Shoal Creek Bike Lanes: Wheels Are in Motion

The Austin Transportation Department has made good on plans to enhance bike lanes on Shoal Creek Boulevard. This may not be earth-shattering news considering how the US — currently led by a sociopathic, deranged lunatic — may go to war with Iran at any moment over bombing Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. We may not be able to do much about that, but riding one’s bicycle down a safer street with a protected bike lane reduces dependency on those polluting, (ex)pensive petroleum products that seem to bring out the bellicosity in people. Let’s focus on the good news about the bike lanes, shall we?

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Shoal Creek Protected Bike Lanes in Progress; Dang It’s Hot in Austin, Texas!

A while back I mentioned an important victory for bicyclists in Austin, Texas. It was the decision by the City, after the input by citizens, to add protected bike lanes to Shoal Creek Boulevard, a major road used by people on bikes. Today they sent notice that that process has begun. Additionally, it’s pretty hot in Austin, and that’s making biking hard if not downright unpleasant for for many people, self included. So we have the good, the bad, and well, if you’re hot and sweaty enough, that also covers the ugly.

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Victory! Protected Bike Lanes on Shoal Creek Boulevard in Austin, Texas

After a several year grassroots campaign by members of Bike Austin and Walk Austin, victory was achieved! The City of Austin (Texas) announced it will construct a two-way protected bicycle lane on the west side of the major bike thoroughfare from 38th Street to Foster Lane. From that point to 183, it will put in one-way bicycle lanes on each side of Shoal Creek Boulevard (SCB). This is an important win for bicyclists of all kinds who use the street, as well as for pedestrians. Because currently it’s a mess of weaving in and out of parked cars, which can be deadly. The details are below.

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Study Says Painted Bike Lanes Aren’t Enough; Two Close Calls in Two Days Confirm It

The study, done by Monash University of cyclists in Victoria, Australia, found that painted bike lanes do not deter car drivers from coming too close to bicycles. And people ride their bikes less when they do not feel safe. The answer is clear: bike lanes must be protected in order to create true safety for bike riders.

Here in Austin, Texas, as in many places around the United States, we’re lucky if we even get those white lines. Which we now know do not work well enough. Nearly getting hit by cars while I was in the bike lane twice in the last two makes this a hot topic for me, one that I’m hot under the collar about. Why? Because I spoke to both drivers, and they’re responses were infuriating. Come on inside this post and I’ll tell you about it.

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