the world, each and every one of those cities/towns had both the space and the determination. Here we have neither, so while it may be a highly-desirable postulation, it cannot work here. Time for this government to come up with working ideas, not high-flying ways to leave their "legacy".

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More lanes for cars first, bike lanes later. There are a whole lot more people using cars than bikes. If it's dangerous, don't do it and don't try to make Mexico in the image of NOB. Close the carretera on Sunday mornings to all vehicular traffic and make it available to bicyclists. Post transitos along the route to ticket any scofflaws. Puerto Vallarta does this on our main north south divided highway and you have to use the laterals or go inland. It's absolutely packed with families and the government has made peace with the bicyclists. I have never seen a bike lane anywhere here and drivers complain but the rules are followed and everyone gets a bite of the apple. Emergency vehicles could of course be accommodated.

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9 minutes ago, mike7129a said:

Build a pontoon bridge from Chapala west as far as Joco with get offs at appropriate places, should be easy, in-expensive, compared to proposed  widening and much less than  mountain to mountain road

 

This was considered about eight or ten years ago, as well as an Ajijic libramiento through the mountains. Neither idea got anywhere and both were abandoned.

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49 minutes ago, mike7129a said:

Build a pontoon bridge from Chapala west as far as Joco with get offs at appropriate places, should be easy, in-expensive, compared to proposed  widening and much less than  mountain to mountain road

 

Highly impractical. Several problems as I see it and I use the lake at least twice a week.

With the rise and fall of the lake during the year you would have to put it far enough off shore so that the depth of the lake wouldn't affect it.

How wide are we talking, 10', 15' ? Would have to be wide enough for cyclists to pass by each other without being pushed into the water.

The lake isn't flat all the time. The wind direction and intensity can change in a moments notice. I've seen 2' to 3' waves with whitecaps. Would make an interesting Youtube video with people trying to balance themselves.

Is this going to run through the bird sanctuary? Can see lots of problems here.

And finally as a kayaker and rower you're blocking access to the lake. More importantly how about those who make a living fishing on the lake, how do they get to the lake?

Kudos for thinking outside the box but I can't see this ever being implemented.

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Just by looking at a map it looks good. However Emiliano Zapata is extremely narrow from Colon to Galeana, it is a problem for those who live there and any trucks which have to make deliveries. There is absolutely no room for a bike path, the street would have to be closed off for all vehicular traffic. This of course would be a great hardship for those who live in the San Sebastian barrio. When it comes to the good of the few against the needs of the many, I would have to say that the residents will have priority to use their street.

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2 hours ago, Al Berca said:

No indication of that in your post, but if you say so....

No Al, I didn't say so. I was referring to mikes post. All I said was I thought his post was tongue in cheek, entiendo?

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OK, let me say it another way and hopefully no crayons are needed:

I thought mike's post of a pontoon road for the bikes was an example of a great tongue in cheek spoof of all the angst being written about a bike lane through Ajijic. So I praised him for the idea. If I was wrong about mike I'm sure he will let me know and I will gracefully apologize. If I was right, sorry you didn't catch on to either one Al. Maybe next time.

Saludos

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The only solution is to build parkades (multilevel parking lots). So that the cars don't need to park on the street. But it is a poor corrupt country so it won't happen. We have to live with what has evolved. The commercial ventures on both sides of the carrretra illegally have taken over property that was supposed to be for highway/bikeway.

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1 hour ago, cedros said:

The only solution is to build parkades (multilevel parking lots). So that the cars don't need to park on the street. But it is a poor corrupt country so it won't happen. We have to live with what has evolved. The commercial ventures on both sides of the carrretra illegally have taken over property that was supposed to be for highway/bikeway.

That is true, there was talk some years back that the buildings on the south side would be partially removed. They are on Federal land. I do not know what became of that, I was told at the time there was a model of the plan in the municipal building.  If it were done, there would be plenty of room for cars and bikes and people.

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