Bike sales up, city works on more route, lane options
TYLER — As gas prices continue to creep up and the temperatures follow with it, getting on a bicycle is looking to be a much more appealing transportation option for some east Texans.
People at Elite Bicycles in Tyler say business is pretty good right now.
Their hope is that the city continues to evolve to accommodate more cyclists on the roads.
"Bike sales have been on the uptick with the increase in gas," said Tim McCellon of Elite Bicycles. "It happens every time fuel gets above about 3.75 ... We see a lot of first time riders coming in and buying new bicycles to commute on or just for the sport of it."
He says bikes specifically made for commuters are also becoming more popular, so people can ride to work and have a place to keep their stuff.
Traffic Engineer Peter Eng says he's working with the city of Tyler to accommodate these trends.
"There are a lot of cyclists in Tyler and more and more people are riding bikes for health reasons, gas is expensive, and a lot of students can't afford traveling between campuses," Eng said.
Eng says he is dedicated to making the city a more bike-friendly place by adding more routes around Tyler, including one that would connect Tyler Junior College to UT Tyler.
"The new section of Old Omen Road and the south east side of town, south of University all the way to Bascom Road, we have lanes striped off for bicycles only," Eng said.
He also says as the city adds new roads, they are trying to incorporate more bike lanes into them as well, though it's tough to change the old ones.
"It was never designed that way 40, 50 years ago, so to come back today and take away pavement to create bike lanes ... it's difficult," Eng said.
Eng says there are also several bike routes around town that take riders on the more scenic routes and are safer and more convenient.
For a full map of those visit, cityoftyler.org.