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The Prospector

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The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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Students say more bike lanes needed around campus

Freshman+pre-engineering+major+Robert+Portillo+is+one+of+many+students+that+have+opted+to+ride+their+bicycles+in+order+to+efficiently+get+around+campus+construction.
Michaela Roman/The Prospector
Freshman pre-engineering major Robert Portillo is one of many students that have opted to ride their bicycles in order to efficiently get around campus construction.

Bike lanes have been added to El Paso’s streets in recent years. This has led to the presence of more bike riders around the city. Although more bike lanes have been added, bike riders say there is still need for more, especially around UTEP and surrounding areas.

Campus transformation projects include a proposed idea to add bike lanes to the Sun Bowl Drive widening project. The project will add two additional lanes in each direction.

Currently, the closest bike lanes to the university are located throughout Prospect Street starting from North Santa Fe Street to Heisig Avenue.

In 2011 a proposed Bike Master Plan was made public, it displayed the city’s proposed lanes and current lanes. Currently, there are 61 miles of bike lanes around the city, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Zaida Padilla, sophomore biological sciences major, said there is need for bike lanes around the university area.

“Mostly we need bike lanes on Mesa,” Padilla said. “There are some lanes but the roads are narrow and small.”

Padilla also said she thinks biking is something that everyone should take part in despite the scarcity of designated lanes.

“For one, you get a workout, you are doing something healthy for your body and you don’t have to worry about paying for parking—now that is a burden,” she said.

Alexis Maldonado, junior health sciences major, rides her bicycle every day from her home in Central El Paso to UTEP. She said that bike lanes have made it easier for her when she rides around the city.

“I feel a lot safer with bike lanes because I have my own space and the cars can’t interfere with that,” she said. “So either way, I know I have a space and that I am free to ride and it is wide enough.”

Maldonado also said that a lack of bike lanes has caused her stress when she is trying to ride around town and has forced her to work around the lack of resources for bikers.

“When I would go to EPCC I would find bike lanes and they were very useful, but now coming to UTEP I don’t see any around the area,” she said. “I always try to take the streets that are a one way, and so I am always riding on the contra that way I can see what cars are coming my way.”

Maldonado also said riding on the side of the street makes her feel safer even without bike lanes in place because unkempt sidewalks are difficult to ride on and can damage her tires.

Both Maldonado and Padilla said that an increase in bike lanes would result in more bike riders on campus and around the city.

“If we have our own lanes I think a lot of us will have more confidence and we could ride more safely and easily,” Maldonado said. “It would actually take a lot of weight off our shoulders, and a lot of people would start riding their bikes because it would be a lot safer.”

For more information on bike lanes in El Paso, visit home.elpasotexas.gov/epdot/resources-links.php.

Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
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Students say more bike lanes needed around campus