This post has been a while coming.
Despite my generally critical and cynical demeanor, I have to hand it to the City of Austin Bicycle Program – they’ve been doing a pretty damn good job at expanding bike lanes and facilities in this city.
Streets that desperately needed something done – such as the South 1st Street bridge, Barton Springs Road, Guadalupe and Lavaca – have finally had something put in place and it keeps expanding. Lately, I’ve noticed a couple fine places:
- Heading to west on Barton Springs Road, at the bridge, the lane starts just after the bridge now, with sharrows on the bridge itself, instead of leaving you racing traffic uphill in the middle of the lane. In this case, I’d definitely say something is better than nothing.
- The south exit from the Congress Bridge Sidewalk is big and wide and…almost, seemingly, meant for pedicabs! (Which are, by the way, mandated to ride on the sidewalk over that bridge.)
- The north-headed entrance to the sidewalk on the Congress Bridge was just made as a straight-on entrance, instead of forcing you around that corner that cars always inevitably blocked.
Today, however, I saw some news in the ol’ inbox that truly excited me, as far as bike lanes go: bike lanes on 38th Street, all the way from Lamar to Red River.
Specifically, that one section of 38th between Duval and Red River has always been an adrenaline-packed portion of pavement. Currently, the road configuration has two car lanes headed east, and one headed west. During the restriping, a bike lane will be added on both sides, with just one car lane in each direction. At intersections, a left-turn lane will be added. Check it:
From the email: ”Bicycle lanes will be added between Red River Street and Duval Street and also between Duval Street and Lamar Boulevard. The new bicycle lanes between Duval Street and Lamar Boulevard will not involve any changes to the existing number of motor vehicle lanes. These reconfigurations will also allow for the removal of an existing turn prohibition for westbound left turns onto Greenway Street by installing a dedicated left turn bay.”
So that’s even good news for you car drivers out there – turning left from 38th onto Greenway! Hurray! (On first read, I saw “Speedway” and was more excited, but whatever…I don’t drive anyways.) And even better, these bike lanes won’t have parking! Woohoo!
Again from the email, “There will be an open house on April 16th, 2014, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the St Paul Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 3501 Red River Street. If you cannot attend this open house and have questions or comments, please contact Neil Kopper at 974-7166 or email@example.com.”
The bike lanes are starting to form an actual network. It’s good stuff, I say. For those of you who poopoo on bike lanes, I think they’re better than nothing. I’ll take a road with a shoulder over one without any day, just the same.
Keep up the good work, CoA Bicycle Program!