The City of Austin has released details of alternative designs for Shoal Creek Blvd (38th St – Hwy 183). After years of waiting, the moment is finally here and there’s a lot of exciting ideas in there.
Once you’ve reviewed the information, please take the City’s Shoal Creek survey (deadline: April 30th). The City will use this input to make its decision on the final design so your participation is crucial.
We recommend Options E & Z (two-way protected bike lanes & intersections along the entire stretch of Shoal Creek), because:
- They include protected intersections (the only options to do so)
- The bike lane is protected (higher-quality protection is more likely with 2-way lanes)
- 50% of car parking is preserved, allowing more local needs to be met
- Option E includes a ped-bike underpass under FM 2222 (the only option to do so)
- Faster cyclists can still use the vehicular lanes (which would feature sharrows)
More information on making your choices
Until now, we’ve not taken a position on specific bicycle lane designs, insisting only that the bike lane be protected because that’s the only way to grow cycling in Austin. However, protected intersections are also crucial since that’s where most crashes happen. Only options E & Z have both protected bicycle lanes and protected intersections, as well as keeping some parking for more diverse street uses such as drop-offs and deliveries.
If we unite behind one option, we avoid splitting our vote between multiple options, risking ending up with no change; instead, we’re more likely to get a great result. Creating a stunning 30-mile Big Loop hike-bike trail around Austin depends on success on Shoal Creek.
Why we didn’t go for the other options
Option A: No build
- Unacceptable. Continues endangering vulnerable people on bicycles
- Would likely mean no pedestrian improvements at all
- Perpetuates unsafe high driving speeds
Option B: One-way painted bike lanes
- Lacks protection, one side would be in the door zone
- Removes as much car parking as Option E but lacks the majority of its benefits
Option C: One-way buffered bike lanes
- Avoid conflicts with parked cars but still isn’t protected
- Only exists 7am-7pm
- Removes all car parking but without the benefits of Option D
Option D: One-way protected bike lanes
- Is a high-quality and simple design, and is our #2 preference, but…
- Has poor non-protected intersections (equally important as protected bike lanes)
- Removes all car parking
- Likely lower-quality protection because of having to protect both sides of the street
More information on Option Z
If you vote for Option Z (our current recommendation because of the protected intersections) in the survey, you could mention in the comments that you would support Option Y (one-way protected bike lanes between Foster Lane and Highway 183) if the City goes back and reconsiders if protected intersections are possible, while maintaining high-quality bike lane protection.
It’s up to you
Thank you once again for all your support!