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Monday, December 11, 2006

How bike friendly will Austin become?

From the Austin American-Statesman, 12.11.06:

How bike friendly will Austin become?
"Portland pointed the way, but it will take action on planned projects, leadership and money to make cycling a priority here"

"Austin ought to be one of the best bicycling cities in the country. We've got rolling hills to train on, a climate that invites year-round cycling and a population that puts stock in keeping fit. The world's greatest cyclist even calls Austin home. But we've got a long way to pedal before we can coast."
This report also includes a related video featuring an interview with Annick Beaudet, project manager of the City of Austin's Bicycle Program. Most salient quote: "Biking--it's not a problem, it's a solution," (Mia) Birk (of Alta Planning + Design) says. "Obesity, congestion, air quality, cost of gas, economy--they all point to cycling."

Centerpiece of Austin's planned improvements for bicycling is the six-mile Lance Armstrong Bikeway through downtown, which will form the spine of an enhanced bikeway network of paths, lanes, and routes. The city is looking to famously bike-friendly Portland, Oregon--approximately the same size as Austin--as a model. "In Portland, bike ridership doubled after the city put in about 165 miles of bike lanes, mostly on arterial streets. Austin, by contrast, has about 70 miles of on-street painted bike lanes."

Helmets off to the Austin American-Statesman for providing such substantial coverage to bicycling. And congrats also to the efforts of the Texas Bicycle Coalition, which I suspect has helped push these bicycling enhancements in the Texas state capital.

Image: Jay Janner, Austin American-Statesman. Man, I hope that dude is planning a left turn soon.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


Yokota Fritz said...

Good luck to Austin on this. The biggest portion of Austin -- the downtown area, all along the river and University of Texas -- is already very bikeable. In the outlying suburbs, though, I've been harassed by motorists who didn't like sharing the road with a cyclist.

Anonymous said...

Please improve Austin's biking infrastructure so the crazy enviro-hippies will be attracted TO Austin and stop oozing out FROM Austin into regular Texas. You're performing a great service.