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#1 2010-06-17 23:54:43

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 684

UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

I'm starting a new thread on this topic since it's off-topic about the original thread.

Deekay wrote:

I was riding down Congress where it dead ends into MLK and a building.  I understand there used to be a bike lane that connected but it was dropped and now there is a barrier.

No, I was not fined.  But the threat of the fine and the fact it is not a $25 fine..but a over $100 fine is the problem.

This morning I took the "legal" path as was pointed out to me.  I turned right onto MLK going east to connect with a left turn to Brazos to get to Speedway.

I had a car coming east on MLK at 5:45 am about 40 mph behind me.  I had a garbage truck coming west on MLK about 35 mph.  So, what would you do in this situation when trying to make a left turn onto Brazos?

McChris wrote:

Based on what DeeKay wrote, I tried to reconstruct the "legal path" in gmaps pedometer:
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3817037

I think the issue for DeeKay is that to use this path he has to turn left across MLK, which is a busy four-lane street. Bike lane or not, it does involve merging across two lanes of traffic.

I'm a wimp about stuff like that, so I would take Brazos from 17th as vattiat suggested.

NadiaB wrote:

I don't get it. The "legal path" you are talking about it a bike lane, right?  Is the bike lane not there right now due to the construction, because if so...it will be put back as soon as construction is completed.  If construction is completed and the bike lane has not been replaced, we have a problem.

I think the issue isn't the presence or lack of a bike lane on Brazos.  It's that UT ruined the ability to use Speedway as a north/south route because they put up a barrier at MLK & Speedway.  If you're going north on Congress or south on Speedway, when you get to MLK you hit a barrier and you can't cross.  Your only legal option for riding is to ride all the way around, using separate streets like 21st street and Brazos, and deal with the hills and the traffic.  UT transportation director Bobby Stone all but brags about how this ridiculous obstruction actually best serves the needs of students, faculty, and staff, go figure.

Is there anything we can do about this?  I doubt it, since it's university property, not city, and the university doesn't answer to anybody.  They also seem quite proud of themselves for destroying a useful thoroughfare, based on comments by Director Stone.

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#2 2011-11-08 18:02:31

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

UT Parking & Transportation Services is hosting a town hall to discuss remediation options, this Monday, November 14th 8am.

http://lobv.org/2011/11/bike-around-blanton-town-hall/

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#3 2011-11-15 12:32:58

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 684

Re: UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

Here's the Daily Texan article about how the Town Hall meeting went.  Attendance was high.  People want this problem fixed.  But I can't help but be suspicious that UT hosted the meeting only to make it *seem* like they might do something about the problem.  We'll see.

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#4 2011-11-16 18:27:33

scrybbler
Member
Registered: 2011-11-16
Posts: 5

Re: UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

There isn't a lot of online info about what actually was said at the meeting (it was scheduled at 8a, which I find obnoxious), but from the Facebook page apparently some consensus was reached:

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=287955937893593

More chatter:

http://austinpassivesolar.com/austin-no … edestrians


Oh and btw -- this is right next to Bicycle Trooper Citation Central. If you bike down Congress between UT and the Capitol, beware! ( http://bicycleaustin.info/forum/viewtopic.php?id=539 )

(Hey DK, good to see ya)

Last edited by scrybbler (2011-11-16 18:28:05)

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#5 2012-03-03 16:50:21

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 155

Re: UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

The latest update on this is from over a month ago.

"The Bike Around Blanton town hall has been postponed. Last week, PTS met with campus planning and facilities management to discuss this area and both agreed that the meeting would be most beneficial if both firms hired by UT would be able to attend the follow up meeting. Walker and Associates who attended the first town hall and Sasaki, the firm hired to do the campus mobility study will be in town in February for a mobility task force meeting. Once the date has been finalized I will notify this group so that you can make arrangements to attend."


I wonder if this will ever happen.

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#6 2012-03-04 13:49:27

bizikletari
Member
Registered: 2009-03-18
Posts: 211

Re: UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

What I find rather surprising is that, while obstructing cycling, UT is trying to score a high point classification both in the rankings for bike friendly campus and the sustainibility awards.

Last edited by bizikletari (2012-03-04 13:50:19)

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#7 2012-03-04 19:35:03

McChris
Member
From: Blackland
Registered: 2008-10-31
Posts: 34

Re: UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

@bizikletari, this seems like a matter of different offices with different priorities pursuing somewhat contradictory actions. I believe the LAB materials were submitted by the bike coordinator, who's has an obvious professional interest in not only just improving bicycle conditions on campus but also getting recognition for his work. I doubt he has much pull with UTPD or the Blanton in changing this policy beyond coordinating public forums like the one discussed above.

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#8 2012-03-05 10:03:23

bizikletari
Member
Registered: 2009-03-18
Posts: 211

Re: UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

You are correct, McChris; Sam is doing his best to advance cycling in UT. But the Powers to be in UT —Board of Regents et alia— and the good folks at UTPD have been working relentlessly against cycling in UT for a very long time.

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#9 2012-03-05 13:26:22

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway

The League of Bicycling Voters encouraged the UT Austin Bike Coordinator, Sam Cortez, to apply for the LAB's Bicycle Friendly University recognition.  It provides a measure with which to compare to peer universities, and then hopefully, some competitive spirit helps drive UT to improve.  Of the applicants, UT finished near last, achieving only an honorable mention (instead of Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum).

The honorable mention recognized the bike registration program, UT Orange Bike Project, and some education and encouragement programs.

http://www.readthehorn.com/campus/4166/ … iversities

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