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#1 2013-11-12 23:21:00

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 439

Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South

Action Alert From Bike Austin: Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South

This is a key decision-making point: The public is being asked to give its input on how mobility can be improved in the MoPac South corridor from Slaughter Lane to Lady Bird Lake. You have a unique opportunity to shape this large scale transportation project by asking for improved bicycling and walking accommodations.

Take the MoPac South survey now.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MoPacSouth
Ask for shared-use paths to connect all destinations along MoPac South, physically separated bikeways across MoPac, and for a continuous, grade-separated shared-use path the entire length of the corridor. (“Grade-separated” means that the path does not intersect with car traffic, but instead goes under or over roads.)

You can find out more background info on the MoPac South website.
http://www.mopacsouth.com/environmental/open-house.php

(Though a different project for a new bridge for bicycling and walking over Barton Creek is already funded and ready for construction, that is only one part of the picture. Connectivity to and from that bridge must still be improved and there are numerous destinations along MoPac South and near the corridor that lack safe, convenient and comfortable bicycle access.)

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#2 2013-11-15 19:41:40

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 439

Re: Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South

Did anyone else take the survey ?

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#3 2013-11-15 23:17:29

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South

I did. And sent it to the people I know who use that highway. (The types of auto dependent recreational cyclists who are concerned about sharing roads with cars).

Last edited by rich00 (2013-11-15 23:18:44)

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#4 2013-11-16 01:13:17

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 553

Re: Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South

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

My commute to work is 85% Mopac -- the Mopac part starts at Convict Hill and ends at Barton Skyway.  The 0.6 miles over the greenbelt is what keeps me from riding to work most of the time (and the alternatives double the distance I'd have to ride), but if there was some sort of decent cyclist accommodation the entire way?  I'd ride just about all the time.

Either the Violet Crown trail (I'm not really a MTBer, but if needed I imagine I could become one -- I guess it depends on just how developed the trail turns out to be) or the planned pedestrian bridge next to Mopac over the greenbelt will make my commute far more practical.

I make a point of voicing my support for these projects periodically -- preferably in some way less impersonal than a survey comment.  But hey, I can fill out a survey too!

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#5 2013-11-16 09:26:39

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 439

Re: Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South

At least it is data that can be passed on to BAC, City Council, etc…
To show the demand and priorities for separate facilities along MoPac South.
By the way, Doug, looks as if a separate trail along MoPac from 1826 to the river is part of the urban trails master plan on display this past week.
Sure would be nice if it goes in before or the same time as the bicycle bridge over Barton Creek.

But, Convict Hill to Paisano Trail, Longview Park, Goldbridge, Seminary Ridge, Whispering Winds, Matthews, Woodhue, Emerald Forrest, route 31 on down and around is a very nice ride, just long.

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-11-16 09:41:12)

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#6 2013-11-18 17:55:10

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

Re: Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South

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.

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#7 2013-11-18 19:04:26

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 553

Re: Ask for better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along MoPac South

tomwald wrote:

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.

Sure, but that's doing a whole lot more than filling out an online survey.

In my experience, a phone call generally carries more weight than an email or fax, and showing up in person beats both by a large margin. My guess as to why this is is that a voice makes you more "real" than just some words on a screen, and if they get to see your face, your status might be elevated to actual human being.

Also, the survey didn't really give you a place to ask for better accommodations -- instead, it just asked what the biggest issues are.  Now, presumably if you said the biggest issues were bicycle accommodations and strongly agreed that "There is a need to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in the MoPac South Corridor", they might infer from that that we want a MUP along it -- or they might just think that the answer is to ban bicycles and pedestrians from the MoPac South Corridor.  (That would improve bicycle and pedestrian safety there, would it not?)

In any event, if you say they pay a lot of attention to these surveys and use what they find usefully, I'll trust that you are correct.  I was just surprised that they asked us about what the problems where and didn't ask about potential solutions at all.  (I guess we're supposed to phrase our suggestion as a problem?)

And question #6 surprised me a bit too -- "Do you use current pedestrian/bicycle facilities?" -- well, I can't think of a single bicycle accommodation at all on Mopac between Slaughter and the river beyond some poorly maintained shoulders part of the way, and the pedestrian accommodations are pathetic -- some sidewalks that just start, go for a while, then just stop.  I guess the correct answer is "yes" -- just not any on Mopac.

edit:

And this bit from the survey confuses me --

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like for the feedback you provide on this community survey to be considered as an official comment, you must fill out and submit a comment form. Please ask a study team member for a form. Official comments can also be submitted online at www.MoPacSouth.com.

So ... do my comments on the survey matter or not?

Last edited by dougmc (2013-11-19 01:16:26)

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