AUSTIN (KXAN) - It's the regular sight across Austin every morning and evening during rush hour—cars stuck in traffic.
On the big highways, it is certainly not a place bicyclists want to be. But a plan on one busy corridor could help alleviate congestion while giving another part of the city access via two-wheel transportation.
The MoPac Mobility Improvement Project could soon add lanes for cars while creating a new bridge over the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
A project manager with Austin's Public Works Department says the bicycle and pedestrian bridge is still a few years in the making.
The bridge will run along MoPac's eastside, parallel with the northbound lanes. Its south entrance will start off of Highway 290 West, connecting to 360 near the Barton Creek Square Mall.
"It's completely separated from the roadway, and it allows people to get from southwest Austin to downtown," said project manager Chad Crager.
What's been a barrier for cyclists and pedestrians soon will be a paved bridge.
"I know that I would go to Barton [Springs} Pool and stuff more if I was able to ride, instead of drive," said Christine Rose, who supports the idea of the bridge.
Planners say the bridge will be 1,000 feet long and 14 feet wide. They say it will be similar to Pfleuger Bridge.
"The more people that are able to use bikes, the more cars that are off the roads," said Craig Geale, who likes to ride his bike wherever he can.
Geale's thinking, is exactly what the city hopes will happen.
Also, re-striping of MoPac will add an extra lane of southbound traffic, giving more relief to the back-up prone area.
The benefits of reducing cars on the road isn't limited to just creating a quicker commute.
"Air quality has to get better. Environment has to get better," Crager says, "One aspect of that is to increase ridership. Not only does that improve congestion but also improves quality of life for Austinites."
Crager says construction on the bridge should begin in the fall of 2013, and the city hopes it's complete by the end of 2015.
The city wants to get feedback from the community, so they're having an open house Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon. It will be held at the Johnson Creek Trailhead off Veterans Drive.
This new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Barton Creek Greenbelt is one part of a larger goal to increase bicycle use in the capital city.
In the 2009 "Bicycle Master Plan," the city of Austin envisions five percent of commuters using bicycles by 2020.
They also want to improve safety by decreasing the number of bicycle and motor vehicle collisions by 5 percent by 2020.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.