The City of Austin is holding a series of public meetings this week to gather input on its Bicycle and Urban Trails Plan and the 2009 Bicycle Plan Update, which have been responsible for the creation of numerous bike lanes throughout the city in the past several years. The city’s newest plans include an “all ages and abilities” transportation network comprised of interconnected, protected trails and on-street bikeways throughout Austin.
It’s no secret that as traffic issues increase throughout Austin due to rapidly rising population numbers, clashes between cyclists and motorists are also on the rise. The city had one fatality resulting from an auto-cyclist collision in 2011, and three in 2012. Over the past 8 years, the city has seen twice the national average of deaths resulting from combined cyclist and pedestrian incidents. A map created by news station KVUE in 2012 showed hotspots throughout the city where auto-cyclist accidents were particularly problematic.
The city began to address the problem in 2009 with a 10+ year plan that aimed to both increase bicycle use and bike safety measures throughout Austin. The plan recommends the creation of nearly 750 miles of bike lanes, nine miles of bike boulevards and more than 300 miles of multi-use paths, as well as signage and other markers for bike lanes. It also includes education programs and enforcement recommendations.
The final meeting is tonight, November 14, at the First Evangelical Free Church of Austin, 4220 Monterey Oaks Blvd, from 5:30-8:30PM. There will be an Open House from 5:30-7PM, with a presentation at 7PM.