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#1 2016-09-23 12:09:58

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 947
Website

Time to try again for car-free bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd.?

Ten years ago I tried and failed to convince Council to go with staff's plan of having car parking on only one side of the road on Shoal Creek Blvd., with car-free bike lanes on both sides.  (I was especially disappointed that I got almost no help from the local cycling community in that push, but that's another story.)  At the time, some commented to me that the rich homeowners on Shoal Creek bankrolled City Council campaigns and there was no way the Council would go against them.

Well, now we have council districts, so those homeowners should have a lot less influence over council.  It's also a full ten years later.  Time to try again to get car-free bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd.?

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#2 2016-10-15 09:14:59

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 437

Re: Time to try again for car-free bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd.?

Hell, yes. I still ride Shoal Creek Blvd frequently. Signage and policy that allows people to park their empty cars in bike lanes is absolutely irresponsible. Why even have bike lanes, really ? All of SoCalled Bike Route 31 has been compromised. We are hard at work on the southern end of Route 31 but I ride it still from 1626 to 183 and to connect to NW Austin. It has become flat out dangerous from Aberdeen north to Barton Springs Rd. Start something up, Michael. We can gain help and support from long time cyclists in our southern zone. Shoal Creek Blvd and Route 31 have been and are so important to our cycling community. Stir it back up. A BA member living in Pool's district should start applying pressure exactly at this time, before the election. It might help her rethink her statement you linked to in the other thread. Natalie is clearly the better choice of candidate in regards to this issue. I just can't vote for her or apply leverage to the issue as I don't live in that district. We all want a reasonable Bike Route 31 or alternate off road north/south route back !

Added:

One way forward is to make a request for a BAC agenda item/discussion.
Contact COA Active Transportation staff.
Apply pressure to city council members representing those areas.
Other ideas ?

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2016-10-15 09:18:06)

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#3 2016-10-15 15:58:03

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 106

Re: Time to try again for car-free bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd.?

AusTexMurf wrote:

A BA member living in Pool's district should start applying pressure exactly at this time, before the election. It might help her rethink her statement you linked to in the other thread.

I'll contact her.  I live in 7 and have contacted her before with some success.  I looked, but I can't find what it was she said about Shoal Creek.   Can someone please point me to it?   Yeah, I'm sick and tired of seeing the roads being used as a place for people to store personal property.  I can't just rent one of those pod storage things, fill it with my junk,  and keep it out on the street so that I can free up space in my garage.  People using the street as a place to store their cars are doing just that.   Roads are for moving people - not for storing personal property.  Let's quite socializing the cost of car ownership.

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#4 2016-10-23 15:54:29

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 106

Re: Time to try again for car-free bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd.?

OK, I found a video on YouTube in which Council Member Pool gave what I thought was a less than satisfactory answer to a question about the Shoal Creek 'bike/parking/trash can' lane.

Here is what I sent her.  I also sent the same basic message to her opponent, Natalie Gauldin, and asked for her to comment on the situation as well:

'I am a long time transportation cyclist who lives and votes in district 7. I am interested, along with other cyclists, in revisiting the Shoal Creek “bike lanes”. At this time, these lanes are a shared space for cyclists, parked vehicles, and trash cans.

I belong to Bike Austin and have read your responses to the Bike Austin district 7 voter guide. Your answers sound great, but your answer to a question in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST7NP1bnVfE) seems more ambiguous. In the video you seem to be quite willing to let this important safety matter drop if the residents are unwilling to give up parking in the “bike lane”.

Would you kindly clarify your statements? Are you willing to actively help fix the Shoal Creek “bike lane” so that it is safe for cyclists?
Thank you very much for your help in this matter. '

Here is the reply I received:

'hi [RedFalcon], I apologize if my answer at the League of Women Voters was confusing. I was discussing what groups would be stakeholders in any conversations about bike lanes on Shoal Creek Boulevard, and of course bicyclists would be included. I assumed it was a given that bicyclists would be stakeholders in conversations about bike lanes and was simply listing other stakeholders in addition to bicyclists. '

My thoughts:
1. On the plus side, Leslie Pool was quick to reply.  I found this to be true on another issue before.  And on that other issue she did work to make a dangerous intersection safer for cyclists.
2. Natalie Gauldin did not reply.  I'm sure she is very busy with her campaign and replying to every crackpot may not be possible (although her opponent found the time).  But, maybe she never even received or read the message.  She does seem like the better choice, in some ways. I felt she was more forceful in her replies to the questions in the League of Women Voters Guide.
3.  Leslie Pool is definitely a politician.  I think that if she felt it was a winning proposition to fight hard for real bike lanes on Shoal Creek she would do it, but she isn't going to waste political capital on a half baked effort either. 
4. Too bad one of them doesn't move to District 10.

So, early voting begins tomorrow.

Last edited by RedFalcon (2016-10-23 15:56:14)

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#5 2017-05-09 21:28:29

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 947
Website

Re: Time to try again for car-free bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd.?

Well, I don't know what I was thinking, I'm probably not gonna have time in this lifetime to resurrect this issue.

On the other hand, it looks like Bike Austin is doing something about Shoal Creek...sort of.  Their web site says they're working on "adding protected bike lanes", but is typically short on details.  The only way there will be room for that will be if they remove parking from one side of the road, but they were silent on that issue.  On the plus side, they got endorsements from the neighborhood association, local schools, and a ton of local businesses.  That was my biggest mistake when I worked on Shoal Creek, not involving the community.  Tried to go it alone.  Doesn't work.

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