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#1 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek, part trois (?) » 2019-09-21 11:15:50

MichaelBluejay wrote:

The City reports that they've installed the protected bike lanes between Foster Lane and 183, and are trimming trees for the lower part of Shoal Creek Blvd.

Didn't most or part of this section already have buffered bike lanes on both sides?  I guess the 'protected' parts are the flexible plastic posts designed to easily fold over when hit by a car. 

Leaving aside the argument about the usefulness of this bike lane, this seems like yet another BS City of Austin measure.  Make 'em out of concrete if you want to call it a 'protected'.

#2 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Amazon deliveries yield carnage on the road, abuse of drivers » 2019-09-12 08:11:23

I have noticed an increase in bad driving involving these delivery drivers.  (3 just yesterday on the commute home) They are like pizza delivery drivers only worse because they are in larger vehicles with more blind spots.  I rank them just between BMW drivers and Lexus drivers as likely road hazards.

#3 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek, part trois (?) » 2019-08-12 22:42:02

And it looks like the city will be using chip seal on the new Shoal Creek surface. … c3762d773a

I hate cars, but they are at least useful for tamping down chip seal.  So, we will have to wait for drivers who are distracted or drunk to drive into the bike lane to help squish down the loose gravel.  Of course, SCB residents will surely help by putting their trash cans in the bike lane too.

So, for a little while the new bike lane will be a gravel grind!  Very cool.  Very trendy!  I will buy a new gravel bike so I can ride it before the drunks ruin it.

#4 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Drivers never yield at bike and ped crossings » 2019-06-04 18:07:28

btrettel wrote:
MichaelBluejay wrote:

That's quite a project, btrettel.  What do you plan to do with your data?

I might take RedFalcon up on his offer to help present this to the BAC. I attended one of their meetings in the past and thought it was a waste of time to be honest.

BAC meetings do sometimes feel like a waste of time, but presenting the data and getting a resolution passed would get the problem on the record.   Good idea to have a solution to propose at the same time. Sounds like you have ideas about that too.

#5 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Drivers never yield at bike and ped crossings » 2019-06-04 09:16:11

btrettel wrote:

I've actually started collecting data on the I-35 crossings on Dean Keeton.

It would be a great idea to gather this info together, including videos, and bring it to the attention of the Bicycle Advisory Council.  I can help you with that.  This is exactly the kind of thing we need to be doing.

#6 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Ignore your rights and they will go away » 2019-06-04 09:09:50

Yep, those other reasons for riding with a camera are also true.  You can review incidents and think about what you might have done differently. 

Pro tip: If you talk out loud to yourself when you ride remember that some cameras record sound too.  A few times I caught myself saying things I might not want played back if I got killed or seriously injured before I could clear the files.

I have found that some incidents that seemed pretty scary when they happened don't look that bad on video, and other situations that were not really an issue at all look terrifying on video.

And you are so right, video wont solve everything, or even anything for any particular incident.  BUT, keep those cameras rolling and post incidents to the CVE site (on top left of this page).  My hope is that if we can get enough posted we can use them when we try to make road design improvements and so we can demand better (any) enforcement.

#7 Re: Commuting/Routes » Round Rock commute to downtown Austin. Route ideas please! » 2019-05-30 14:27:02

From 620 / Oakland I would ride east through the back of the business center that is on north side of 620.  Cross at the light onto Deep Wood drive and head south.  You can either stay on it all the way to McNeil, or part way you can jump onto the Round Rock West Greenbelt trail.  I used to have to do this to get back from a series of Dr appointments years ago.   Seems like that trail had speed bumps on it, but maybe I'm wrong.

Once you get to McNeil, head south on CR 172.  It is not the funnest place to ride, but at least it is four lanes.

Option 1: Stay on CR 172 until it crosses over 1325 and turns into Quickhill and then turn left on Grand Avenue.  Go east on Grand Avenue for .28 miles and turn right (south) onto Cadoz Drive.  Turn left on Shoreline Drive to hook back up to Bratton.   From there, follow the instructions I posted before - but in reverse.

Option 2:

Get off CR 172 at 1/2 mile turning east on Hesters Crossing, then Sundance Parkway, then La Frontera.  If you go this way you will want to turn east on the 45 feeder to Parker Drive and then turn right (south).  Don't try and ride on 1325.  From Parker Drive 1/3 mile to Jarret way which turns into Michael Angelo Way.  Next, head south on Bratton for another 1/3 mile.  Keep going straight at the new road "Pearson'.  This will intersect Grand Avenue (new section).  Turn south on Crissom, left (east) on Sauls, and you are back at Bratton without getting killed on the 'deadmans curves'.   Take Bratton South.    From there, follow the instructions I posted before - but in reverse.

If you don't already use it, check out  I have found that the satellite images here are more up to date than on google maps. Also it lets you measure routes. 

If you can do it, I recommend leaving before rush hour traffic.  I leave from Parmer / Mopac at 0545 and get to La Frontera / Hesters Crossing in about 30 minutes and probably only cross paths with about 10 cars the whole way.  The worst part is the last mile on CR 172, but even that isn't too bad usually, but stay off 1325.  I have tried riding 1325 and the stress just isn't worth it to me.  The speeds are easily 60+mph and there is no shoulder. The traffic tends to platoon, so even if the front driver changes lanes to pass you the guy behind him wont see you until the last second.

Also, check out Cap Metro route 50 and 52 in Round Rock and Redline train at Howard for multi-mode options.

#8 Justice Issues / Collisions » Ignore your rights and they will go away » 2019-05-23 19:41:35

Replies: 3

You have a right to operate a bicycle on the roads.  But some people think you don't, and will yell at you to get off the road and onto the side walk. That way they can drive their climate destroying killing machines without having to slow down for vulnerable road users.

If you let them get away with it you then you are part of the problem instead of being part of the solution.

When you have a bad experience while out cycling you can do something about it.  Get a camera and use it when you ride and report harassment on the Cyclist Video Evidence website;

Michael even has a link to that site in the top left of this page.

If a driver comes flying up from behind and lays on the horn you have been assaulted. Check out this new video from CVE (I'm not one for trigger warnings, but this one took me several times to get through.) … r-the-law/

Yesterday, while riding home from La Frontera I had to deal with a middle-aged white male driving a brown 4-door jeep (TX MCX 6560).  He tried to intimidate me with his horn and close following.  I filed a report with Round Rock police.

I got it all on video and submitted to the CVE site.

And that camera is kind of crappy, but it only cost me $25 on ebay.

Why are you still reading this?  Get on ebay and get a cheap $25 camera.

I know how to ride in traffic, so I don't get too many of these, but the fact that they occur at all deters lots of people from cycling.  Let's build a groundswell of discontent for bad driving.  Let's file police reports every time we see it happen. 

I have been trying to get Bike Austin behind this, but getting Bike Austin to do something is like trying to push a piece of cooked spaghetti through a key hole.

#9 Re: Rides and Events » Ride of Silence Wednesday, May 15, 2019 » 2019-05-18 13:24:14

I'm not sure how the downtown ride went, but if anyone was there, let us know.

My North Austin ride went really well.  I advertise it as being family friendly, and my seven year old grandson was able to complete the whole 8 mile loop, plus the 5 miles to get there and back.   

We only had a few riders, but everyone was enthusiastic and agreed that these rides are important to do.  At least a few of them told me that if we didn't have this northern ride they would not have gone downtown. Also, a few of the people at my RoS showed up at my Bike 2 Work Day Fueling Station on Friday at the same location. 

What I heard from cyclists at both of these events is exactly what I have been saying for a long time.  Everything to do with cycling in Austin seems to be centered on what is going on downtown where there are already a lot (never enough) cyclists.  We get ignored out the suburbs.  I image that cyclists who live way south feel the same, and I would encourage anyone out that way to sponsor a Ride of Silence and B2WD fueling station in their area.  These are great ways to get local cyclists more involved, especially if you information to share about county or city plans for road improvements.

#10 Re: Commuting/Routes » Round Rock commute to downtown Austin. Route ideas please! » 2019-05-14 07:42:37

The North Austin Ride of Silence follows parts of the route I was describing.  Join us at 6:455pm at Bratton Square on Wednesday 5/15 and you can ride a lot of it.

#11 Re: Commuting/Routes » Round Rock commute to downtown Austin. Route ideas please! » 2019-05-13 09:22:48

I live at Parmer / Mopac and commute to La Frontera. Not sure which side of Round Rock you are on, and I35 is a huge barrier, but if you can get to La Frontera, you can get to Metric/Lamplight or Metric/Lamplight easily enough.  From there you can make your way down Parkfield.

From Lamplight Village / Parmer going north, follow this:
1. North on Lamplight Village across Scofield Ridge. LV will bend right and put you at a T intersection at Campesina. Turn left, which brings you to a cul-de-sac, but there is a gap between houses on the left.  Go through that gap ( I call these kinds of routes - wormholes). Turn right and run north along the fence line until you see a paved road to your left.  Take that to the intersection with Avenue N.
2. Now you are in Kings Village.  Keep going north on Pansy Trail and turn left onto Daisy Drive and go up the hill. (Avoid Gardenia Drive unless you like being chased by pitbulls)  After you climb the hill you will pass a Tree trimming business. Just on the west side there is another wormhole trail that leads to the intersection of Howard Lane and Thomas Sinclair Blvd. Take Thomas Sinclair north.  (All of this keeps you off Howard Lane)
3. Thomas Sinclair T intersections with Wells Branch Drive.  In the morning, going north, I ride Wells Branch west to Single Trace > Merriltown > Bratton.
4. Take Bratton Lane north to Sauls.  Turn left on Sauls and take the first right on Crissom. Turn left on Grand Avenue.

Next, you can either turn right on Pearson and back up to Bratton (avoiding the deadman curves), or stay on Grand Avenue to Quick Hill Road.  Take a right on Quick Hill which turns in to CR 172 after it crosses 1325.  you could turn right here onto 1325 and head straight into La Frontera, but if traffic is heavy, just stay on CR 172.  Once I pass the 45 overpass I take the sidewalk a short way to the top of that hill and my office is close to that.  Or, you could stay on CR 172 into RR.  The section of CR 172 I ride between 1325 and 45 has a shoulder for half of it. 

You could also take Wells Port from Sauls to make your way to Thermal/Metric.  If you use the Wells Branch trail system, there is a tunnel under WB just west of Thermal, and a trail system you can take to avoid Thermal.

There are lots of variations, but the main thing is that you do NOT need to ride on 1325.

Hope this helps.

#12 Rides and Events » Ride of Silence Wednesday, May 15, 2019 » 2019-05-06 18:43:31

Replies: 3

Wednesday, May 15, 2019.  Gather at 6:45; Ride starts at 7:00 PM

This year we will have TWO Ride of Silence events in Austin! Choose the one that best suits your needs.

*Downtown ride starts from the Pfluger bridge.  I'm not sure of the exact course and distance, but will edit this post when I find out. Social Cycling is putting this on, so check them out

*North Austin ride starts from Bratton Square (14721 Bratton Lane in Wells Branch).  This ride will be 8 miles over a pretty easy course and  will be a bit more family friendly. After the ride, if people are interested, we can hang out at Polvos and talk about some of the issues we face in this area.  I may have some breaking news to share about the Wells Branch Drive safety study being done by Travis County.

The Ride of Silence will traverse and unite the globe as nothing before it. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.

Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn't aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves. 

Come and join one of the rides.  Do you live far south and want to host a ride that fits your community?  If so, please contact me and I'll be happy to give you some ideas.

For more information, visit:

#13 Train, Bus, Transit » How long does it really take to get stuff done? » 2019-04-20 10:01:25

Replies: 0

A few months ago, while killing time on the internet, I came across a You Tube channel called "The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered".  I'm a history buff and quickly became addicted to this series.  The concept is brilliant.  He does extensive research on quirky long-forgotten topics and presents them in short 10-15 minute shows.  He doesn't waste time or money on special effects or extra talk.  You can watch one of his episodes in the time it takes to eat a sandwich and you will learn a whole lot.

Our issues, as transportation cyclists, are tied up with both urban design and public transportation. Recently I found two episode that might be of interest to transportation cyclists. 

The Man How Rebuilt Paris:
(My takeaway: To fix our streets, I think we are are going to need a bigger emperor.)

The Day The Gauge Changed: … EEfMAkXhs6
(My takeaway: So, we COULD have light rail along Guadalupe/Lamar in MY lifetime.)

Watch out, these are addictive.  I searched for anything he has done that directly relates to cycling, but I didn't find anything.  I'll bet we have some forgotten history, though. This guy takes requests, so if we know of any forgotten cycling history that deserves to be remembered, we can always ask.

#14 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » SUV hits, kills cyclist in East Austin, EMS says 2019-03-28 » 2019-03-29 19:33:16

KXAN added the name of the victim:  Austin resident Jessica Saathoff, 28

No charges are expected against the driver, but the victim was supposed to protect herself from a 2500+ lb chunk of metal with a 1/2" thick piece of closed cell foam.  I know there are tons of important details we don't know that could make a huge difference in how we feel about this, but right now I am ANGRY.

As long as all the other important details are NOT known, or being reported, KXAN is doing some bad reporting by cherry picking the helmet thing.

#15 Justice Issues / Collisions » Cyclist Video Evidence Project » 2019-02-20 19:28:36

Replies: 1

A few months ago I came across this group out of CA that had been promoting the use of safety/action cameras by cyclists to bring dangerous drivers to justice.  Since I always ride with cameras I got interested. I exchanged a few emails and phone calls with the guy who started it and decided to see what I could do to help bring this to Austin.  CVE would like to use Austin as model city!

My hopes for this project:

1. Get Bike Austin/Social Cycling/Yellow Bike/ etc. involved in helping spread the word. Maybe Michael could add a link to this in the side bar!

2. Start getting Austin area incidents documented.

3. Contact local traffic / transportation planners about using the data to make informed decisions about road design and danger points. A video is worth a million words.

4. Get law enforcement involved and work towards getting justice for cyclists.  (Yeah, I know here in the Confederacy this is going to be a long game, but we have to start somewhere, and getting tons of video evidence showing patterns of bad behaviour is where to start.)

5. Get BAC to support these efforts.  Last night I gave a quick overview of CVE at the BAC meeting. Once we get some data we can use that as a basis to push for action by the city.  This went over pretty well, so check off one box.

Here's some background info:

• CVE was started by avid cyclist Craig Davis sometime after 2015 when he stopped feeling safe cycling on the roads out in CA. Membership is free and anyone with video footage of incidents can participate.

• CVE collects video clips that have been entered by members into their Incident Management Database. 

o CVE has helped set new legal precedents in some CA cities so that now reckless drivers can be charged based just on video evidence!

o The CVE website has lots of good info and goes into detail breaking down the types of near misses.

• Quoting from the website: “We created to empower cyclists with the tools they need to bring transparency and accountability to our legal system. “

o Collision data does not give an accurate picture.

o For example, the number of cyclists killed in Austin is relatively low, but the number of scary close calls goes unreported.

o We all know that the main reason people don’t use bikes for transportation is that they don’t feel safe.

• Anyone can participate by riding with a safety/action camera and entering incidents into the database.

Let's fight back against this crap we are putting up with!!

#16 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » The Austin B-Cycle thread » 2019-02-14 12:55:35

Yes, there are some scooters in Domain.  I have even seen a couple at the HEB at the Mopac / Parmer intersection.  They aren't there often enough to count on, though.   I have also seen scooters at Gracy Farms / Hobby Horse.  Last week there was one behind the Fry's electronics store.  I saw one last night at the Howard redline station.  That is the farthest north I have seen one, but like the HEB, not often enough to plan a trip around.

I don't think I have seen any dockless bikes yet up here in the frozen north.

Yeah, when they built Domain it was supposed to be pedestrian and cyclists friendly.  It's not the worst place to get around, for sure, but it could have been so much better.

#17 Re: Commuting/Routes » Routes from Austin for road bike » 2019-02-13 22:30:11

Take a look at the Adventure Cycling Association Hill Country Loop.  It passes right in front of Mellow Johnnies.  The ACA route maps are worth it!  They show exactly what you need, turn by turn. … ntry-loop/

This is a great ride.  It took me 4 or 5 days, but I could have spent longer.  You can also cut it short if you need to for time, and the ACA map shows you how to do that. 

I wrote up my trip on the crazy guy site when I did the ACA Hill Country loop a few weeks after the map first went on sale.  I have some suggestions for improvements.  I rode part of it again this year and posted that on crazy guy too.  I was trying to give some advice to anyone who wants to ride this great route.

Hill Country Loop: … 17855&v=5f

Hill Country Loop, Revenge of the Hills: … 21516&v=3J

You could also look at the ACA Southern Tier route that passes through the Hill Country.  The ride from Vanderpool to Camp Wood is not to be missed.

#18 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19 » 2019-02-08 23:35:28

I received an email about this. Just spreading the word:

Silent Ride on Wed Feb 13, 4:30-6pm from Saltillo Plaza through UT campus and back to Eastside to Cap Metro on E. 5th. Here’s a link to the Facebook invitation:

Pass it along.  It would be great to see a huge turnout.

#19 Re: Train, Bus, Transit » Everyone Gets a Trophy! » 2019-02-04 22:25:44

MichaelBluejay wrote:

It's easy to misread.

Haha!  Yes, VERY easy to misread.  In fact before I posted that I went back to double check to see if the meant something other than 'Austin', but I'll admit I missed it.

But yes, you are correct.  It does say 'City of Austin', not 'Poor Dumb Bastards that Live in the Far Flung Parts of Austin that are still in Austin and pay Austin MTA Taxes and Depend on Public Transportation but are not City of Austin Employees.'

Fair enough.  Go 'City of Austin' Go!

#20 Train, Bus, Transit » Everyone Gets a Trophy! » 2019-02-04 11:45:25

Replies: 2

It looks like Austin got another award: … 7aa#mctoc3

If we have "exceptional sustainable commuting options" why does it take me up to an hour and a half to get to Parmer / Mopac from City Hall after 8 pm? 

Sure, we are better than other places, but can we save "exceptional" for when it really is?

#21 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Bus strikes, kills cyclist on UT campus 1/28/19 » 2019-01-29 23:41:40

WOW!  Just wow.  So much to say.  1. So much for feeling safe sharing lanes with buses.  Whilst cycling, I have always felt safest around people who drive for a living. I'm sure ( I hope) this is an isolated incident.
2.  The quality of reporting we get now is awful.  When I was in 8th grade (1975) I remember learning about the 5 W's of reporting.  Who, What, When, Where, and Why.  These news stories drive me crazy with their lack of W's and their lack of follow up.   We need to know the details in order to understand the situation and come to an informed opinion.   There seems to be little follow through on these local stories.

#23 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/ » 2019-01-16 18:51:45

Yes, there are worse things in the world than sharing a lane with buses. And my experience is that bus drivers are the best kind of people to have to share a lane with.  But that's not the point.

The bigger picture is that this is happening because the buses were taking too long to travel along West 5th having come all of the way from the suburban wasteland in Leander. I was at a recent BAC meeting in which this was explicitly stated by one of the Cap Metro people. 

So, at the heart of it, this is happening to enable urban sprawl (supercharged car dependency on speed).  I'm not hating on the people who live in Leander because that's where they can afford to live - and then take the bus to get to work.  Good for those individuals!  We could use more people willing to use public transportation.

One day we had a bike lane.  And then the next day we have to share that lane with buses.  And there is no universe in which it is safer to share a lane with a 25,000 pound vehicle than not. 

No one has dared to suggest the obvious.  We could keep the bike lane AND add a bus lane by cutting out a car lane.

The fact that this is not the discussion IS the problem.

#24 Re: Roadway hazards » Bridge out between Krieg Fields and Roy Guerrero River park » 2018-12-20 20:05:10

This bridge was discussed at the 12/18/18 BAC.  Janae Spence of C of A Public Works Department explained what was going on.  Here's a summary of what she said:

Watershed Protection is the department managing that redesign. They have an erosion issue there that is very unique. They went to Vancouver to use a special modeling facility to model the erosion on a small scale with their current bridge design, to be sure it will behave in practice as they are hoping, since the erosion situation there is severe. They are still a couple years out from a final bridge being open, given the complexity of the erosion control there.

I don't know, I guess.  But, a couple of weeks before I was born JFK made a speech in which he announced a plan for the US to land a man on the moon.  By the time I was in the 3rd grade we had done it!   Whole new technologies had to be developed to make that happen. People have been building bridges for about 10,000 years.   

Austin is NOT taking active transportation anywhere near as seriously as it could.  I'm not blaming the people working for the city - my impression is that they are frustrated too.  The general population really just wants more car lanes, and these efforts to fix bridges are just the scraps that fall off the table. Austin is really a very car friendly place.

#25 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek, part trois (?) » 2018-12-13 21:42:28

In spite of my earlier comment about not wanting to ride on a contra-flow bike lane, I ended up getting involved in this Shoal Creek bike lane effort anyway.  I am still opposed to these contra-flow protected lanes because...intersections...and driveways.  BUT, I AM in favor of banning all on street parking on SCB.  Ban on street parking and we could have a pretty good north to south bike lane route that doesn't include door zones and needless contra-flow confusion. Throw in some traffic calming and you could almost pretend you were in an advanced First World Country. 

Why should people be allowed to store their private property on a public road designed to move people? A couple of years ago my daughter and her kids moved in with me and now my garage is overstuffed.  Does that mean I can now rent a pod unit and store my private property on the street in front of my shitty rat infested duplex*?  Do the other tax payers have to help me cover the costs of the decisions I made about how much stuff I own?

Suggesting banning parking on SCB will go over about as well as herpes in a whore house, but for anyone who agrees, maybe you could add a supporting comment to the COA survey:

I went to the meeting with Leslie Pool a couple of weeks ago as well as a few other meetings and of course the NIMBY Carnivale at Gullet last night.  Pool talks a good talk, but I trust about as much as I would trust my 10' Burmese Python alone with my hamster**.   Even after talking about her own cycle commuting she couldn't manage to give a full-throated commitment to plans that would help kids safely bike to school.  Well, I guess JFK isn't around to write a sequel to 'Profiles in Courage' anyway.

I was early to the Gullet NIMBYfest last night, so I rode up and down SCB from Foster to 2222 and looked at the driveways.  Wow!  I was prepared to think about considering toning down my radical anti-parking stance, but WOW.  These rich people have plenty of parking on their properties as it is!  SO, if the "But, we need to be able to park someplace" comes up, that is 100% Grade A, USDA prime bullshit.  And it will come up.  At the open house they had maps with post-it notes so people could make comments. I made the mistake of reading a few.  From being on the BAC, I know some of the city staff who where there.  I talked to one and she told me she was going to have to read all of those comments. I told her that I would rather be boiled alive in my own blood than have to read those post it notes.  I suggested she call in sick for a day or two.

Today at work my boss gave me a stupid boring task to do.  As I sat there thinking about how much I hated doing it I thought about how the city ATD staff are reading those NIMBY notes right now and I said "Yes, boss, right away boss, I'll be happy to do this stupid meaningless job, boss!"

* I see the SCB bike lane debate as a proxy war between the Haves v the Have Nots. The rich and well connected usually get what they want.  A single member of the Landed Aristocracy in an Austin neighborhood can kill a potentially decent bike lane and force a stupid compromise that is Unsafe at any Speed.

** I don't really have hamsters or snakes.

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