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#1 Re: Commuting/Routes » Howard Station to Dell Round Rock » 2014-07-24 16:18:59

I made a similar trip last Thursday at about 8:30am from Howard Station to the Baca Center in downtown Round Rock. (I almost posted here to ask a similar question to yours.)

I took FM 1325. The traffic was so light that it was easy for every car to move to the next lane over (on the five-lane road), and no one harassed me on my trip. It was a fairly pleasant ride, considering the motor traffic speeds. I wasn't expecting that at all. It may be that FM 1325 is now exceptionally over-built after MoPac was connected to SH 45. I wore a reflective vest with flashing lights, and had a pair of rear panniers.

(From Howard Station: Howard Lane, FM 1325 (MoPac frontage road), Hesters Crossing Road, Mays St.)

That said, motor traffic may be considerably worse even 45 minutes earlier, or Bratton Lane could be that much more pleasant.

#2 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South » 2013-11-18 17:55:10

dougmc wrote:

I did, though the survey didn't strike me as anything that would actually lead to a change of any sort.

It's actually very effective, and I suspect that there was a good response from the cycling community.

It's surprising how little input can have such a large impact if done in key places in the right way.  Based on what I understand from other public engagement processes, as few as about 30 people asking in this survey for bicycle accommodations along South MoPac (complementing other efforts, e.g. Bike Austin meeting with project managers, other efforts that pre-date this project) will be enough to ensure that a bike path will be built in the missing places along the corridor.

Sometimes it takes just 1-2 people to attend a public open house to tip the result between a highway with 14' wide outside lanes as the bicycle "accommodation" and a shoulder or shared-use path.

#3 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks » 2013-10-31 17:31:50

Jack wrote:

The better approach to getting the non-cyclist who wants to be a cyclist actually to cycle:  http://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/10/3 … nd-better/ "Neighborhood Greenways.

Good observation.  Cycle tracks are only part of the network.  From the link in Larry's post:

Comfortable, All Ages and Abilities Bikeway Network
The City of Austin is taking steps to build an all-ages-and-abilities bikeway network connecting Austin via quiet neighborhood streets, via urban trails, and on major streets via “cycle tracks.”

The "quiet neighborhood streets" is a layman's way of referring to neighborhood greenways, which are sometimes also "bicycle boulevards".

#4 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-13 13:26:45

tomwald wrote:

I hear and share the concerns expressed here and elsewhere that I've seen (some on Twitter and Facebook).  However, there is a balance of needs, and given the constraints, the pending bike facility seems (based on my current knowledge) to be the best possible.  The August 20th BAC discussion will bring more detail to how this bikeway arrangement was decided upon.  So, Bike Austin supports the planned facility at this point, but will be further informed by discussion among citizens and staff at the BAC on August 20th.

No, I don't think it's "the best possible" without caveats.  Above is what I wrote.  I'm looking forward to the discussion next Tuesday at the BAC.  Everyone is welcome to attend and participate.

#5 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-01 12:36:16

m1ek:  No ill intent meant here.  And I can understand that you won't be able to make it the BAC, but I am optimistic that the concerns you share will be expressed by someone at the BAC.

#6 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-01 11:16:16

tstarry wrote:

so I'm curious Tom, what is it the BAC thinks it can do...construction is done...fait accompli

Tim,

Allison covered much of the answer.  I almost mentioned in my last post what you said: that this is a "fait accompli", at least for this MetroRapid station.  That's pretty clear, but I'm glad you highlighted it, because I wasn't meaning to suggest that CapMetro is likely to dig up what's been built there anytime soon.  There are, however, more MetroRapid stations and cycle tracks being built, and the BAC can give input that applies for those future configurations.  There are also mitigating solutions that can be applied to this station that is the subject of this thread.

I was offering the BAC as a forum where discussion would be more able to have an impact - on whatever the original poster and other participants here were looking to accomplish.  (Have a look at m1ek's original post to see what he is looking to accomplish.)  So, I mentioned the BAC forum as a response (as a tool) to help those speaking here accomplish whatever it is that they want to accomplish.  If m1ek had a specific thing that he wanted to see accomplished, either by himself or by "reinforcements" found on this forum, then participation at the BAC is a critical step in getting those things accomplished.  (Bike Austin is also taking further action based on this discussion.)

#7 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-07-31 12:49:36

This subject will be on the agenda for the August 20th Austin Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC). It will be in City Hall from 6-8pm.  More information on the BAC is available on the City of Austin website:  http://austintexas.gov/department/bicyc … ry-council

The discussion at the BAC on this matter will be an important one, since it will be one of the few defining discussions on the matter. The BAC welcomes new participants and voices, and is quite inclusive.  Decisions are made by a modified-consensus process to help ensure that the body includes a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds in its decisions.

I strongly recommend that all of you attend the August 20th BAC meeting.  If you are unable to attend, then please do find someone who shares your concerns and perspective and can express those at the BAC in person.

------

Bike Austin supports the City of Austin's efforts to bring more people to bicycling.  We also think it's important to accommodate those who already bike and those who have done so before bike lanes were ubiquitous.  Because of this, there must be a balance of needs and the ideal for each group cannot always be met.

I hear and share the concerns expressed here and elsewhere that I've seen (some on Twitter and Facebook).  However, there is a balance of needs, and given the constraints, the pending bike facility seems (based on my current knowledge) to be the best possible.  The August 20th BAC discussion will bring more detail to how this bikeway arrangement was decided upon.  So, Bike Austin supports the planned facility at this point, but will be further informed by discussion among citizens and staff at the BAC on August 20th.

------

I have been discussing this facility with City of Austin Bike Program staff over the last few days.  I have recommended that further fencing be considered on the sidewalk edge (similar to that on 4th St. at the Downtown MetroRail Station), in order to create a more predictable pedestrian flow.  I have expressed my concern about the immediate situation where the painted bike lane ends without warning. And I shared my concern - as Augenwinkel remarked on above - that the BAC did not see this design ahead of time.  These thoughts have been expressed to the CoA Bike Program by others as well, and the Bike Program is responding to these concerns with action.

I waited to respond here in order to confirm a few facts first.  That being said, for an emerging subject such as this one, Bike Austin will sometimes first post to Twitter (and Facebook).  Our Twitter post on this subject can be found in our Twitter feed on the front page of our website at http://bikeaustin.org/ , on our Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/bikeaustin , or at this direct link:
https://twitter.com/bikeaustin/status/3 … 6490000385

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I look forward to seeing you on August 20th at the BAC.

#8 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » DA arrested for DWI,not resigning. » 2013-04-16 14:35:46

Regarding speculation here about her next election: She supposedly was planning to retire after her current term anyway:
http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crim … pol/nXLp3/

Lehmberg, 63, is serving her second term as district attorney and has been widely expected to retire at the conclusion of her term in December 2016.

#9 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Gabrielle Nestande DWI hit-&-runs Courtney Griffin on Exposition, 2011 » 2013-02-26 11:03:09

babich wrote:

Despite the irresponsible driving of Gabrielle Nestande, Courtney Griffin would probably still be alive and well if there had been sidewalk on the side of the street where she was walking. ....

Agreed that sidewalks on both sides of the street would have helped in this case.  That being said there are at least a couple of reasons that runners avoid using existing sidewalks:
1) Austin sidewalks are often circuitous, uneven, too narrow, unmaintained, and blocked by cars, thus making them unattractive (or unusable) for runners.  (Other cities do get this right, so we have good examples that we should follow.)
2) Due to concerns about personal security, people will often run in the street to be more visible to eyes on the street.

... and there may be other reasons that I'm not aware of, because a) I'm not much of a runner, b) my neighborhood, unfortunately, has few sidewalks for me to experience sidewalk running.

Nevertheless, on a street with the motor traffic speeds and volumes such as Exposition Blvd., a runner would be that much more motivated to use a suboptimal sidewalk rather than the street anyway.

Maybe cycletracks would be the runner's preferred facility?

#10 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Bicycling in Austin 2012 recap [and Austin's bikeability Bike Score] » 2013-01-20 13:53:00

bizikletari wrote:

For some silly reason I thought the Bicycle Austin Forum was the appropiate forum in Austin to talk about Bicycle issues. But if it weren't; my recollection, from my days at the BAC, is that the BAC does not have the power to add items to the transportation bonds brought to the voters. At most, the BAC will express support for the bond as is related to them by staff.

Post away here.  I had no intention of discouraging you from posting here.  By recommending that you _also_ take your case to the BAC, I was suggesting how your voice could be more effective at accomplishing your interests.

As for the BAC's input on the transportation bonds, the BAC certainly does have some influence on bond elections, but they rarely choose to exercise it, and when they do, they tend to agree with those others who have already looked into the matter.  The BAC could certainly make a resolution for a bond election, and then send a representative to the citizens' bond committee and/or Austin City Council to relay that information.

#11 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Bicycling in Austin 2012 recap [and Austin's bikeability Bike Score] » 2013-01-13 10:14:09

dougmc wrote:

Is Far West an arterial?  This picture got lot of attention on Facebook of somebody parking on Far West near Murchison middle school, blocking the bike lane.  No "no parking signs", so parking there is legal, but when the city counts miles of bike lanes where parking is permitted vs. where it's not, how is this bike lane counted?

That said, there's not much parking around there, so people do park in this bike lane quite often, especially at the top of the hill.

Far West is an arterial.  And since people do park there quite often, there should be no-parking signs.  I'll send a reminder email to City Staff momentarily.

bizikletari:  The cost of the signs comes in a distant second, from what I remember.  Sign clutter, on the other hand, is not just an aesthetic concern, but also a safety concern due to over-stimulation.  If you disagree with the City's status quo on this, then I recommend that you argue your case with the BAC and not just here.

#12 Re: Roadway hazards » South Lamar Condo Construction » 2013-01-12 12:22:03

AusTexMurf wrote:

Absolutely unacceptable. If someone knows the best manner to contact the COA about this.......

Do call 311 about this.  I'm going to send a quick email to several people as well.

#13 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Bicycling in Austin 2012 recap [and Austin's bikeability Bike Score] » 2013-01-12 12:15:10

dougmc wrote:

What are the guidelines for "no parking" zones?  Don't there need to be signs or markings every block or every X feet?

I've spoken with City Staff on this many times and their response sounds quite reasonable to me.

On most arterials, it is expected that people will not park their cars.  The City does not want people to park in those bike lanes on arterials, but a nearby no-parking sign is typically not needed to discourage parking.  While a single instance of someone parking in such a location would not likely produce a court-proof citation, such repeated behavior would likely prompt the City to place no-parking signs in that location, which would, in turn, allow for court-proof citations.  So, if you ever do see a problem area that does not have no-parking signs, please do inform the City via 311 (and if there are inadequate results, follow up directly with the Bike Program.)

I understand that the main reasons the City does not saturate streets with no-parking signs is to avoid sign clutter and the added expense.

#14 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » More recent CARnage (Cody Johnson, Mark Dahlstrom, & 10/29 downtown) » 2013-01-01 08:20:06

This is still in process.  The charges may still be upgraded to something more serious than a DWI.

#15 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Bee Caves after Construction » 2012-12-14 17:35:51

I've been in touch with TxDOT on this one, and trying to coax a solution given the current situation.

Note that I haven't seen the situation in person (since the resurfacing).  So I'll be speaking with secondhand knowledge (from concerned cyclists and TxDOT staff) on what it looks like.

At a section where the shoulder is now the narrowest, which is next to an intersection, it is likely that TxDOT could narrow the center lane and get some more space for the shoulder.  However, the likely way to do this is to resurface the road in that section, so it'll cost more than just striping.  So, on behalf of Bike Austin, I'm working on getting that section resurfaced and restriped sooner rather than later, so that the worst section can be improved.  From what I understand from people who bike that road, prioritizing that narrowest section is the best focus at this time.

#16 Organizations » Bike Austin is hiring a Membership Director » 2012-07-26 14:56:31

tomwald
Replies: 0

Do you love bicycling and what it can do for our city? Are you looking for leadership experience in a growing non-profit? This is a great opportunity for you to use your creativity to build your community bicycle advocacy organization.

Bike Austin is seeking an energetic, dependable, outgoing, experienced, and flexible bicycling advocate to serve as our first Membership Director.

You can find more information about this position, including how to apply, online:
    http://www.bikeaustin.org/2012/07/23/bi … -director/

#17 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » At-fault 85-y.o. driver kills 55-y.o. cyclist Verter Ginestra » 2012-06-15 14:25:36

eileenstx wrote:

I haven't had time to follow-up. Anyone else want to take this on?

I or a Bike Austin volunteer would be happy to take it on.  I'll give you a call.

#18 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Bike/Auto Collision 5/16/2012 on 360 » 2012-05-19 00:45:06

Thank you for reporting on this.  It sounds like a horrible collision, and I hope that I never have to go through what the bicyclist is going through (or what the motorist may be going through).

This collision sounds completely avoidable.  Both drivers erred and the result was a collision.  Essentially, both drivers took a gamble instead of knowing for sure that no one was else was heading toward the space they were heading toward.  From what I read in your story, the motorist is clearly at fault, even though the bicyclist could have prevented the collision.  The left-turning driver (motorist) failed to yield to the oncoming driver (bicyclist) going straight through.

I've been on both sides of such a situation: a) the driver turning left past one or more lanes where there is still space for another _line_ of vehicles to travel through, and b) the driver moving in a freely moving line of vehicles while a line of vehicles to my side allows a gap for left turning vehicle to pass through.

The last time I encountered situation (a), was at about 7:30am (May 18th) on Angelina crossing Rosewood.  As an aside, I was instructing a new driver/rider at the time and pointed out the danger that was present.

I encountered situation (b) more times today than I can count.  So neither of these situations are rare, but it takes both parties making the complementary mistake at the same time and place for there to be a collision.

In my life, I have avoided numerous collisions by understanding the risk inherent in situation (a) and (b).  I suspect that this web forum audience has many among it who are also aware of both of these dangers.  Both drivers could have prevented the collision by either ensuring that he/she was visible to the other driver or by anticipating that a vehicle could be in an area hidden by other vehicles.  The bicyclist could have anticipated crossing traffic when he/she approached the driveway or intersection.

#19 Rides and Events » City Council and Mayoral Candidates Forum on Bicycling: Mar 26th 6-9pm » 2012-03-23 17:51:23

tomwald
Replies: 0

What: Austin City Council and Mayoral Candidates Forum on Bicycling
When: Monday, March 26th, 6-9pm
Where: Welch 3.502, UT Austin campus
Access to the auditorium is only via Inner Campus Drive.
http://www.utexas.edu/maps/main/buildings/wel.html

This is your chance to hear from the candidates on bicycling issues. We will address each campaign race in series: City Council Place 5, Place 6, Place 2, ending with the Mayoral race.

We will have light snacks on hand, while supplies last.

Please send your questions for the candidates to endorsements at lobv.org. There will also be a limited opportunity for audience members to ask questions directly of the candidates. You can also read the candidates' responses to a questionnaire (to be posted by Sat. PM and at Monday's event) provided by the League of Bicycling Voters.

The League of Bicycling Voters thanks our event co-hosts for their support: UT Orange Bike Project, Austin Cycling Association, Austin's Yellow Bike Project.

http://www.lobv.org/2012/03/23/austin-c … ling-2012/

#20 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » City plans to remove Nueces bike lane? » 2012-03-07 16:33:14

Regarding the Rio Grande facility in West Campus, this is what I've got from the BAC meeting minutes of January 20th, 2011:

Rio Grande Separated Facility –Ms. Kaplan reads the resolution. Mr. Sanford states that BikeTexas is working to get these facilities in more cities in Texas because they have seen worldwide that these facilities work to increase cycling rates.  Discussion ensues, and the following resolution is on the table:

"Recognizing that the primary purpose of separated bicycle facilities is to encourage and protect less experienced cyclists, the BAC supports the implementation of two-way separated bicycle facilities on streets that permit motor vehicle traffic in only one direction.

Before implementation, the City of Austin should present proposed designs to the BAC for further review. Intersections and traffic lights should be designed to accommodate both vehicular and protected ("boxed") turning movements to and from the two-way separated facility; and there should be protected entrances to, and exits from, the two-way separated facility. In addition, signage and pavement markings should clearly show the two-directional movement of cyclists.

As part of this resolution, the BAC has already reviewed and explicitly supports for example, the following street cross-section, from curb to curb: car parking lane in direction A, main travel lane in direction A, buffer, bike lane in direction A, center line, bike lane in direction B."

Mr. Abels moves to approve, Mr. de Araya seconds.  Mr. Eden expresses some concern regarding cyclists traveling in the opposite direction of traffic.  Ms. Kaplan asks others who are interested in participating in the Technical Subcommittee to e-mail Mr. Wald.

It looks like a consensus decision to me, but it is clear that the BAC decision was not a carte blanche decision to concur with whatever the city wanted to do without further review.  The decision does not mention Nueces St. (West Campus).

There were approximately 26 non-staff citizens in attendance.

If I remember correctly, the resolution text came out of a consensus of a previous lengthy BAC Technical Subcommittee meeting that included Tommy Eden, myself, and several others.

The full 1/10/11 BAC meeting minutes:
http://www.lobv.org/wp-content/uploads/ … final_.pdf
... which incorrectly state the year as 2010.

#21 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop » 2012-03-05 23:06:19

MichaelBluejay wrote:

BTW, and I know I'm sounding like a broken record on this, but I wish license revocation was part of the punishment package.

Here is an example from Rhode Island:
"R.I. jurist's lifetime drive ban for teen went too far, say Bay State pols"
http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/v … tate_pols/

"I think it's a little harsh," said state Sen. Robert Hedlund, (R-Weymouth). "The kid might mature and actually be a responsible driver. I don't know how you can take it away from a kid that age forever. What's he going to do ... bike for the rest of his life?"

#22 Helmet Laws/Other legislation » Seeking questions for city council & mayoral candidates questionnaire » 2012-03-05 14:00:22

tomwald
Replies: 2

The League of Bicycling Voters is seeking questions for the Austin City Council and Mayoral Candidates Questionnaire.

By this Wednesday, March 7th, 2pm, please send your proposed questions to the LOBV Endorsements Committee Chair, Mike Librik, at endorsements at lobv dot org.

------

Save the date for the Candidates Forum: Monday, March 26th, 6-9pm on the UT campus (exact location to be announced)
Co-hosted by: League of Bicycling Voters, UT Orange Bike Project, Austin Cycling Association, and Austin's Yellow Bike Project

#23 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » UT's ridiculous obstruction at MLK & Congress/Speedway » 2012-03-05 13:26:22

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

#24 Organizations » The LOBV is seeking a Volunteer Coordinator » 2012-02-27 13:46:29

tomwald
Replies: 0

Do you love bicycling and what it can do for our city? Are you looking for leadership experience in a growing non-profit? This is a great opportunity for you to express your creative freedom to help build your community bicycle advocacy organization.

The League of Bicycling Voters is seeking an energetic, outgoing, experienced, and dependable bicycling advocate to serve as our Volunteer Coordinator. This person will be the lead volunteer coordinator for the organization.

You can read more information on our website at http://www.lobv.org/2012/02/20/the-lobv … ordinator/

#25 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » California lawsuits force cities to spend millions to fix sidewalks » 2012-02-01 11:07:05

My understanding is that Austin's ADA lawsuit has the City of Austin on the hook for $5 million minimum annually until the problem is resolved.

Austin's 2010 Bond Prop. 1 allocated about half of the $90MM to bike/ped.  I'm not sure what the pedestrian breakdown is at the moment.

Travis County 2011 Bond Prop. allocated 12% to sidewalks.  The Prop. 2 included trail funding, so the total mobility funding across the two propositions for sidewalks would be more than 12%.

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