The Kyle File: Wishing for walkability

by David Abdel

Getting to and from places in Kyle can sometimes be a frustrating task, given the persistent road closures throughout town. Fairly, we should give the town recognition for seeking out improvements in traffic and roads as often as it does. While it can sometimes feel like roads take forever to fix or adjust, and we wish for speedier completion, we have to appreciate that it does take time, especially when it is being done correctly. Additionally, there’s a lot of roads and only so many people to fix them and dollars to spend on them. Practice patience.

That being said, I’ve tried to take a different approach to getting places. Walking. Occasionally also riding my bike. Both of these methods of transportation are better for our health, and better for our Earth. Physical exercise doesn’t have to be in a gym lifting weights, it can just be the act of moving around, so why not do it? Well, in Kyle, I’m learning that it’s actually a bit difficult.

If I take my boy out for a stroller walk, I’ve found that often in my subdivision there are sidewalks that just seem to not exist in places, or ramps/crosswalks absent where one would think they would exist. Venturing out into town, I’ve found it very difficult to walk to and from places because large sections of town simply don’t have sidewalks. This is not, as of now, a walkable town.

Fairly, it depends on where you live. I have not walked around every subdivision. I’ve not walked to and from the few shopping areas. If I’m wrong, ok, you got me … but based on what I hear from others, I believe I’m sort of right about the walkability issue. Granted, we don’t have many places worth walking to, so that might be part of it. I doubt people are going to walk to HEB and walk home with their groceries, that might be asking too much. However, I wouldn’t mind walking to a local place to eat (the few we have) or local watering hole (the even fewer). I’d rather not waste gas when I could get the exercise.

In that same vein, it is incredibly difficult to bike anywhere. One, bike lanes don’t exist. Two, drivers seemingly hate cyclists. I recall this being a very divisive issue during the mayoral race when I brought up bike lanes in a public space. I don’t understand why we would want to stifle a healthy alternative form of mobility.

Keeping cars off the road improves traffic, and potentially lowers traffic accidents. It’s better for the environment. It adds a homey feeling to our town. It increases the number of people who can get around town, thus potentially increasing economic output. What’s the issue?

With all of the new development taking place throughout Kyle, my hope is that mobility takes a greater place in the priority list. We need to increase the means by which people can safely traverse this town. We need to connect, in as many ways as possible. I believe people are much more likely to go somewhere and spend their hard earned money, if they don’t always have to drive to it. That’s my two cents, if you disagree, walk it out.

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