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Thread: Urban Trails and Bikeways

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    MoJo Bishop Austin Ridge Riders's Avatar
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    Urban Trails and Bikeways

    In case people have not seen this or maybe you want to comment - here is a link to a map of what the City of Austin has planned for urban trails and bike ways. ArcGIS Web Application is the map itself. Make sure you scroll around to see other parts of the City.

    https://data.austintexas.gov/stories...eid=7cba35865e is the page to make comments and such.
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    Live Medium Bamwa's Avatar
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    Opinions may vary but y'all like minded Northies and Easties can cut and paste this comment if you like.

    "Please Prioritize Completing the Walnut Creek Hike and Bike Trail from I35 to the existing Southern Walnut Creek Hike and Bike Trail. Getting from Walnut Creek Park to the river with minimal car encounters would truly be a game changer."
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    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    I will post this on the comments too, but the new bridge over BCGB in only useful for north-bound bike traffic. going anywhere useful to the south from downtown is almost impossible.

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    Live Medium Bamwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I will post this on the comments too, but the new bridge over BCGB in only useful for north-bound bike traffic. going anywhere useful to the south from downtown is almost impossible.
    Ummmm it's a little late for that one I think.
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    Mojo Riposte June Bug's Avatar
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    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamwa View Post
    Ummmm it's a little late for that one I think.
    the bridge itself is fine. they need to connect southboand pathways near Zilker Park and Southwest Parkway to connect to the rest of it, which should not be difficult.

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    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    behold my awesome Paint skills!

    getting from south Austin near 290 and Brodie (Spec's) is easy: get to Spec's/ Best Buy (A), cross Gaines Creek on the bridge using the wide should there (B), use the new bike bridge to cross BCGB and ride the wide path along the northbound MOPAC frontage road all the way to Zilker.

    Name:  specs map.jpg
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    going the other direction, getting from Barton Springs Road to the southbound bike path along MOPAC means you have to go under MOPAC and take the southbound frontage road, with no shoulder and a steep hill to Bee Caves Road, then make a sketchy left turn to ride back up the sidewalk against traffic back to the bridge. then getting from the Gaines Creek bridge back to Brodie (which still lacks a bike lane through Sunset Valley, although the road is plenty wide enough to host one), you have to ride against traffic up the frontage road back to Spec's, or cross over MOPAC onto a southbound bike lane that abruptly ends just before Southwest Parkway, leaving the rider with no where to safely pedal at all.

    that could be easily solved with a perhaps one mile of simple bike lane striping. not as easy as it sounds, but certainly easier than that bridge. i am just surprised that this was all an afterthought- spend all that time and money on the bridge and then make it impossible to use!
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-17-2017 at 07:55 PM.

  8. #8
    Welcome to Costco, I love you. ninjammin's Avatar
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    There's a multi use sidewalk allll the way from Zilker to the bridge. Pay attention at the driveways and use it. I do it all the time without incident. The only other sketchy part is the one way bike lane between Specs and the bridge.....just ride it the wrong way since the shoulder is huge. Again, not my first preference but give it time for the connector over on Southwest Parkway to be built. Point being that it's FAR from impossible to use.
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    Yup, Ride that sidewalk all the way from zilker. You can even add in some rolling hills around spyglass drive for good measure.

    The real trick is realizing it is best and safer to ride opposite direction of traffic in the massive shoulder on northbound access road until Best buy. If you want to cut over to travis country, you can go right over the bridge, enter the townhomes entrance and take the old jeep (on your left) track/singletrack that will pop you into one of the col du sacs off of Travis country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    The real trick is realizing it is best and safer to ride opposite direction of traffic in the massive shoulder on northbound access road until Best buy.
    Yes, even though the sign, at the exit from the bridge sidewalk to the turn around road, directs you to go across the bridge over Mopac.

    And it is a little tricky getting anywhere south from that point. It can be done of course, but none of the routes are optimal, or defined well, for the uninformed.

  11. #11
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    Yup, Ride that sidewalk all the way from zilker. You can even add in some rolling hills around spyglass drive for good measure.
    Cut through the park? If you ride west on Barton Springs Road toward MOPAC, the only way to get to that sidewalk is to salmon up the bike lane on northbound MOPAC frontage road for a while until you reach that sidewalk.

    It probably works, but they need to make that more clear if they want to encourage cycling as a transportation option.

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    WOAH

    does anyone see the urban trail planned to go through Sweet 16!?

    "Urban Trails 2019-2022: YBC- MoPac to Southwest Parkway"

    The old drawing of this did not show it using the greenbelt trail, but following the edge of the feeder road and southwest parkway which it should!

    What the heck?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Cut through the park? If you ride west on Barton Springs Road toward MOPAC, the only way to get to that sidewalk is to salmon up the bike lane on northbound MOPAC frontage road for a while until you reach that sidewalk.

    It probably works, but they need to make that more clear if they want to encourage cycling as a transportation option.
    There is a pretty clear crossing that ppoints you across Barton onto that paved path that puts you at the teebox of the disc golf course. For some off reason you have to ride through a ditch now. Or you just turn under the bridge like a car would and take the sidewalk up towards texas land and cattle. This route is best on an MTB anyways because some of the curb transitions aren't smooth enough to take at speed on a road bike.
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    Mojo Riposte June Bug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    WOAH

    does anyone see the urban trail planned to go through Sweet 16!?

    "Urban Trails 2019-2022: YBC- MoPac to Southwest Parkway"

    The old drawing of this did not show it using the greenbelt trail, but following the edge of the feeder road and southwest parkway which it should!

    What the heck?
    Urban Trails contact (and engineer): Janae.Spence@AustinTexas.gov
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I will post this on the comments too, but the new bridge over BCGB in only useful for north-bound bike traffic. going anywhere useful to the south from downtown is almost impossible.
    For some reason, I don't have a problem connecting the south end of the bridge to points farther south. Others have posted some routes. Here are some more -

    From the south end of the bridge, go down to the BCGB main trail. They built some sidewalk to take you to the dirt path that runs under the new bridge all the way to the main trail. From there, ride east or west to pick up other existing trails.

    From the south end of the bridge, follow the frontage road shoulder and turn behind Best Buy and Sam's to get to Sunset Valley at Brodie Lane. Tie into SATN from there.

    From the south end of the bridge, cross the turnaround bridge over MOPAC headed west to the apartment complex. In the near future there should be the YBC trail built someday. Since that one is still in the planning stages, it may be a few years.

    From the south end of the bridge, cross the turnaround bridge over MOPAC headed west on Southwest Parkway. You can make your way to Texas Cycle Works and tie into SATN from there.

    Please be nice to Janae. She is our friend and is trying to help bikers all over the City. Recognize she has to work thru the infinite City bureaucracy maze.
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  16. #16
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    To clarify, I was talking about using that route on a road bike. If I worked downtown, I am not going to commute to work via VCT or any of those other routes.

    If I am on my mountain bike and the trails are dry, I'll just ride BCGB trails and not bother with the bridge.

    Riding a bike on the southboud MOPAC feeder or on Southwest Parkway is suicidal. I did it once, on accident, and it was the most terrifying experience I have ever had on a bicycle. It might be OK for an experienced, confident cyclist, but for the time and money they put into that bridge, I would expect that they plan to make accessing it safer and easier for moms with bike trailers and those sorts. I would like to see that route serve to give everyday, practical access to downtown and Zilker, but it's not there yet.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-20-2017 at 02:16 PM.

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    I would not ride the southbound feeder road of MOPAC south of the apartment complex driveway. 100% of the pavement is used by automobile traffic.

    I will ride the northbound feeder road between the new bridge and the Best Buy parking lot. There is lots of unused pavement on that side.
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  18. #18
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    I have noticed two strange bike routes in Austin recently:

    1.Well-lit, wide path near the Airport along eastbound 71. It goes on for miles and miles to where Onion Creek just past 130/45. It looks like a lot of money was spent on this, but it does not connect any aspect of civilization.

    2. Along 973 near a bunch of quarries. Again, a wide bike path that is never used because no one lives there.

    Anyone know why these paths exist in places that connect no one to nowhere?

    To editorialize this, there is still no safe place to ride a bicycle on MLK out east but plenty of people who would use it.

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    Big wheeled Mojo ATX29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    To clarify, I was talking about using that route on a road bike. If I worked downtown, I am not going to commute to work via VCT or any of those other routes.

    If I am on my mountain bike and the trails are dry, I'll just ride BCGB trails and not bother with the bridge.

    Riding a bike on the southboud MOPAC feeder or on Southwest Parkway is suicidal. I did it once, on accident, and it was the most terrifying experience I have ever had on a bicycle. It might be OK for an experienced, confident cyclist, but for the time and money they put into that bridge, I would expect that they plan to make accessing it safer and easier for moms with bike trailers and those sorts. I would like to see that route serve to give everyday, practical access to downtown and Zilker, but it's not there yet.
    I've ridden this segments 152 times since 2012 and had zero close calls. Now that the bridge is up I see tons of commuters using it and no one seems scared.
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    The one along 71 turns south right after it goes under 130. Not following road, just bike path into the woods. I don't know if that is connect to just Barkley Meadows Park, or if it goes further south to COTA. But you are right. That is a lot of resource to throw for what appears to be a very limited use base.

    The 973 one probably was built as a tie in with the improvements they have made to that road. "Build it and they will come" type planning?
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