For way too long, South Lamar Boulevard has been a nightmare for most anyone on foot or on a bike. But that could soon change.

A virtual public hearing is now underway regarding improvements planned for South Lamar all the way from Riverside Drive down to US 290 (Ben White). You can review the current plans and watch a video of the city’s presentation here.

The plans for the northernmost segment, from Riverside Drive to Barton Springs Road, look great. They include 7-foot sidewalks where possible and 10-foot, two-way bike lanes on both sides of the road, separated from car traffic by 7-foot-wide landscaped areas. These improvements are fully funded. If they’re approved, construction is expected to begin this coming winter.

The plans for the southern stretch, from Barton Springs Road to 290, also look good, but current funding falls short of what’s really needed. The funded improvements include 8-foot-wide shared-use paths on both sides of the road, separated from car traffic by 2-to-4-foot-wide landscape buffer zones. The number of car lanes wouldn’t change: there would still be two lanes in each direction, plus a median/left turn lane with landscaping or streetscape in the median islands.

As South Lamar becomes more walkable and bikeable, there are bound to be conflicts between pedestrians and people on bikes sharing an 8-foot-wide path. The currently unfunded plans call for building separate sidewalks and converting the shared-use paths to dedicated bike lanes. Trees, lighting, and other improvements would also be added.

We’d like to see these plans approved and fully funded.

Please join us in speaking up now to voice your support for well-designed bicycle and pedestrian facilities along this critical corridor.

Your comments could read something like this:
I support the addition of protected bike lanes, shared-use paths, and landscaping along South Lamar Boulevard. Sidewalks should be provided separately from bike lanes whenever possible. And all facilities for pedestrians and people on bikes should be separated from car traffic by a landscape buffer, ideally with street trees.

Act soon! The public hearing closes at 5pm Thursday, July 30. Responses to comments received before the deadline will be posted on the project website.