Austin On A Bike

How to Avoid Dying on a Bike in Austin: The Anti-Bike Map

Okay, so there’s more to it than this, but, part of staying safe on a bike is taking the right routes. The problem is, often, how do you find the right routes? If you look at Google Maps or a bike map, you’ll think there are only a handful of good roads for cycling. The reality is, however, that there are a ton of good cycling roads. More importantly, there are a handful of steer clear, death trap roads that should be avoided at all costs.

Sooooo, while we have offered a series of posts on suggested bike routes, how about a map that shows you which roads to avoid at all costs? (edit: “at all costs” may overstate the case for some of these roads. Click on the road and there’s more of a description, but generally these are unpleasant and unnecessary, if not downright dangerous, roads to ride on.)

That is, if you look at this map, you can consider most every other road (outside of the highways and frontage roads) good to go for cycling. These are the roads you should avoid.

As noted on the map description, this map sticks to central Austin and south Austin, which means south of 183, north of Slaughter, and between Mopac on the west and 183 on the east.

Click on that icon in the upper left corner of the map to open up the sidebar and see the full list of roads, and click on each road for a little bit more about it.

That said, nothing is more debatable than routes and where you should/shouldn’t ride, so….what are your thoughts? What did we miss?

Let us know in the comments.

12 comments for “How to Avoid Dying on a Bike in Austin: The Anti-Bike Map

  1. Novacek
    March 2, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    The Burnet Road bike lanes aren’t bad, and useful for last mile connectivity (to reach businesses _on_ Burnet, for instance).

    • Mike
      March 2, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Where are the lanes on Burnet? I have to admit, I don’t spend much time on that road except for the southern portion, where there are none.

      • Novacek
        March 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

        A couple of years ago they did restriping on Burnet. They put in lanes from just a bit above 2222 to 183.

        I agree that Woodrow is nicer. But if I’m trying to reach (for instance) Top Notch, I’d take Woodrow part/most of the way and then the Burnet lanes for a block.

  2. Jonathan
    March 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I ride S. Lamar all the time. The bike lane is ample and you just have to pay attention to cars using driveways. The only sketchy part is going around buses. If you don’t want to ride S. Lamar, you can take S. 5th to the same places. All that will be a thing of the past for me when they finish the MOPAC bike/ped bridge!

    Also, N. Lamar is not bad if you stay off the road and use the very generous sidewalk and trail past Pease Park and Shoal Creek. I used to ride that several times a week, night and day. When you get to 31st St., you take Shoal Creek and keep going north from there. It’s fantastic.

    • Mike Melanson
      March 2, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      I’ve ridden South Lamar too, I just feel like there are better routes. It’s definitely better with the lanes, especially the wide ones way down south. That said, it just has sooooo many driveways for cars to t-bone you on…

      And yeah, I think I note the sidewalk in the description of Lamar. If not, totally. Sidewalk there.

  3. March 2, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I bought a commuter bike for the last 5-10 years of my work life on the edge of downtown Austin. The guy who sold it to me was a licensed instructor and included the course in the price. He was carless & 100% bike long before I became aware of him in 1989. His sobering words at the end of the course were to the effect that three friends of his who knew the course material and were experienced bike riders had nevertheless been killed by Austin drivers. I avoided dying with three close brushes with death, one of which was a purposeful attempt to run me off the road on S. 5th.

    • April 21, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Cyclists have indeed been attacked. I know a few, and use cameras front and back now. Get the license plate # and your attorney can track them down with public Data (com).

  4. jack hughes
    April 5, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    S. 1st north of Stassney is fine. I prefer it to S. Congress. It’s even fine most places N. of Oltorff. N. of Slaughter it has bike lanes.

    • Mike Melanson
      April 18, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      I really disagree on South First. It’s a terrible road. I hate even driving on it. Cars going pretty fast down a really narrow road and swerving quickly around the ones that are turning left everywhere is a recipe for not fun. Plus, there are just great alternative routes to South First that make riding on it unnecessary.

  5. Joel
    November 10, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    You missed everything north of 183. We are real, we exist, we ride bikes. Namely Lamar north of 183 is awful

    • Mike Melanson
      February 13, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Oh yes, I very much believe it. It’s more that I am not super familiar with what is or isn’t rideable up north. I have my routes, but beyond that, I don’t make it past Parmer pretty much ever…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. April 2, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for this post, so helpful. When I am out bike riding, it’s never just me! My dog Randy also comes along for the ride (run in his case) every morning. Again, thanks for highlighting such an important safety issue. Jeff

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